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Why Pulling is left wanting more after British F4 glass ceiling win

Abbi Pulling broke the glass ceiling with her British F4 victory at Brands Hatch but the F1 Academy championship leader maintains she is capable of more.

Abbi Pulling, Rodin

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Pulling became the first female driver to top the British F4 podium after dominating the reverse grid race on the Indy layout of the former British and European Grand Prix venue, taking the flag by over five seconds.

Couple this with a dominant F1 Academy weekend in Miami, where the 21-year-old missed out on a perfect score only by failing to set the fastest lap in race one, and this is unquestionably the highest point of her career to date.

Yet Pulling refused to be drawn into the growing hype around her, telling Autosport: “I don’t want to over-celebrate it too much because it’s the main races I want to be winning, not the reverse grid races.

“But if there is any way to do it, I did it properly and I pulled out a big gap and that shows that we have the pace to qualify a bit better next time, hopefully.”

Having shown speed in practice, the Rodin Motorsport driver struggled in qualifying, setting the 12th fastest time – a result that granted pole position for the reverse grid race.

Explaining how she rediscovered her early weekend pace, Pulling added: “We’d reverted my set-up back to where we were in practice which was top three pace, so I was quite confident that I would have the speed.

“I didn’t quite expect to stretch out a five-second gap after half the race was under safety car as well – well, a third of it – but it just proved how much speed we really have.”

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Pulling currently sits seventh in the British F4 standings but is just 12 points off third-placed Alex Ninovic.

Conceding “I’m not too happy with my results at the moment in British F4,” she added: “I know I’m capable of being further forward. We’ve been quick in testing and qualified P5 in Donington but in the races, just made a few mistakes and that put us in a bad finishing order for the race.

“I think Donington was exaggerated as well because we didn’t have the third race, so we only had the second fastest lap race, the reverse grid race and then we didn’t have our actual qualifying position race. So who knows what would have happened.

“It’s been quite consistent but I want to be consistently higher in the British F4 and kind of maintain the form in F1 Academy.”

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