The ADAC Formula 4 held their opening round at Oschersleben near Magdeburg, and it was in mixed weather conditions. The track dried more and more for every session that was run.
Lirim Zendeli was on Pole Position for Race 1 ahead of Mick Wishofer and Enzo Fittipaldi.
On a slightly damp track, there were already troubles on lap 1, when Charles Weerts hit the tire barrier by himself already on the first lap, going into turn 3.
That sent out the Safety Car, but just shortly before that, Frederik Vesti had managed to advance from starting position 5 to P3, while Zendeli and Wishofer had kept their positions out front. The SC period cost 5 minutes of racing, before the track went green again.
While Fittipaldi fell back to P5 during the start, he managed to get back past Liam Lawson.
Gianluca Petecof and Joey Alders had an exciting moment going into turn 1, where Petecof pushed Alders, so the latter had a run through the gravel. Fortunately both cars were able to continue.
Vesti dropped two positions, losing out to both Fittipaldi and Lawson.
Leon Köhler had a spin on the back straight, and his pink ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg teammate Ido Cohen spun at the same time, to avoid the teammate. Köhler was able to get going again, while the SC had to be called to get Cohen’s car moved into a place of safety.
When the race went green again, Lawson and Fittipaldi went side by side into Turn 1, and the young New Zealander had the elbows out against the Brazilian, and came out on the top.
We only had one and a half laps of racing before the Safety Car was called again. Leonardo Lorandi and Andreas Estner tried to outbrake each other going into Turn 1, and both went through the gravel. While Estner was lucky to end up on the grass and was able to continue, Lorandi ended up in the gravel, and a recovery vehicle had to pick him up.
The drivers got about 3 minutes to settle the scores. Lawson and Fittipaldi had a close fight about the last podium position, where they swapped places several times during the lap. Vesti was invited into the battle, but ended up losing out to David Schumacher, going into Turn 1.
The race ended behind the SC, when Joey Alders made a driving error through the chicane, digging into the gravel.
So Race 1 was about as much SC as green flag. Lirim Zendeli won the race ahead of Mick Wishofer and Liam Lawson.
Race 2 started out with Lirim Zendeli on Pole, ahead of Enzo Fittipaldi and Frederik Vesti.
The track had dried up completely, so the drivers couldn’t blame any wet spots on the track, for any kind of detour onto the grass.
Zendeli got a good start ahead of Vesti and Fittipaldi. Max Wishofer spun off the track further down the field, after a contact with Sebastian Estner. That sent out the SC instantly to get Wishofer’s car removed, but it was quickly done, and soon back to green.
Sebastian Estner suddenly went very slow on the straight, but he got it going again. A shame for Sebastian, since he had raced himself quite high up the field, but fell back to dead-last.
Aaron Di Comberti and David Schumacher drove side by side through several turns, but Schumacher ended up on top, after very respectful driving from both drivers.
Aaron Di Comberti and Tom Beckhäuser collided going into the second chicane, which cost the front wing of Di Comberti – and therefore his race, too.
On the last lap of the race, Leon Köhler and Lucas Alecco Roy collided, when Köhler collected the front wing of Roy, so the latter got it stuck under his car. Thankfully he only had two corners to go, so he did get over the finishing line.
But Race 2 was a bit of a procession, without any big overtakings, but thankfully not as much SC as in race one. Lirim Zendeli won, ahead of Frederik Vesti and Enzo Fittipaldi.
The starting grid for race 3 was based on the top-10 of race 1 reversed, so that gave some new faces on the top of the field. Oliver Caldwell should start first, ahead of Leonardo Lorandi and Gianluca Petecof.
Andreas Estner who was starting P4 instantly went past Petecof into Turn 1. Otherwise there weren’t any big changes at the top initially.
Ido Cohen ended up in the gravel and had to retire. He had hooked up with the back of Aaron Di Comberti’s Taatus car, which lost the rear wing. Since Cohen was stuck in the gravel, the SC had to be deployed.
Lirim Zendeli had to retire 10 minutes into the race, when he hit the armco down the straight, after a contact with Liam Lawson. The two cars just brushed each other, but Zendeli was the guy pulling into Lawson, so the stewards didn’t do more about the incident.
The two teammates, Frederik Vesti and Charles Weerts, didn’t give each other much racing room, with the latter defending his position at almost all costs.
Andreas Estner was rammed off the track with just 4 minutes to go, when Gianluca Petecof made a very late lunch down the inside, going into the final turn. Petecof was awarded with a drive-through penalty for that.
Leonardo Lorandi missed out on a podium position on the very final lap, when he initially was overtaken by Enzo Fittipaldi, and then went into the battle with Petecof, who hadn’t taken his penalty. Lorandi and Petecof made a contact, with Lorandi sending the other driver way way off the track. Lorandi was awarded a 30-second penalty for that, as a replacement for a drive-through, for the incident.
Oliver Caldwell was able to take an easy victory, ahead of Enzo Fittipaldi and Charles Weerts.
Frederik Vesti battled his way from starting position P7 to a finishing position in fourth, collecting good points.
Lirim Zendeli is leading the Championship, ahead of Enzo Fittipaldi and Frederik Vesti.
Prema Theodore Racing leads the Teams Championship, ahead of US Racing – CHRS and Van Amersfoort Racing.
Niklas Krütten has the lead in the Rookie Championship, ahead of Gianluca Petecof and David Schumacher.
The next round of ADAC Formula 4 will be during the DTM season start at Hockenheim on 4-6 May.