Krütten takes first win by a rookie this season  Photo: ADAC Formel 4
Krütten takes first win by a rookie this season Photo: ADAC Formel 4

Tales from the Nürburgring paddock

Zendeli seals championship win

Wins for Zendeli, Vesti and Krütten. Schumacher defends lead in Rookie classification.

The sixth race weekend of the ADAC Formula 4 is over, and so is the fight for the championship. In the Eifel, the juniors once again delivered action-packed, thrilling races and Lirim Zendeli crowned himself champion of the ADAC High-Speed Academy before the season has even ended. There were three different winners this weekend at the Nürburgring. Lirim Zendeli celebrated his eighth win of the season on Saturday morning, and just a few hours later, Frederik Vesti triumphed for the second time this season.

Rookie Niklas Krütten from Trier won on Sunday and Zendeli lifted the championship with a fifth-place finish, as his rivals can no longer catch him in this season's three remaining races at Hockenheim in just seven weeks' time. The Hockenheimring will host the final meeting of the ADAC Formula 4 season, which will be held under the banner of the ADAC GT Masters (21st - 23rd September).

Early Bird: No one prior to Lirim Zendeli has ever been able to wrap up the title in the ADAC Formula 4 at this stage in the season. Zendeli is 81 points up on Enzo Fittipaldi in second place after this penultimate race weekend at the Nürburgring, putting him in an unassailable position for the remaining three races at the Hockenheimring.

Dominating the board: Zendeli not only crowned himself the best driver of the season at the weekend, he could also become the most outstanding champion in the history of the ADAC High-Speed Academy. With a current 81 point advantage, it looks like he will rack up the biggest lead of any champion before him by the end of the season. Joey Mawson finished 52 points up in 2016. Marvin Dienst was 48 points ahead of the runner-up in 2015, and Juri Vips was just 4.5 points in front last season.

Well attended: More than 20,000 spectators watched the ADAC Formula 4 races at the Nürburgring this weekend, making for a great atmosphere.

Going head-to-head: David Schumacher and Niklas Krütten are really battling it out in the Rookie classification of the ADAC Formula 4 and producing some thrilling racing in the process. Schumacher took two wins at the Nürburgring in the Junior classification, Krütten one. Schumacher currently leads Krütten by 20 points in the Rookie category. But Krütten showed what he can do by taking first place in the third race. "I'm getting really well prepared for Hockenheim. I intend to do my level best to overtake David Schumacher at the final weekend," said Krütten. We'll see how things turn out in just under seven weeks' time...

Local driver: The Nürburgring was a home fixture for new champion, 18-year-old Lirim Zendeli, who thought that wrapping things up at his home track was 'simply the best'. The Eifel circuit has been kind to the young driver in the past. He won there last season for the second time in his career and had his most successful weekend of 2017 at the Ring.

Filling big boots: A rookie finished on the top rung of the podium for the first time this season. Niklas Krütten took the lead from second on the grid and successfully defended P1 to the end of the race. Only three other rookies before him have ever won a race - Mick Schumacher, son of record Formula 1 championship winner Michael Schumacher, David Beckmann (in 2015) and Fabio Scherer (in 2016).

Premiere: Krütten's maiden win in the ADAC Formula 4 also gave his team, BWT Mücke Motorsport, their first victory of the season. The Pink Panthers were delighted with their first success of the year in the ADAC Formula 4 and with the six finishes in the Top Ten that their three young drivers Niklas Krütten, Leon Köhler and Ido Cohen racked up over the weekend as a whole.

Chasing records: With 15 wins, Joey Mawson is the most successful ADAC Formula 4 driver in the history of the series so far, and things look set to stay that way for the moment, but having taken 11 wins already, Zendeli is already in second place on the leader-board of all-time top F4 drivers. He could add three more wins to his total at Hockenheim...

Strong performance at weekend: Enzo Fittipaldi had a particularly good weekend. The 17-year-old grandson of ex-Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi took three podiums - one P2 and two P3s, great stuff! - giving him his best haul of points so far during an ADAC Formula 4 weekend. And as a result, the Prema Theodore Racing driver took second place in the drivers' standings from New Zealander Liam Lawson. He intends to hang on to the position of runner-up to the end of the season. "My aim now is to finish as championship runner-up. Second place is a worthy goal for us," he told us after the second race.

Speedy Gonzales: Frederik Vesti was the man to beat as regards lap times at the Nürburgring this weekend. He posted the fastest race lap in both races on Saturday. It even secured him the win in Race 2. But on Sunday, he was beaten by Australian Jack Doohan, son of five-time motorcycling world champion Mick Doohan. Vesti posted second-best time. Well, what did you expect?

2019 Season