Mick Wishofer (18, Austria, US Racing - CHRS) rounded off his race weekend at the Hockenheimring in style with a maiden ADAC Formula 4 victory. Last year's Best Rookie champion started behind pole-setter Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin Brandenburg e.V.) but came through to make it win number three for the Kerpen-based US Racing - CHRS outfit on the second weekend of the new season.
"It still hasn't sunk in," said 18-year-old Wishofer. "That was my objective, the thing you're always working towards. To have finally got there is a superb feeling. In the championship, I have quite a points deficit, which is partly my fault. But for our team, it's been a great race weekend."
The current championship leader Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, US Racing - CHRS) once again put his stamp on the proceedings. After his two wins on Saturday, the teenager from Bochum, who is now into his third season in ADAC Formula 4, claimed the third spot on the podium behind rookie Krütten, adding a further 15 points to his championship tally.
"I was almost more delighted with this result than with the actual victories," said Zendeli. "I was very fast in seventh place, but it took me so long to overtake Liam Lawson. At some point, I managed to squeeze past him, and from then on it was a matter of progressing through the field." Zendeli now has a clear lead after six out of 20 races. "At some point, I saw the podium beckoning - that was incredible. I'm pleased about this third place. That was a perfect weekend. It couldn't have gone any better."
Charles Weerts (17, Belgium, Van Amersfoort Racing), guest starter Jack Doohan (15, Australia, Prema Theodore Racing), who is the son of five-time world motorcycling champion Mick Doohan, and Liam Lawson (16, New Zealand, Van Amersfoort Racing) finished behind the podium party. Enzo Fittipaldi (16, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing), grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, moved twelve places up the field to take P7. Vesti finished eighth ahead of Gianluca Petecof (15, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing) and Oliver Caldwell (15, United Kingdom, Prema Theodore Racing), the winner of the Sunday race at Oschersleben.
David Schumacher (16, Germany, US Racing - CHRS), son of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, had appeared to be on course for another points-scoring finish, as in the first two races on Saturday, but then received a drive-through penalty for straying over the track limits. Consequently, he had to settle for a P15 finish to his weekend.
Starting from pole position, Krütten got off to a good start, as did Wishofer, and the leading duo quickly pulled out a gap between them and the pursuing group. After Krütten put in a strong initial defence, Wishofer seized an opportunity to get past and then sailed away in front. Meanwhile, Zendeli was busy working his way through the field. He spent the first part of the race in a fierce battle with Lawson which went on for several laps and from which he eventually emerged in front. The championship leader then pulled off further overtaking moves to work his way up into the Top Three. On this occasion, however, there was no getting past Krütten and Wishofer who resolutely defended their two podium positions.
The ADAC Formula 4 contestants will be back in two weeks' time for races seven, eight and nine, once again in the context of the DTM, but this time at the Lausitzring. SPORT1 is showing the races from the fourth season of the ADAC High-Speed Academy on free-to-air TV. All races can be watched online via the free livestreams on sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.
Further comments on ADAC Formula 4 Sunday
Niklas Krütten (ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.): "Everything is going well at the moment. Obviously, I wanted to win, but Mick was too strong today, and I was unable to beat him. All the same, I'm very satisfied with second place, and to be Best Rookie as well! That was a good way to round off the weekend, and the year is still long. A lot can happen during that time. When you drive into the Motodrom and see all the fans - that's a cool feeling, of course."