Stuart takes best out of a tough weekend. Bloemfontein youngster Stuart started his French Formula 4 championship campaign with points paying finishes in all three races in the first round of the series at Nogaro over the Easter weekend. White, who took a season away from the French series to win the Investchem SA Formula 1600 championship, however had it all is own way on his French return.

We had a pretty difficult weekend, so to bring home a reasonable points haul with a sixth, a seventh and an eighth in the three races, is probably a bonus,” Stuart explained. “The weekend kicked off with, let’s just call it an interesting start – we had a few technical issues in practice which resulted in a complete engine and gearbox change before qualifying and to put it eighth on the grid for Race 1 was not ideal.

“I had a great start, but I was pushed wide on the opening lap and dropped back, but fought back to sixth, which was not a bad result all considered. “I ended sixth again in race 2 and 7th in the final, which were not quite the results we were looking for, but as I said, rather a reasonable points haul than nothing at all – these points could very well make a major difference come the end of the season.

I would like to thank the crew for all their efforts on what proved a quite difficult weekend and also to say a massive thank you to my team Sauber’s F1 Team Manager Beat Zehnder for taking time out of his busy schedule and coming to support me this weekend.”

The French Formula 4 championship now heads to the Pau street circuit for round 2 over the 19 May weekend. “Pau is always a challenge at another level, it’s ike a little Monaco Grand Prix with no run-off and there are often accidents,” Stuart concluded. “So the plan there will be to keep out of trouble and push as hard as I can — I’m looking forward to that!”