The fourth ADAC Formula 4 race weekend has now come to an end. The talented youngsters once again produced plenty of exciting, top-class racing. There were three different winners at the Red Bull Ring, with its romantic setting in the mountains of Austria. Enzo Fittipaldi claimed a maiden ADAC Formula 4 win on Saturday morning while Lirim Zendeli went on to triumph for the sixth time this season just a few hours later.
Liam Lawson from New Zealand won on Sunday and continues to be the closest driver in the pack chasing championship leader Lirim Zendeli. In just six weeks' time, the ADAC's High-Speed Academy will stage its stand-out meeting of the year when, from 20th - 22nd July, the ADAC Formula 4 will be back racing at the Hockenheimring in the context of the German Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Celebs at Red Bull Ring: The trophies for the weekend's most successful ADAC Formula 4 drivers were presented by some well-known athletes and important officials. Championship leader Lirim Zendeli received his trophy from Paralympics contestant Simon Wallner. SPORT1 editor-in-chief Dirc Seemann congratulated Enzo Fittipaldi on his first win of the season, while ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk presented Liam Lawson with the winner's trophy on Sunday. Actor Hardy Krüger Jr, Super-G World Champion Nicole Schmidhofer and Austrian ski jumper Gregor Schlierenzauer were also at the track.
Well attended: More than 12,000 spectators watched the ADAC Formula 4 races at the Red Bull Ring this weekend and revelled in the terrific atmosphere.
Wheel-to-wheel racing: Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) and David Schumacher (16, Germany, USA Racing - CHRS) are really going at it wheel-to-wheel in the Rookie classification of the ADAC Formula 4. Schumacher secured one Rookie win at the Red Bull Ring while Krütten notched up two. Krütten currently tops the Rookie standings with a 13-point lead over Schumacher Junior. "It's very close. We can't afford to make a single mistake and have to be consistent," says Krütten. But Schumacher is also sticking to his guns, striving hard to achieve his primary goal. "We aim to win the Rookie title," he told us, bullishly. Watch this space to see how the story develops...
School stress: Oliver Caldwell was feeling frustrated. Instead of sitting in the cockpit of his Prema racing car, the British teenager had to go to school on Friday. Exams are on their way, so the student could not miss school, of course not! "I would like to have taken part in the two practice sessions and trained seriously," he said afterwards. Things went well for Caldwell despite the missed practice sessions, as he finished seventh and tenth. He later took points from all three races despite the short amount of preparation time.
25 becomes 24: Liam Lawson (16, New Zealand, Van Amersfoort Racing) has reduced the deficit on championship leader Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, USA Racing - CHRS) by one more point. Lawson is now 24 points behind Zendeli - one less than at the beginning of the weekend. The New Zealander celebrated his third win of the season at the Red Bull Ring and also took a sixth and a third place. Zendeli also won once and took a fourth and a fifth place.
Premiere: His grandfather is a two-time Formula 1 World Champion and the grandson is now an ADAC Formula 4 race winner as of this weekend. We're talking about Enzo Fittipaldi (16, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing), whose grandfather Emerson became world champion in the premier class in 1972 and again in 1974. Fittipaldi Junior won the race at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday morning, taking a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. "What a terrific feeling! Really special!" said the 16-year-old, who is third in the standings as a result. He followed that with second place behind Zendeli in the second race but dropped out of the points in the third round.
An old friend pays a call: Thomas Preining was a competitor in the ADAC Formula 4 in 2016 when he took his maiden victory in the ADAC High-Speed Academy at the Red Bull Ring. The Austrian now competes in the Porsche Carrera Cup where he is again enjoying great success. Preining won both races in his home fixture and could barely contain his glee. "I really wanted to win here and am very pleased about it," he said.
The premier class beckons: Austria first, Hockenheim later: the ADAC Formula 4 drivers are really looking forward to the highlight of the year when the ADAC High-Speed Academy will race as support to the German Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring (20th - 22nd July). "That will be something really special, I'm very much looking forward to it," said Niklas Krütten, who leads the Rookie classification. The ADAC Formula 4 will contest two races at Hockenheim. The young drivers, dreaming of a future in the premier class, will then be up close to the action when the likes of Sebastian Vettel, patron of the ADAC Formula 4, and Lewis Hamilton get down to business.
Outside of Germany's borders for first time: The race weekend at the Red Bull Ring in the mountains of Austria is also the only one outside of Germany's borders this season. Prior to this meeting, the ADAC High-Speed Academy has raced at Oschersleben, Hockenheim and at the Lausitzring. After the weekend alongside Formula 1, drivers and teams will head first to the Nürburgring before it's time for the grand finale at Hockenheim.
Special trophies: There were some very special trophies this weekend for the Top Three drivers and the Best Rookies. They received trophies made of glass and wood similar to the wild bull on display at the Austrian circuit. "This is my first ever trophy shaped like this," was more or less what all the drivers had to say afterwards.