Van Amersfoort Racing was again the dominant force in season seven of ADAC Formula 4. The Dutch outfit had previously won both the Driver and Team titles in 2020. This season, the team from Zeewolde went one better, winning the Rookie title to complete the Formula 4 treble.
Despite VAR’s apparent dominance, the championship was extremely exciting and came down to the final race of the season. F4 champion Oliver Bearman (16, Great Britain, Van Amersfoort Racing) secured the title in the very last race of the year at the Nürburgring. Tim Tramnitz (17, Hamburg) and the US Racing team took the title race right down to the wire, but were ultimately beaten in both competitions by the Dutch team.
2021 ADAC Formula 1: Facts and figures
Varied: The 2021 season produced seven different winners: Briton Oliver Bearman took his place on the top step of the podium on six occasions – more than any other driver. Hamburg’s Tim Tramnitz took five victories. Luke Browning (19, Great Britain, US Racing) and rookie Nikita Bedrin won twice. Victor Bernier (17, France, R-ace GP) and Russians Vlad Lomko (16, US Racing) and Kirill Smal (16, Prema Powerteam) each made one appearance in the winners list.
Diversity: 29 young motorsport talents from 17 different countries, two of them from Germany, took their place on the grid during the 18-race season. The average age at the season finale at the Nürburgring was 16.2 years.
Sextet: Six teams from five countries battled it out for the Team title last season. Two teams were from Germany, with one each from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and France.
Girl power: Two female drivers started in Formula 4 last year. Maya Weug (17, Belgium) and Hamda Al Qubaisi (19, United Arab Emirates) lined up at the opening round of the season at the Red Bull Ring, and at round two in Zandvoort. Weug’s best finish was a ninth place at the Red Bull Ring, while two twelfth places in Zandvoort were the best result for Al Qubaisi.
Young and old: There was a four and a half year difference between this season’s oldest and youngest starters. Robert de Haan from the Netherlands (15 years), born on 22nd June 2006, was the youngest driver in 2021. 19-year-old Luke Browning, born on 31st January 2002, was the oldest driver.
Fastest driver: Nine drivers set the fastest race lap of the year. Formula 4 champion Oliver Bearman set the fastest lap most often. The Brit clocked the fastest time on four occasions. In second place in this statistic was Ireland’s Alex Dunne (16, US Racing). The rookie set the fastest lap three times this season.
Consistency: Champion Oliver Bearman is top dog in another statistic: The Brit finished on the podium eleven times – more often than anyone else. Bearman received the winner’s trophy six times, was runner-up in four races, and third on one occasion. Tramnitz stepped onto the podium nine times, while Browning featured in the presentation ceremony on eight occasions.
Qualifying specialists: Three different drivers won the Pirelli Pole Award in 2021. Bearman and Tramnitz each won qualifying five times, while rookie Alex Dunne secured pole position twice.
Half the battle?: You could say that a good grid position is half the battle won when it comes to a successful race. And that was literally the case this season. In exactly 50 percent of the races, the pole-sitter managed to convert his starting position at the front of the grid into victory. Remarkably, only two drivers achieved this feat. Bearman won from pole position on five occasions, while Tramnitz converted his five poles into four victories. Once again, it was Bearman who knocked the Hamburg-based driver off top spot in this statistic at the Red Bull Ring.
Lights-to-flag victory: Bearman enjoyed a perfect season, in which he laid the foundation for his title at the first two events. The Brit took victory in race one to move to the top of the ADAC Formula 4 table, and simply refused to surrender that position, despite the fact that his lead, which stood at a mighty 55 points at one stage, had been cut by the end of the year.
In pursuit of records: With his six victories this season, champion Oliver Bearman joined Mick Schumacher (21), son of record world champion Michael Schumacher, Dennis Hauger (18, Norway), and 2020 champion Jonny Edgar (17, England) in sixth place in the all-time list of race winners. The most successful driver in ADAC Formula 4 remains 2016 champion Joey Mawson (23, Australia) with a total of 15 victories, ahead of 2018 champion Lirim Zendeli from Bochum (13 wins) and 2015 champion Marvin Dienst from Lampertheim (eight wins).
Distance: Over the course of the season’s 18 races, at total of 325 laps were completed on the tyre provided by exclusive partner Pirelli. That is the equivalent of a total distance of 1,346.380 kilometres.
Cooperation: One of the nicest moments of this season came at the Sachsenring. Michael Sauter had crashed into the barrier in the second qualifying session. He was unhurt, but the impact demolished his car. Everything pointed towards this being the end of the weekend, and quite possibly the season, for the small team. However, the ADAC Formula 4 field demonstrated great solidarity. Mechanics from the Van Amersfoort Racing, R-ace GP and US Racing teams pitched in and helped to rebuild the car. Remarkably, Michael Sauter was able to take his place on the grid in the weekend’s races.