Gabriele Mini did not put a foot wrong on his debut. The 16-year-old Italian from Prema Powerteam took his maiden win in his very first ADAC Formula 4 race. In the first round of the weekend at the Nürburgring, pole-sitter Mini, who won the Pirelli Pole Position Award on Friday for Race 1, produced a supreme performance, beating off competition from British driver, Jonny Edgar. However, Van Amersfoort Racing’s Edgar, who is also only 16, extended his overall lead in the ADAC High-Speed Academy after making a strong charge up the field from eighth on the grid. US racing driver Elias Seppänen (16) moved up into third place on the last lap after his team-mate Oliver Bearman (15) was force to retire at a late stage in the race.
Race 2 will take place this afternoon at 4 pm. SPORT1 will broadcast all races live this weekend. Racing can also be watched as live stream with German or English commentary at SPORT1.de, youtube.com/adac and adac.de/motorsport.
"I'm very happy now after the race," said Mini. "It wasn't easy. I had Jonny in my rear-view mirror the whole time. He put a lot of pressure on me, but I knew that driving so close to me in front of him wasn't a good idea, which is why I just focused on what I needed to do." Edgar could live with that, finishing runner-up. "I started out from eighth place, so second place is good for the championship," said the Red Bull Junior. "The car felt really excellent. I would like to thank the team for that."
At the start, Mini was able to hold his own against Edgar's team-mate, the American, Jak Crawford, in a tough but fair scrap. Crawford punctured a little later on and dropped back to the rear of the field. A few minor incidents happened during the early stages of the race, which finally resulted in the safety car being called out. Just prior to that happening, Joshua Dürksen (ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) had been unable to avoid hitting Artem Lobanenko's rear wing which was lying on the track and damaged his front wing in the process. On the restart, Mini and Edgar were able to pull away while Dino Beganovic in third place was called into the pits by the stewards. The Swede, driving for Prema Powerteam, had also suffered damage to his front wing.
While Edgar continued to put pressure on Mini, Dürksen and Crawford tried to gain ground at the rear of the field, but neither of the two title favourites was able to make much headway. Dürksen finished ninth, Crawford was tenth. Mini kept his cool up front and secured the win. Finishing runner up, Edgar extended his overall lead on Seppänen to 15 points. Bearman suffered a major setback in a dramatic turn of events on the last lap when he coasted to a stop while on his way to his first podium. Seppänen was gifted third place as a result. Victor Bernier (R-ace GP) took P4 from Francesco Pizzi (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Vladislav Lomko from US Racing. Lomko’s team-mate Tim Tramnitz, who is sponsored by the ADAC Sports Foundation, came home in seventh place. Sebastian Montoya, son of ex-Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, took the chequered flag in P8, finishing ahead of Dürksen and Crawford.