A glimpse of the future, as well as a feast of exciting racing in the present. The high-speed school again provided excellent entertainment at the penultimate race weekend of the ADAC Formula 4 season. Here are the paddock stories from Hockenheim.
Glimpse of the future: On Saturday morning, ADAC Formula 4 presented its new car for next season. The second generation of Formula 4 car features a number of innovations. The most striking of these is the halo roll bar, with which motorsport fans will already be familiar from Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3. Safety takes top priority, while the 180-hp engine means the new car is more powerful than the current generation. The technology package – Pirelli tyres, a Fiat Abarth engine and a Tatuus chassis – is also used in the Italian and British Formula 4 series, meaning teams have the option of starting in various series.
Remembering Kurt Gewinnus: In memory of Kurt Gewinnus, the ADAC Formula 4 podium was adorned with the message “We miss you KUG” at the weekend. Gewinnus, who was actively involved in motorsport for decades and supported many top drivers, passed away in August. The founder of the KUG Motorsport racing team is a big name in motorsport, primarily through his role as team principal. His team was founded in 1975. Gewinnus and his team was one of the first teams to join the ADAC Formula Junior series when it was launched in 1991, and remained true to the junior Formula series right through to the current ADAC Formula 4 era. Under his leadership, drivers like eventual Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher were given their first experience in Formula racing.
Highs and lows: Alex Dunne experienced at first hand just how narrow the margins are between joy and disappointment in motorsport at the weekend. The 15-year-old Irishman dominated qualifying and secured pole position for the first two races. However, nothing else went to plan on Saturday. Dunne fell back to fourth place at the start, and his race came to a premature end shortly after. He skidded off the track after contact with Nikita Bedrin and was unable to finish the race. Dunne bounced back to claim two fourth places in races two and three.
A visit from an old acquaintance: David Beckmann is racing in Formula 2 this season, but he found the time to visit his “old home” at the ADAC. The former ADAC Formula 4 driver, who finished fifth in the inaugural season in 2015, popped into Hockenheim at the weekend, where he checked out the next generation of Formula racers.
First for Bernier: Victor Bernier did not necessarily take his first win of the season in the manner he would have hoped for. He actually crossed the finish line in second place, after a very impressive performance. However, when title contenders Oliver Bearman and Tim Tramnitz got in each other’s way, Bernier was the beneficiary. Bearman was given a five-second penalty and Bernier “inherited” the win. He had mixed feelings about the victory. On the one hand he was “sad for Oliver” that he missed out on the win – on the other hand, he was “very happy and satisfied”. Either way: Congratulations on the first win of the season!
Acrobatic skills: You might expect racing drivers to travel home in expensive sports cars: not so Luke Browning. The winner of the third ADAC Formula 4 race of the weekend left the Hockenheimring on a unicycle. Browning pushed his suitcase ahead of him, while he showed that is also a talented young man outside his race car. Peeking out of his suitcase was the winner’s trophy. A very successful weekend for the young Brit. The fans who were lucky enough to see this image will not forget it for a long time.