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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Nina Gademan shows her potential at Silverstone

"We showed that we have the pace in free practice and because we made a few wrong decisions it didn’t turn out the best" - Nina Gademan displayed potential in the latest round of the British F4 Championship at Silverstone, showing excellent speed in wet conditions, but tyre choice proved to be challenging in mixed-weather.

Nina Gademan, Fortec Motorsport, British F4, 2024 Silverstone
Photo credits: JEP

Fortec Motorsport driver Nina Gademan displayed potential in the latest round of the British F4 Championship at Silverstone. Gademan’s speed in wet weather testing was excellent as she challenged for the quickest time, ending Friday’s first session in fourth position.

Qualifying was held in damp conditions and tyre choice revealed to be a challenge for Nina as she placed 19th, before a number of safety car periods limited her progress in the three races. A best result of 15th was not representative of her speed, but Gademan still earned two points towards her championship total.

Fresh off her maiden rookie class podium at Thruxton, Nina was aiming to return to the rostrum on her first visit to Silverstone. Gademan arrived at round five of the championship inside the top-5 of the Rookie Cup standings, with her consistency meaning she was one of only two Rookie Cup drivers who have finished in all of the races so far this season. The Fortec Motorsport driver has made good progress during the twenty-minute races and was now targeting an improvement in qualifying to take the next step.

Prior to the competitive action getting underway, the drivers took to the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit for two free practice sessions on Friday. The first session was held in wet conditions, with Nina starring throughout. On three separate occasions during the session, Gademan held the fastest overall lap time as she adapted superbly to conditions which resulted in the fourth quickest time as the checkered flag flew. A second top-10 finish of the day, also in wet conditions, encouraged Nina further ahead of qualifying on Saturday morning.

Both the drivers and teams faced a difficult decision ahead of qualifying, with a damp track and low ambient temperatures. The majority of the British F4 drivers left the pits on slick tyres and worked hard to build tyre temperature in the short twenty-minute session. It was a challenging qualifying session for Gademan who set the 19th fastest time overall, while her second fastest lap was quick enough for 22nd.

“In qualifying I felt we should have gone on wets instead of slicks, as I couldn’t get them working, so I was P19", Gademan explained. "I think on the wets we could have gone top 10 in my opinion."

She lined up from 20th position in race one following pit lane starts for two of her rivals, with all drivers now on the slick tyres. Gademan was caught off guard by the delayed lightsm but still made an excellent recovery to move into 17th position at the end of lap one, with the safety car deployed shortly after. Once the Rodin Motorsport car of Jack Sherwood was recovered from the gravel, the race resumed and Nina was quickly on the move. Overtaking JHR Developments racer Chloe Chong on lap four, Gademan was displaying the speed which she showed in testing.

After passing her fellow female driver, Nina immediately closed the gap to the drivers ahead and was setting a series of personal best sectors. Despite a brief rain shower on lap six, Gademan continued to push forward and was lapping faster than those inside the top-10. On the final lap of the race, Nina overtook her Fortec Motorsport teammate Alex Berg to collect a top-15 finish, while scoring a top-5 Rookie Cup result.

"Starting in P22 for race one, the lights took 15 seconds to go out instead of five, so by the time we had the actual start my foot wasn’t at the biting point anymore and I lost quite a few positions", she recalled. "The pace was good, and I had some nice overtakes, so those are positives we can take away."

The second race of the weekend was held on Sunday morning and took place with dry conditions. Looking to improve from her grid position of 19th, Gademan negotiated an action-packed opening lap to gain four positions and move into the top-15. The safety car was then deployed at the drivers completed their first tour, with a multi-car incident requiring significant intervention from the marshals.

Retrieving the stricken cars from the gravel trap led to a lengthy period behind the safety car and Nina dropped behind Martin Molnar at the beginning of the neutralisation. When racing resumed, there was time for just three laps and Gademan was immediately onto the tail of the Virtuosi Racing driver.

Unable to immediately make a move, Rowan Campbell-Pilling passed Nina on lap seven with Gademan doing a superb job to follow her Rookie Cup rival through as they both overtook Molnar on the final lap. Taking the checkered flag in 16th position, later demoted to 17th following a post-race penalty, Nina once again showed that she could battle back from adversity to make progress.

“Race two was quite disappointing, but we take the positives", she continued. "We took a wrong decision with the tyres, and I struggled a bit with the balance and the pace."

Lining up 19th for the final race of the weekend based on her fastest time from qualifying, Nina was involved in multiple battles during a busy first lap. After initially moving forward, an incident on the exit of Club corner saw Gademan falling to the rear of the field. Fortunately, the safety car was deployed to retrieve the stricken car of Kai Daryanani and this allowed the Dutch racer to catch the rear of the field.

Losing out to a recovering Mika Abrahams on the restart, Nina was then focused on making up positions and was quickly on the tail of fellow female racer Carrie Schreiner. On lap six, Gademan was able to pass the Chris Dittman Racing driver and latch onto the drivers ahead. Overtaking proved challenging in the final race of the weekend, despite Nina showing good speed in comparison to her fellow Rookie Cup competitors.

A late-race incident between Zack Scoular and Alex Berg saw Gademan end her maiden weekend at the home of British motorsport in 18th position.

"Race three I got a really good start", Gademan said. "I think we went up five places on the first half lap, then cars crashed in front of me, I had to avoid it, and I was at the back again."

Nina showed excellent speed in the wet weather testing and this will be particularly encouraging as the British F4 Championship drivers head into the second half of the season. Although the three races at Silverstone were challenging, Gademan showed good potential which she will look to take forward into the remaining events.

"We showed that we have the pace in free practice and because we made a few wrong decisions it didn’t turn out the best", the driver summed up.

Nina’s home race, taking place at Circuit Zandvoort, is the next round on the schedule which takes place on the weekend of 13th/14th July.



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