BRDC Formula 4 Winter Series - Brands Hatch
We're not offering a prize – but can anybody tell us this: when was the last time two brothers won single-seater championships in different categories in the same year? We don't know, but we're more than pleased and proud that the brothers Palmer – Jolyon in GP2 and Will in the BRDC Formula 4 Winter series – both carried Comma's colours to victory in 2014. Jolyon has been sponsored by Comma since the earliest days of his single-seater career, and his record-breaking exploits in 2014 make him only the second British driver after the newly-crowned Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, to lift the GP2 title. Amongst the many plaudits and the kudos that goes with his success, Jolyon has earned an official test with the Sahara Force India Formula 1 team.
Younger brother Will, also sponsored by Comma and new to single-seaters this year at the age of 17, set out his stall with a brace of wins backed by a string of other strong results in the main season BRDC Formula 4 championship, and topped the year off by winning the Winter Series for his HHC team with four victories and three other podiums out of the eight races.
Will's ever-present challenger for the Winter Series title was Brazilian Gaetano di Mauro, a protégé of former Formula 1 star Rubens Barrichello, no less. Driving for the PetroBall team, di Mauro finished second to Palmer in the first three Winter races at Snetterton, and reversed the result in the fourth. A persistently sodden November 22/23rd weekend at Brands Hatch for the final four races saw Di Mauro seize back the initiative in Race 1 with a lights to flag win, while Palmer drove well and hard to recover from the back of the field to claim fifth place after a trip through the Paddock Hill sand trap on the second lap. DNF for the Brazilian in Race 2 ultimately cost him dear, since Palmer claimed the 24 points for third place behind SWR Caterham F1's Jordan Albert and race winner Rodrigo Fonseca for Douglas Motorsport, and then went better still in Race 3 with second place as Fonseca won again. Di Mauro was third, thereby making it an intriguing three way shoot out for the title in the final race.
Starting from pole, the momentum was with Palmer, but the conditions were against everyone, and it was Mechtech's Conor Jupp who seized the initiative to lead for over half the race, only to spin out into retirement with seven laps remaining. Palmer and Fonseca had in any case come together on the opening lap, with Palmer dropping to fourth before once again going on the attack and the luckless Fonseca being sidelined. Following a late race safety car, Palmer was finally in the lead and stretched a good lead over Albert in second place to win by over six seconds with di Mauro third.
So in the end, the title went to Comma's man by a comfortable 34 points over di Mauro – 239 to 205 – with Fonseca third, 15 points clear of Albert. It sets Will up ideally for another run at the main season title in 2015.......and undoubtedly, a season of brotherly Christmas celebrations in the Palmer household.
Comma is Technical Partner to BRDC Formula 4, and in addition to sponsoring Will Palmer in the 24 race series, supplies Comma brand lubricants, coolants and maintenance chemicals to all teams competing in the championship.
Visit the excellent BRDC Formula 4 website at www.formula4.com to keep up with full results, race reports, information and features about the championship.
Comma is a brand of Cosan Lubricants.