Maiden win for Frederik Vesti - the 15-year-old Dane (Van Amersfoort Racing) celebrated a first ADAC Formula 4 victory at Oschersleben, thereby rounding off a successful weekend for his Dutch team. In difficult conditions on a drying track, Vesti took the chequered flag ahead of polesetter Michael Waldherr (20, Germany, Neuhauser Racing) and Juri Vips (16, Estonia, Prema Powerteam). Vips's fourth podium finish of the campaign was enough to take him back to the top of the championship.
Vesti overtook Waldherr on the first lap and then proceeded to coolly dominate the race: "This is sensational. I was fast all the way through. I pulled out a lead and then defended it. We were fast all weekend. Maybe not in qualifying, but in the race all the more so."
Kim-Luis Schramm (19, Germany, US Racing) finished fourth ahead of team-mate Fabio Scherer (18, Switzerland) and Marcus Armstrong (16, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam), who is currently third in the championship. Lirim Zendeli (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), Kami Laliberté (17, Canada, Van Amersfoort Racing), Jonathan Aberdein (19, South Africa, Motopark) and 'Half-time Champion' Felipe Drugovich (17, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing) completed the Top Ten. Best Rookie - and for the third time this weekend - was Mick Wishofer (17, Austria, Lechner Racing) in P15.
After winning Race 2 on Saturday afternoon, Drugovich had to cede the championship top spot to Juri Vips. The Estonian leads on 150 points, closely pursued by Drugovich on 143 and Armstrong on 141. A gap then opens up to the next two contestants - 2016 Best Rookie Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark, US Racing) on 93 points, followed by Schramm on 86.
Vesti got off to a perfect start and was level with Waldherr after just a few metres. Four corners later, the Dane got past and quickly pulled out a small cushion on the opposition. In pursuit were 20-year-old Waldherr and Sophia Flörsch (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), but she was soon forced to retire.
While Vesti gradually extended the gap at the front, there was plenty of jostling for position in the midfield. Vips made persistent attacking moves on Waldherr while Schramm hovered behind waiting for his chance. When the safety car came out on the track with twelve minutes left on the clock, the field bunched up again. This was for an incident in which rookie Tom Beckhäuser (18, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) drove into the back of Richard Wagner's car (17, Germany, Lechner Racing).
With eight minutes of the race remaining, the restart took place - and again Frederik Vesti pulled away. Waldherr meanwhile consolidated his second place and was delighted at the end of the race to be making his second podium appearance of the year.
The drivers of the ADAC High-Speed Academy now have a four-week break before action resumes on the weekend of 4th - 6th August when the Nürburgring hosts races 13, 14 and 15. There are still nine races to go in this third season of the ADAC Formula 4 series.
Further comments on the ADAC Formula 4 race
Frederik Vesti (winner, Van Amersfoort Racing): "I really like this track. Joey Mawson is here, and he's been giving me lots of tips. He is already very experienced, and he is like an inspiration for me."
Michael Waldherr (second, Lechner Racing): "The fact that the race would be decided by the start was actually clear anyway. So it was all the more annoying for me that I narrowly lost the start to Frederik Vesti. I actually had the feeling that I didn't have such a bad start. Compared to the rest of the field, I really did not get off the mark badly, but Vesti simply had a super start. That decided the outcome of the race. Aside from this race and some blemishes, I can't complain about the weekend overall."
Juri Vips (third, Prema Powerteam): "Well, I'm back on top at least. But overall this was not a good weekend for us. It's the little things we have to work on. That's what messed up my weekend. Obviously, I'd like to extend my lead in the championship, but for this, we need to improve and be even more consistent."
Mick Wishofer (15th and Best Rookie, Lechner Racing): "This has actually been a perfect weekend, although I would've liked to finish higher up in the general classification. We had problems with the tyres again today, though I believe that it was the same for everyone in the last race. But the race was pretty cool. After the restart, I made a minor mistake, which dropped me down by one position, but otherwise it was OK."
Joey Mawson (champion and guest in Oschersleben): "It's really cool to be here again. The team was very successful. And for me, it was a great experience to be at the track as a coach."