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‘A podium is 100% possible’ – F1 Feeder Series

Despite being a powerhouse in FIA Formula 2, it is only Uni Virtuosi’s first year in the Formula 4 category, with mixed results – from winning weekend to nil points. F1 Feeder Series had a chat with Edward Pearson about his move from the Ginetta Junior category to British F4 and how he and the team have adapted to this new form of racing.

By Tom Evans

Karting is a crucial point in any racing driver’s career, to learn the basics of a race weekend, qualifying, and races. When questioned about his karting career, Pearson recalled: “I did reasonably well. For my whole karting career, I might have not won everything but I did well enough to progress to the next stage each year. We planned to do European karting in 2020, but Covid put a stop to that so we focused on the next year which was Ginetta Juniors.”

Ginetta Junior is a sports car junior racing series in the UK. They are not particularly fast cars, only producing 100BHP, but they help younger drivers learn the basics and roots of car racing including racing on FIA-graded circuits. Pearson made the step to Ginetta Junior in 2021, this is what he had to say about the move:

“My dad and I looked at Ginettas for a while, and we thought it was the best option. It was that kind of year where you couldn’t stay in karts but you needed to learn the tracks and Ginettas was perfect for that. It also helped me with areas like where I need to overtake, especially in different racing conditions such as rain.”

Virtuosi’s foray into F4

Pearson and Virtuosi Racing were the very first drivers and team to test the new Tatuus T421 chassis on track in the UK. When questioned on how this early testing may have helped him coming into the season, Pearson replied: “It helped the team quite a lot because it gave them a confidence boost that they were the first ones out. The test itself was quite scary to be honest, it was my first time out in the car and since it was the first time the car was on track in the UK all the press including British F4 were taking videos so that was slightly nerve racking. ”

Testing the new Tatuus T421 at Brands Hatch | Credit: Virtuosi Racing

“Initially there were struggles for the team, the short supply of parts didn’t help. Mid-way through the season, we’re still coming across things now. The car is much more complicated to set up this year, so as a new team we’ve been learning up until the last couple of rounds.”

Considering options

“We have struggled this year I’m not going to deny it, it’s probably a mix of me and the team,” said Pearson on the 2022 season so far. “But I think once myself and the team sort out qualifying a bit and we make sure the car setup is the best it can be then it’s all down to me for the rest of the season. Qualifying is tougher than we thought, it’s much more difficult to overtake than we predicted.”

“If we can improve bit-by-bit and be up there with a couple of races to go then I’ll be happy. A big one for me is not going backwards, that’s very important. In terms of expectations, I think a podium is 100% possible. The next few rounds are quite strong for us so I’m hoping to get one then.”

When asked about his relationship with his teammate (Micheal Shin), Pearson explained: “There’s always going to be competition between teammates, but we get along really well. We often stay up late trying to help each other on race weekends so that we can maximize the points for the team that weekend. But I think by the end of the season we’ll both be in the top 5.”

When questioned about his plans beyond 2022, Edward answered: “We have considered our options for 2023, but we still haven’t decided yet. I think we’re close to a decision but that’s classified at the moment. I think the team would love for me to do another year, but who knows what will happen. It’ll probably be announced around December time.”

Header photo credit: Virtuosi Racing

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