The world of single-seater racing has undergone a radical shift with the introduction of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship in 2015.
Along with the FIA, CAMS has chosen Formula 4 as the future pathway for open wheel racing, bridging the gap between karting, Formula 3 and Formula 1.
The new category will focus on driver development rather than car development, will be both nationally and internationally relevant and integrate with the CAMS Driver Development Program.
For those wanting to know more about Formula 4, here are some answers to questions you may have.
What is Formula 4?
It is a development single seater open wheel racing category for young drivers who are serious about a pathway to the top of motor sport. It is based on the new FIA international regulations for Formula 4 with a focus on keeping costs down and guaranteeing the highest possible safety standards. It’s built on four cornerstones: technical regulations, organisational standards, sporting regulations and marketing and communications.
Where and when will Formula 4 be racing?
Round 1 – Tasmania SuperSprint, Symmons Plains: April 1–3
Round 2 – Phillip Island SuperSprint: April 15–17
Round 3 – Shannons Nationals, Sydney Motorsport Park: July 1–3
Round 4 – Ipswich SuperSprint, Queensland Raceway: July 22–24
Round 5 – Sandown 500: September 16–18
Round 6 – Gold Coast 600: October 21–23
Round 7 – Highlands Park 101: November 11–12
Why is CAMS running the Championship itself?
This is an important development series that has consequential impacts on all levels of the sport. Everything from junior participation to elite driver development will be connected to a vibrant Formula 4 Championship. It forms a critical part of the high performance pathway that has been developed with the assistance of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). As the national body responsible for developing and promoting the sport, CAMS was not prepared to delegate responsibility for protecting the integrity of the sporting and technical regulations to third parties. Abiding by the philosophy of Formula 4, CAMS intention is to keep costs down and focus on developing young driver talent with only allowing vehicle adjustments as prescribed in the sporting and technical regulations.
Why is CAMS the owner of the vehicles?
Given that the key principles of the Formula 4 Championship are driver development, parity of vehicle performance and cost control, CAMS' ownership of the vehicles provides greater certainty in achieving these objectives.
Is there any other up-front costs to the hirer?
CAMS has selected a ‘Teams’ championship model which means that teams or individuals are entirely responsible for the preparation of the car.
Why is Formula 4 a support category for the V8 Supercars Championship?
As well as being a requirement of the FIA, it’s essential for the success and longevity of the series that Formula 4 be featured on the V8 Supercar Championship calendar for purposes of exposure and television coverage.
How old do you have to be to drive?
Drivers must be at least 15 years old at the beginning of the first round of the championship.
What engine and oil will the cars have?
Penrite Oil is the official oil partner to be used across our fleet of Ford EcoBoost 1.6L engines.
What tyres will the Formula 4 cars have?
Hankook Tyre is the official control tyre supplier.
How many tyres do drivers get?
Six slick tyres can be used at each event for the free practice sessions, qualifying sessions and races. Wet-weather tyres may be used when required by the conditions as supplied by the official supplier.
Who transports the cars to each round?
It will be up to the individual or team to organise and pay for transport to each motor sport venue once the vehicle has been taken delivery of.
What happens if a car is damaged, who fixes it and who pays?
Teams are entirely responsible for maintaining and fixing the car to the standard that the car was delivered and using parts supplied from the official supplier. Licence agreements will be prepared by CAMS for each of the teams and it will be an obligation of the team to return the car to CAMS in the same condition as it was when the car was delivered to them.
Can we make alterations to the cars?
The FIA has created a regulatory framework through which manufacturers can obtain homologation of Formula 4 chassis’ and engines. Vehicle maintenance is strictly supervised in order to ensure sporting fairness between competitors and to keep costs down. The success and credibility of the championship stems largely from the degree of technical parity that exists between competitors.
How will a race weekend look?
In order to maximise track time during racing weekends and to highlight the performances of the best drivers, use of a sporting format inspired by the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is recommended.
A race weekend will take this format:
Free Practice 1
Free Practice 2
How will starting grids be determined?
Fastest qualifying times set in Q1
Reverse grid with first ten drivers from Race 1
Second fastest qualifying times set in Q1
What about championship point scoring… what’s the formula?
It will be based on the FIA international championships scale:
25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point for the ten first drivers of each race.
5 bonus points for the best qualifying time.
1 bonus point for the fastest lap time in each race.
What are the Technical specifications?
Here is some information that may help…
CHASSIS: FIA homologated Carbon Monocoque
ENGINE: Ford EcoBoost 1.6L, 160 bhp. Life of engine 10,000 km
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shift + reverse gear
BRAKES: Twin pot callipers
FRONT AND REAR SUSPENSION: Double wishbones and pushrods, twin dampers, adjustable anti-roll bar
PARTS: All parts must be homologated and supplied by the official supplier at each round of the championship. Parts will be available for purchase from the supplier at each championship venue and must be used exactly as supplied
DIMENSIONS: 3350 x 1750 x 950mm
SAFETY: FIA standards (front and rear impact absorbing structures, anti-intrusion side panels, roll bars, removable seat, wheel restraint cables, on-board fire extinguisher, retractable steering column)
OPTIONS: Data acquisition
Will the championship be marketed and promoted?
Yes, CAMS will ensure it’s promoted at every opportunity.
Drivers and teams will be encouraged to spread the word of this exciting new formula on team and driver websites and also social media via the hashtag #F4AU and our social media channels @Formula4AU.
Our website formula4.com.au is the home of all news, profiles and multimedia of Australian Formula 4.
What will the Championship winner receive?
The winning driver will receive the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship trophy and up to $250,000 in financial support that will assist in the progression to the next appropriate development pathway for that driver.
The CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship drivers’ title will be awarded to the driver who has scored the highest number of points at season’s end with the Championship winner to formally accept the award and prize at the annual CAMS Awards night, at which all CAMS national champions are recognised.
The second, third and fourth placed drivers in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship will also be supported through the opportunity to take up an official test with a V8 Supercars team.
The above summary is further clarified in the sporting and technical regulations for the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.