As the 2016 BRDC Formula 4 season creeps ever closer, Australian Thomas Maxwell has been busy testing the new Tatuus-Cosworth with Sean Walkinshaw Racing as he evaluates his options for the year ahead. Having most recently raced in the Australian Formula Ford Series, the youngster is now looking at graduating to BRDC F4 and described the new 230-bhp spec machine as a “fantastic car” after a recent outing.
After pushing the car to its limits on the Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone, Maxwell was thoroughly impressed with the machine as he stepped from the cockpit. “It is a fantastic car. It has so much downforce and so much grip. It has a great power package too and is awesome to drive, even if it’s a big step up from what I have been doing,” he said.
The 17-year-old believes that the new car takes some time to get used to but that he is definitely getting his head around it, saying: “It is probably more about getting used to the aerodynamic grip rather than the power, being able to trust that grip and maximising it compared to what I’ve been used to. We will definitely get there though.”
Maxwell, who hails from Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia, believes BRDC Formula 4 is the right place for him. “It is fantastic with the new car. It is a great feeder class to bigger and better things so I’m looking forward to getting more involved with it and developing the car,” he commented. “It’s good to be able to get some solid laps in with the new chassis and I feel that it is definitively a positive step in the right direction, for both budget and then development and performance wise. It is a big thing for the category,” Maxwell continued.
Coming from the warmer climes of Australia, the British winter weather is something that Maxwell is having to adjust to, much like his compatriot Thomas Randle who recently signed with Douglas Motorsport. “It is freezing so I am trying to get over the temperature difference at the moment,” he joked. Speaking more seriously, he commented: “I don’t think I’ve ever driven in conditions this cold before so that and building up tyre temperature is difficult to get used to. It should be better though when Spring comes and everything should be a little warmer.”
If he does commit to the BRDC Formula 4 Championship for 2016, Maxwell is confident of achieving strong results. “I think a top-10 in the championship is definitely achievable and anything above that would be great. I will chip away, start achieving and ticking off those goals,” he said confidently.