Perfect start to new ADAC Formula 4 season for Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, US Racing CHRS), who finished fourth in the standings at the end of last year. He set fastest time in FP2 this Friday morning at Oschersleben and then went on to secure pole position for the season’s first (start: 11.05 am) and second race of the season (start: 4.30 pm) on Saturday.
"I'm obviously delighted but felt that a little more might have been possible," said Zendeli: "Our goal now should be to wrap up the two wins. I've put us in the best possible position, but the races have to be run first. A lot can happen, and I'll have to be 100 percent focused."
Now in his third season with the ADAC high-speed school, 18-year-old Zendeli set the fastest lap of the day, a time of 1:23.905 minutes. He beat off competition from last year's rookie champion, Mick Wishofer (18, Austria, US Racing CHRS) in the first qualifying session at the Motorsport Arena. On a track that was still dry, Wishofer came home 0.218 seconds behind Zendeli to secure second place in the first race of the season.
Enzo Fittipaldi (16, Brazil, Prema Powerteam), grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, and Liam Lawson (16, New Zealand, Van Amersfoort Racing) share the second row. Frederik Vesti (16, Denmark, Van Amersfoort Racing) and rookie David Schumacher (16, Germany USA Racing CHRS), son of former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher are right behind them on the grid. Charles Weerts (17, Belgium, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Leonardo Lorandi (17, Italy, KDC Racing) head up the fourth row, while rookies Gianluca Petecof (15, Brazil, Prema Powerteam) and Joey Alders (18, Netherlands, Van Amersfoort Racing) will line up in P9 and P10.
As rain began to fall at Oschersleben, none of the 21 drivers could beat Zendeli's best time of 1:24.225 minutes in the second qualifying. Fittipaldi was only narrowly beaten by 0.041 seconds into P2 behind Zendeli on the front row of the grid for the second race on Saturday. Vesti and Weerts came home in third and fourth place respectively, followed by guest entrants Konsta Lappalainen (16, Finland, KIC Driving Academy), Petecof and Lorandi. Andreas Estner (17, Germany, Neuhauser Racing) will start from P8, Alders from P9 and Lucas Alecco Roy (21, Monaco, Van Amersfoort Racing) P10.
The first race weekend of the new ADAC Formula 4 season ends on Sunday with Race 3 at 3:45 pm. The result of the second race will determine the order on the grid for this race. The top eight will start in reverse order. SPORT1 will broadcast racing from the start of the fourth season of the ADAC high-speed school on TV. All races will also be freely available online as livestream at sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.