Zendeli celebrates victories three and four of the campaign  Photo: ADAC Formel 4
Zendeli celebrates victories three and four of the campaign Photo: ADAC Formel 4

Zendeli in dominant form at Hockenheim

Zendeli extends his championship lead to 39 points

Schumacher narrowly misses out on a podium. ADAC High-Speed Academy sharing the billing with the DTM opening weekend.

Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, US Racing - CHRS) claimed a fourth victory in five races as he continues to dominate an ADAC Formula 4 season that is still at an early stage. The youngster from Bochum had already been fastest earlier in qualifying and comfortably won both races on Saturday at Hockenheim, extending his lead in the drivers' standings from five to 39 points.

In bright sunshine on Saturday morning, 18-year-old Zendeli, who drives for the Kerpen-based US Racing - CHRS outfit, scored his third win of the season. He crossed the finish line ahead of Liam Lawson (16, New Zealand, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Oliver Caldwell (15, United Kingdom, Prema Theodore Racing).

"That's great! I've already completely forgotten what happened at Oschersleben," said Zendeli, who had come away from the third race at Oschersleben without any points. "Hockenheim suits me. I was super-quick here last year and was able to manage this race in the way that I wanted."

David Schumacher (16, Germany, US Racing - CHRS), son of ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, had finished as Best Rookie in the first race, only just missing out on a maiden podium in the general class with P4. As a result, he dislodged Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin Brandenburg e.V.) from the top of the rookie classification: "It was a great race. I managed to get away like a rocket. It was not so easy, even though I was relatively on my own towards the end. You just need a bit of luck as well. Overall, it was a great race."

Behind him came Enzo Fittipaldi (16, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing), grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, Frederik Vesti (16, Denmark, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Charles Weerts (17, Belgium, Van Amersfoort Racing). Guest starter Jack Doohan (15, Australia, Prema Theodore Racing), son of five-time world motorcycling champion Mick Doohan, crossed the finish line in eighth place ahead of Andreas Estner (17, Germany, Neuhauser Racing). Tom Beckhäuser (19, Czech Republic, US Racing - CHRS) completed the Top Ten.

Zendeli again remained unchallenged in the second race during the afternoon and secured a lights-to-flag victory. Lawson took the runner-up spot once more. Vesti finished third and moved up to second place in the championship table following Fittipaldi's early retirement.

"Before the season began, I was dreaming of winning the championship," said Zendeli. "It's my third season now, and nothing less than the title will do. To achieve that, I have to carry on doing things the way I've been doing them so far." His attention now turns to the third race on Sunday: "I'll bide my time over the first few laps and then attack. Three wins would be like a dream come true, but it's very difficult to progress from eighth to first. Consequently, I've set myself the limited target of staying in the points."

Joey Alders (18, Netherlands, Van Amersfoort Racing) finished fifth overall behind Weerts and as Best Rookie. Guest starter Doohan came home in sixth, with Mick Wishofer (18, Austria, US Racing - CHRS) just behind in seventh. They were followed across the line by rookies Krütten and Schumacher ahead of Beckhäuser, who again took the P10 spot.

Rounding off the second race weekend of the 2018 ADAC Formula 4 season is Race 3 on Sunday (starting at 10:40 CEST). P8 in the second race puts Krütten on pole position, while race winner Zendeli is obliged to start from eighth on the grid. SPORT1 is showing the races from the fourth season of the ADAC High-Speed Academy on free-to-air TV. All of the races from the series can be watched online via the free livestreams on sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.

Further comments on the ADAC Formula 4 Saturday

Liam Lawson (Van Amersfoort Racing): "The start to the first race was average, and then I had some problems on the first few laps. We weren't completely satisfied with my pace. The US guys were faster than us, so we had to make some changes to the car ahead of Race 2."

Oliver Caldwell (Prema Theodore Racing): "Finishing on the podium in the first race has obviously motivated us for the rest of the weekend. However, I would like to do even better next time."

Joey Alders (Van Amersfoort Racing): "That was a good race, especially after starting from way back in P15. I held back and was able to benefit from others scrapping ahead of me. It's my first appearance on the podium of the ADAC Formula 4, and I'm very happy about that. Tomorrow, I'll be starting from P4, and I definitely intend to finish in the Top Three. As for the season as a whole, I've set myself the target of winning the Best Rookie trophy."

2018 Season