The 17-year-old Russian, Michael Belov (R-ace GP), won the first race of the ADAC Formula 4 at the Sachsenring and celebrated his first victory in the junior series. He took the lead from the start in an exciting race to take the win from championship leader, Theo Pourchaire (16, France, US Racing CHRS) and Gregoire Saucy (19, Switzerland, R-ace GP). Dennis Hauger (16, Norway, Van Amersfoort Racing) was fourth and Paul Aron (15, Prema Powerteam) from Estonia was best Rookie in P5.
Pourchaire extended his lead on Hauger to seven points in the overall standings. The third championship contender, Arthur Leclerc (18, Monaco, USA Racing CHRS) booked P6 and is 38 points behind Pourchaire ahead of the last two races.
"It was a very tough race. I made a poor start but was able to improve to second place in the end after a couple of scraps. I’m really pleased about that. Great points towards the championship, and of course, for the team," said Pourchaire. "I must fight to the very end, as things are so close in the championship. Mistakes will be doubly punished."
It began to rain a little just before the start, so the race stewards declared a wet race, giving drivers the option of bolting on slicks or full wets. While the top contenders all decided on slicks, drivers lower down the field tried their luck on wet-weather tyres. Pole-sitter Pourchaire did not get away well at the start and had to let Belov and Saucy go through. To his rear, Hauger also lost a position to Leclerc. Rookie Joshua Dürksen (15, Paraguay, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) spun as the race was getting under way, and the safety car had to come out.
The drivers on full wets used the opportunity to pit and switch to slicks, as the rain had eased off by now. On the restart, Pourchaire passed Saucy, Hauger overtook Leclerc and then shortly after, Saucy as well. The two championship rivals Pourchaire and Hauger were now directly behind each other.
Six minutes before the end, Hauger made a successful move on Pourchaire. However, while attacking Belov in the lead, Hauger lost pace and had to let Pourchaire and Saucy through again. Belov in P1 benefited from the scraps going on behind him and pulled out a decisive lead that secured the win.
"It feels mega! I’m very pleased to have taken my first win in the ADAC Formula 4. It felt like I had to spend most of the race, 80% or so, defending myself against Dennis and Theo, but I pulled it off, luckily," said Belov.
The second race for juniors from the ADAC High-Speed Academy starts at 5.15 pm. Theo Pourchaire will again be in pole position. Championship rival Dennis Hauger will be fourth on the grid. The final round will get under way on Sunday at 9.25 am. SPORT1 will broadcast the ADAC Formula 4 races on TV and online at SPORT1.de. Racing can also be followed as live stream at adac.de/motorsport, on the Facebook page of the ADAC Formula 4 and at youtube.com/adac with a choice of German or English commentary.