The inaugural season of ADAC Formula 4 starts with an attractive field of contestants. No fewer than 18 teams have registered a total of 42 drivers to compete in the new junior formula series organised by the ADAC. The season opener at the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben on the weekend of 24th to 26th April 2015 will be contested by a scintillating and varied field of drivers. Ambitious youngsters making the step up from karting will be in the mix along with talented juniors who have already made their breakthrough into the formula racing scene. Drivers from 13 different countries will be competing against each other in their Formula 4 160bhp open-wheel cars.
Taking his first steps in motor racing will be Mick Schumacher. The son of record Formula 1 championship winner Michael Schumacher has secured a seat with Van Amersfoort Racing. By finishing as runner-up in the 2014 KF Junior Karting World and European Championship, the 16-year-old has already amply demonstrated his talent for motorsport. At Van Amersfoort Racing, Schumacher will be teaming up with another youngster bearing an illustrious surname: Harrison Newey has also signed up for the Dutch outfit. The son of Formula 1 car designer Adrian Newey, who built the world championship winning cars driven by Sebastian Vettel, started out in single-seater racing in October of last year. Newey junior has already encountered another new team-mate at Van Amersfoort Racing, Joey Mawson from Australia, in the context of the French Formula 4 championship. At a later stage of the season, another driver will be joining the Van Amersfoort Racing squad.
Jonathan Cecotto, son of former world champion, joins Motopark
Jonathan Cecotto is yet another talented ADAC Formula 4 junior with a father who has had a successful career in motorsport. The 15-year-old is the son of Johnny Cecotto, the ex-Formula 1 and DTM driver and former motorcycle world champion. Jonathan Cecotto will be continuing the racing tradition of his family this year as a member of the Motopark team. His older brother, Johnny Cecotto jr., recently competed in GP2, the support series to Formula 1. ADAC Sports Foundation protégés Jannes Fittje, Joel Eriksson and Michael Waldherr are also driving for Motopark. Waldherr returns to Germany from a successful guest appearance in Asia where he picked up the AsiaCup Super 6 winner's trophy.
Luca Engstler and ADAC Sports Foundation protégée Cedric Piro are two more youngsters who come from motor racing backgrounds. Engstler is the son of former World Touring Car Championship contestant Franz Engstler who has now set up his own team, Engstler Motorsport, to compete in the ADAC High-Speed Academy. Piro follows in the footsteps of his father and ex-Formula Super V driver Erwin Piro.
Three ladies take on the competition
At Piro Sports, Cedric Piro lines up alongside two team-mates, Toni Wolf and Carrie Schreiner. ADAC Sports Foundation protégée Schreiner is one of three young women on this year's ADAC Formula 4 grid. Switzerland's Marylin Niederhauser joins compatriot Alain Valente as a member of the Race Performance team to make her debut in Formula racing. Michelle Halder, who is supported by the ADAC Sports Foundation and has entered independently of any team, is about to embark on her first campaign in a Formula 4 racing car.
ADAC Sports Foundation protégés join top teams
David Beckmann is another beneficiary of the ADAC Sports Foundation. The talented youngster fought a tense battle with Mick Schumacher for the German Junior Karting Championship last year and has now signed for kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport. The Berlin-based team also has high hopes for two young German drivers Benjamin Mazatis and Mike Ortmann as well as Austria's Tommy Preining and Robert Shwartzman from Russia.
Tim Zimmermann is the fifth ADAC Sports Foundation-funded driver in this year's line-up. The 18-year-old secured third place overall in his rookie year contesting the 2014 Formel ADAC title, the predecessor series to ADAC Formula 4. Zimmermann will again be driving for Neuhauser Racing. The team from Austria wrote its name in the Formel ADAC annals by securing the last ever team and drivers' titles. Neuhauser Racing are optimistic for another driver who learned his formula skills in the Formel ADAC arena - Kim Luis Schramm.
Ex-DTM champion Timo Scheider sets up his own formula racing team
Timo Scheider is taking his first steps as a team boss in formula racing. The two-time DTM champion is to contest the ADAC Formula 4 series with his newly formed Team Scheider. One of the squad, Leon Wippersteg, has graduated directly from Scheider's kart team. Wippersteg's Brazilian teammate Mauro Auricchio brings an additional touch of international flair to the series.
HTP Motorsport are following Scheider's example by setting up their own junior single-seater programme for ADAC Formula 4. The team, which is already well-known from the ADAC GT Masters, has signed Marvin Dienst to lead its junior squad. The 18-year-old managed a Top Five finish in his two previous Formel ADAC campaigns. The second driver for the HTP Junior Team will be announced at a later date.
Ferrari Driver Academy junior to drive for Prema Powerteam
Prema Powerteam is another internationally renowned team that has decided to throw its hat into the ADAC Formula 4 ring. The thoroughbreds from Italy have already accumulated experience from competing in the 2014 Italian F.4 championship. Driving for Prema Powerteam in the ADAC junior series will be Zhou Guan Yu who belongs to the Ferrari Driver Academy since last year. His team-mate, Ralf Aron from Estonia, has already achieved some initial success in formula racing, having finished as runner-up in the 2014 Formula Renault 1.6 NEC.
Teams exuding international panache
After one season in the Italian Formula 4 championship, Jenzer Motorsport now fancy their chances in the ADAC version of the sport. This long-established team from Switzerland will be pinning its hopes on David Kolkmann and Marek Böckmann from Germany together with Moritz Müller-Crepon and Ricardo Seller, both from Switzerland. After his rookie year in the 2014 Formel ADAC championship, Kolkmann will be contesting his second season in German formula racing. There will be a third Swiss team in addition to Jenzer Motorsport and Race Performance; SMG Swiss Motorsport will be taking over from JBR Motorsport & Engineering, a familiar name from last year's Formel ADAC. SMG Swiss Motorsport will consider themselves fortunate to have secured the services of Swiss national Giorgio Maggi who brings with him two years' experience of competing in the predecessor series. Nikolaj Rogivue, also from Switzerland, and Mattia Drudi from Italy are his team-mates.
RS Competition is a team led by half-German half-Danish principal Robert Schlünssen. He pursues a policy of bringing young talent through from the karting team to compete in formula racing. Two prime examples of Schlünssen's youth policy are Glenn Rupp from Germany and Jan Jonck from Denmark. After honing their skills in the karting environment, these two 16-year-olds are now ready for a first taste of the ADAC High-Speed Academy. Provily Racing from the Netherlands enter the ADAC Formula 4 series with a home-grown talent, Job van Uitert. The prestigious Austrian team, Lechner Racing, is still to reveal the names of its two drivers. Two more karting graduates, Robin Brezina and Yan Leon Shlom, have entered privately.
Line-up for the 2015 ADAC Formula 4 season
No. Driver Team
1 Kim Luis Schramm Neuhauser Racing
2 Tim Zimmermann Neuhauser Racing
3 Benjamin Mazatis kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport
4 Robert Shwartzman kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport
5 David Beckmann kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport
6 Mike Ortmann kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport
7 Joel Eriksson Motopark
8 Jannes Fittje Motopark
9 Jonathan Cecotto Motopark
10 Michael Waldherr Motopark
11 Leon Wippersteg Team Timo Scheider
12 Tommy Preining kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport
13 Cedric Piro Piro Sports
14 Moritz Müller-Crepon Jenzer Motorsport
15 David Kolkmann Jenzer Motorsport
16 Marek Böckmann Jenzer Motorsport
17 Ricardo Seller Jenzer Motorsport
18 Giorgio Maggi SMG Swiss Motorsport
19 Mattia Drudi SMG Swiss Motorsport
20 Nikolaj Rogivue SMG Swiss Motorsport
21 Michelle Halder
22 Florian Janits Lechner Racing
23 Alain Valente Race Performance
24 Robin Brezina
25 Mick Schumacher Van Amersfoort Racing
26 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing
27 Marvin Dienst HTP Junior Team
28 N.N. HTP Junior Team
31 Yan Leon Shlom
32 Zhou Guan Yu Prema Powerteam
33 Jan Jonck RS Competition
34 Toni Wolf Piro Sports
35 Carrie Schreiner Piro Sports
36 Joey Mawson Van Amersfoort Racing
37 N.N. Van Amersfoort Racing
38 Luca Engstler Engstler Motorsport
44 Glenn Rupp RS Competition
46 Mauro Auricchio Team Timo Scheider
55 Marylin Niederhauser Race Performance
66 N.N. Lechner Racing
77 Job van Uitert Provily Racing
99 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam