In the heart of the 2023 French F4 season, a dynamic quartet of four WINFIELD racers took the stage, representing different partsof the world. Hailing from France, we had Romain Andriolo and Adrien Closmenil, both joined by American speedster Garrett Berry and Ukrainian sensation Yaroslav Veselaho.
Their journey was a thrilling symphony of talent and teamwork, navigating through the twists and the turns of the season. As we dive into the recap of their adventure, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to explore their unique season!
Preparation for the Race Season
What makes their journey extraordinary is where it all began: the WINFIELD’s F4 Training Camp. Here, they discovered the world of single-seater racing, nurtured by a safe environment and Winfield’s team expertise. It was this initiation that ignited their dreams of racing in the French F4 Championship.
However, the journey didn’t end with this initial spark. Indeed, our drivers rolled up their sleeves for the Winter Tests. In February/March before the start of the race season, they embarked on a journey with the WINFIELD team composed of coaches, engineers and mechanics through five of Europe’s most iconic circuits, including the Circuit Paul Ricard, Misano, Magny-Cours, etc… in the brand new Formula 4 Gen2 cars. A valuable time to develop a deep understanding of their vehicles, enhance their race intelligence, improve their tyre management, and accumulate invaluable data for the racing season.
Racing Mode Activated
In 2023, the FFSA French F4 Championship made history, by engaging 26 FIA-compliant Mygale-Renault F4 Gen2 single-seaters on the grid, and welcoming as many drivers coming from 13 different nationalities!
Despite intense competition, the WINFIELD drivers managed to assert their presence with a strong fighting spirit early in the season during the second round at Magny-Cours. Adrien Closmenil claimed his maiden win in Race 2, while Romain Andriolo secured the top position in Race 3. This was followed one week later by Garrett Berry’s first victory in the tricky but so prestigious streets of Pau.
‘’The memory of Adrien’s beaming face atop the podium at Magny-Cours, for his very first victory in a single-seater championship, is something truly special and unforgettable.’’ said Julien, WINFIELD’s coach. ‘’These early victories were more than just wins; they were confidence boosters. Winning against such tough competition at the beginning of the season boosted the drivers’ self-belief.’’ added Leo, WINFIELD’s coach.
Nevertheless, in the thrilling world of motorsport, challenges are also an integral part of the journey…
Faced Challenges & Memorable Moments
The speedy boys encountered challenges that pushed their limits. Each twist and turn of the circuit presented a unique trial, testing their skills, resilience, and adaptability. But it’s in these moments of adversity that champions are truly forged.
‘’My main issue was a lack of aggressivity, which improved throughout the year. The latter part of the season was mechanically unlucky with issues in qualifications and races. However, despite these challenges, I always found opportunities to learn and grow thanks to my coach, turning each obstacle into a chance to surpass my own limits.” said Adrien.
One remarkable aspect of the season was also Yaroslav’s journey. Transitioning from the world of drift to single-seater racing was no small feat, but he tackled the challenge with determination. Yaroslav even managed to secure some points in the championship, demonstrating his adaptability and skill on the track.
These difficulties served as valuable lessons and character-building experiences. They taught the drivers the importance of determination, patience, and teamwork in the face of adversity. As the season progressed, the WINFIELD team embraced these challenges as opportunities to refine their strategies and enhance their performance. “At the end of the season, we observed a remarkable evolution in the maturity of each driver.” added Leo, emphasizing the personal growth that accompanied the drivers’ racing journey.
But it wasn’t all about overcoming obstacles; there were also countless memorable moments that defined this season: ‘’The good vibes among the WINFIELD boys, despite their diverse nationalities, left an indelible mark. Witnessing Romain and Adrien enhancing their English skills with Garrett, and seeing a constant flow of information between the coaches and the drivers was like watching a well-orchestrated symphony. A profound synergy and team cohesion emerged really quickly!’’ said Cyrille, WINFIELD’s coach.
These challenges and these memorable moments came together to create a season the WINFIELD team will remember for years to come, demonstrating the great bond between the drivers and their coaches.
At the end of the season, here are the final standings:
- Romain ANDRIOLO: 4th (1 victory – 8 podiums)
- Garrett BERRY (rookie): 6th (2 victories – 4 podiums)
- Adrien CLOSMENIL (rookie): 13th (1 victory – 1 podium)
- Yaroslav VESELAHO (rookie): 21th
Garrett reflected on his rookie season with pride, saying: ‘’I’m very happy with the result of the season. My goal was a top 5 and I was so close to reaching it. Since it is my rookie year and I don’t come from fully-competitive karting, I can only be proud. I felt I had a very good learning curve and plan on taking that through the next phase of my career.’’
Cyrille summed up the season on a positive note: ‘’Overall, it’s been a positive outcome; with all four drivers scoring points this season. I’m also incredibly proud of Adrien, Garrett, and Romain clinching first places. As a coach, it’s always a heartwarming moment to see our drivers on the podium, celebrating their hard-earned victories.’’
These young drivers, managed by the WINFIELD team, have not only improved their skills but have also grown as individuals. Race after race, they have proven that they are not just competitors but true racers, both on and off the track.
Photo credit: © WRS – KSP Reportages / Alexis Miclo