Five different winners in the first 12 races - the first half of the ADAC Formula 4 season certainly provided plenty of variety. Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, US Racing - CHRS) put his stamp on the first half of the season, winning six of the 12 races so far and securing the 'half-time championship'. He is on 199 points but his lead of 24 points is not all that great, so his rivals are still in with a chance.
'Kiwi' Liam Lawson (16, New Zealand, Van Amersfoort Racing, 175 points) is the main thorn in his side thanks to his three wins and eight podium finishes in all. Enzo Fittipaldi (16, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing) in third place is also still within striking distance with 138 points. If the grandson of two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipald can sweep the board in the ADAC Formula 4 as he did recently in its counterpart, the Italian F4 series, then the title is still within his reach.
Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) on 197 points leads the rookie classification at the half-way stage but only by the narrowest of margins, and the scrap between the two rookies, Niklas and David Schumacher (16, Germany, US Racing - CHRS) looks set to continue in the second half of the season. The son of ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher is only 13 points behind Krütten. In the team classification, Kerpen-based US Racing - CHRS (347 points) lead from Dutch outfit Van Amersfoort Racing (317) and Italian defending champions, Prema Theodore Racing (253).
The second half of the season will kick off with a stand-out meeting when the ADAC Formula 4 drivers contest two races under the Formula 1 banner at the Hockenheimring (20th - 22nd July). That should be a very exciting race weekend!
The first half of the 2018 ADAC Formula 4 season in facts and figures
Drivers from 13 countries (including seven from Germany) have lined up to contest the four out of seven race weekends held so far. Nine juniors from six different countries (four from Germany) are rookies in their first season of motor racing.
The drivers compete for seven teams from six countries. Two teams are based in Germany while Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland are represented with one outfit each.
Five drivers have tasted victory in this first half of the season. Lirim Zendeli, who won three races in 2017, is currently on six wins for the season to date while Liam Lawson has taken three wins. 2017 rookie champion Mick Wishofer (18, Austria, US Racing - CHRS) and Prema drivers Oliver Caldwell (16, Great Britain) and Enzo Fittipaldi have visited the podium once each.
Lawson has achieved the most podiums in the first 12 races this season, eight in all. Championship leader Zendeli has taken seven podiums. Fittipaldi Jr and Wishofer have taken part in the awards ceremony five times each. Vesti has notched up four podiums, Caldwell three and Krütten and Charles Weerts (17, Belgium, Van Amersfoort Racing) two each.
2016 champion Joey Mawson (22, Australia) is still the most successful ADAC Formula 4 driver with a total of 15 victories. Lirim Zendeli is now in second place with nine wins, edging out 2015 champion Marvin Dienst (Germany, eight wins).
In the rookie classification which is exclusively for drivers without any prior racing experience, Niklas Krütten (five wins) and David Schumacher (four) are practically neck-and-neck as they battle it out. Joey Alders (18, Netherlands, Van Amersfoort Racing), Ido Cohen (16, Israel, ADAC Berlin Brandenburg e.V.) and Gianluca Petecof (15, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing) have each taken one rookie win.
Six different drivers have started a race from pole position. Lirim Zendeli has led the field out on the first lap six times in all. Fittipaldi has been on pole twice and one pole has gone to each of the following: Caldwell, Krütten, Alders and Andreas Estner (17, Germany, Neuhauser Racing).
The closest finish to a race so far this season was in the second round at the Red Bull Ring when Lirim Zendeli finished just 0.611 seconds up on Enzo Fittipaldi. Wishofer racked up the biggest lead as he won the sixth race of the season at the Hockenheimring, coming home 5.528 seconds in front of runner-up Niklas Krütten.
Lirim Zendeli clearly has the edge as regards laps covered in the lead. The German has led the field around the circuit in P1 for a total of 112 laps while Liam Lawson, Enzo Fittipaldi and Oliver Caldwell have each posted 20 laps in the lead, followed by Wishofer (16), Alders (10), Krütten (8) and Weerts (3).
The cars run exclusively on Pirelli tyres, covering 209 laps in the twelve races held so far, which equates to some 887 kilometres in all.
In the fastest race lap stakes, Zendeli, Wishofer and Fittipaldi are in front, having posted the fastest lap three times each so far this season. Charles Weerts has completed two fastest laps, Frederik Vesti one.