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What British Formula 4 Round 4 Preview
Where Oulton Park, England
When 17-18 June 2023
Community International

Alibhai hoping for an Oulton Park British F4 upturn

Johannesburg race driver Aqil Alibhai heads to Oulton Park in England keen to overcome his qualifying challenges at this weekend’s fifth round British F4 races. Already a winner this season, series rookie Alibhai is keen to exorcise the qualifying bogey that has taunted him, but that’s by no means an easy task.

“When we have had clean air and a chance to fight it out in the races so far, we have gone very well. I have even won a race, so our raw pace is very good” Aqil explains. “But to do that more often, we must qualify a little better and that’s a bit deeper rooted than it may at first appear.

“Getting the best out of our new qualifying tyres has proven our biggest challenge so far this season. We do not have the budget some of our rivals do, so testing with unlimited sets of tyres like some of the guys do, is not an option. That mainly hurts us in understanding how to get the tyres to turn on quickly enough to manage qualifying, which is often a lottery anyway with red flags so often also spoiling those best laps.

“The trick is to fast track my understanding of the new rubber and gain the advantage. This is not an unusual racing situation, but it’s just something we must work through like the rest of the first year drivers. That said, the guys who have the luxury of 200 tyres to play with through the season have the advantage of wasting enough of those to find that silver bullet. We will use a quarter of those tyres, so It’s easy to understand the challenge we face!

“Anyway, we are working as hard as we can on that within our means to improve our qualifying performance. If I can qualify in the top six, the drivers up front are less likely to take me out because its mad further back, and getting away from that is actually the biggest bonus of qualifying well! My race pace is great, now we just need to start from a position where I can best benefit from that pace, every time.

“Oulton Park is always fun and we are looking forward to the weekend. So here’s to a great qualifying this Saturday. Bring it on!”

Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai

Photography by: Jakob Ebrey

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