The ADAC Formula 4 began its fourth season in Oschersleben Photo: ADAC Formel 4
The ADAC Formula 4 began its fourth season in Oschersleben Photo: ADAC Formel 4

Tales from the Oschersleben paddock

Double win for Lirim Zendeli - Caldwell wins on Sunday

Exciting start to the new ADAC Formula 4 season at Oschersleben as the young drivers in the ADAC high-speed school showed what they can do this weekend.

Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, USA Racing - CHRS) finished twice on the top rung of the podium, underlining his championship ambitions in impressive style and celebrating victories four and five in the ADAC Formula 4. British driver Oliver Caldwell (15, Great Britain, Prema Theodore Racing) made his debut in the victory lane. Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin Brandenburg e.V.) stood out from a field of strong debutants, taking points from all three races.

The ADAC Formula 4 drivers now have a three-week break before races four, five and six get underway at Hockenheim. SPORT1 will broadcast racing from the ADAC high-speed school on TV. All races are freely available online as livestream at sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.

A touch of the Premier class: A move up into the premier class is probably the dream of every driver in the ADAC Formula 4. There were touches of Formula 1 in the Oschersleben paddock. Former Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn is bringing her Formula 1 expertise to bear in the ADAC high-speed school with her new outfit, KDC Racing, while former Formula 1 driver and US Racing - CHRS Team Principal, Ralf Schumacher, was on hand to watch the debut of his son David (16, Germany, US Racing - CHRS) and was pleased with David's strong showing in the first race with fifth place. Schumacher junior had one or two tasty scraps with Enzo Fittipaldi (16, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing) - that sounds very much like Formula 1! - Enzo's grandfather was world champion twice in the premier class.

Exam stress: Time for a break after the start of the ADAC Formula 4 in Oschersleben? Not for 17-year-old Andreas Estner (17, Germany). The Neuhauser Racing driver has to go straight back to class after his exciting battles at Oschersleben for three exams on Monday, and then in May comes the really serious business of starting his school-leaving exams back home in Bavaria. While he may have his textbooks along with him in Oschersleben, the distractions of the ADAC GT Masters and ADAC TCR Germany are, of course, too great: Estner: "I'll be doing some revising but watching the other races as well!"

Strong rookies: The new juniors needed hardly any time at all to get settled into the ADAC Formula 4. The newbies were really quick and impressively demonstrated their skills in their very first races in the ADAC high-speed school. Three rookies finished in the Top Ten in all of the three races. Ralf Schumacher's son David impressed with fifth place in the first race while Niklas Krütten even managed a fifth place and two P9s. Gianluca Petecof (15, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing) took a sixth and an eighth place. Joey Alders (18, Netherlands, Van Amersfoort Racing) was also delighted with his P6. Leon Köhler and Sebastian Estner were tenth. The battle for the Rookie Cup is already hotting up and plenty of excitement is guaranteed in the upcoming races.

Double success despite handicap: The weekend's biggest winner was undoubtedly Lirim Zendeli. The 18-year-old US Racing - CHRS driver dominated both qualifying and comfortably won the first two races at Oschersleben, and yet the championship contender was racing with a minor injury after scraping both hands in a fall from his bike. But Zendeli would not hear of resting. "It wasn't too bad. I taped up my hands and then barely felt it," he said. We can't wait to see how he'll do at the next round in Hockenheim with two good hands!

Hordes of fans: More than 25,000 spectators watched the races in the ADAC GT Masters, the ADAC TCR Germany, the ADAC Formula 4, the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Renault Clio Cup over the weekend. And it was definitely worth their while, as the drivers produced plenty of amazing motorsport entertainment in the sunshine.

Smile please!: The tradition of a group photo with all the ADAC Formula 4 drivers gathered together at the start of the season in Oschersleben goes back a long way. On Sunday morning, the ADAC high speed school drivers joined ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk, ADAC General Manager Lars Soutschka and ADAC Motorsport Director Thomas Voss for a photo.

Highlight: In a new magazine starting this season, n-tv will broadcast highlights from the race weekends of the ADAC GT Masters and the ADAC Formula 4. The 30-minute flagship programme, PS - ADAC GT Masters, will present a round-up of all that's been happening in the Super Sports Car League races and those of the ADAC high-speed school. The magazine will go out for the first time on Saturday, April 21st at 9:30 am and be repeated on April 22nd at 7:30.

2018 Season