There ADAC Formula 4 visited the Formula 1 paddock at Hockenheim, when their fifth round of the year was run.
This is the second time for F4 to visit the circuit in 2018, and this time it was with just two races opposite to the usual three per weekend.
The race format had been slightly altered, with a single Friday practice and two qualifyings of 15 minutes each on Saturday morning, before the first race was run Saturday afternoon, and the second being run on Sunday morning.
Frederik Vesti had secured Pole Position for Race 1 on a damp track, ahead of Leon Köhler and Charles Weerts.
The two leaders in the Championship, Liam Lawson and Lirim Zendeli were starting 4th and 6th, with Oliver Caldwell in between.
There 25 all got away well – except Leon Köhler who completely stalled and only got away as the very final driver. Luckily, everybody avoided the man on the front row, and somehow everybody made it through the first lap without any damaged cars at all.
Gregoire Saucy was under investigation by the stewards, since the Jenzer Motorsport driver got an exceptionally good start. The stewards, however, decided that he made the perfect start and everybody around him was asleep.
Niklas Krütten crashed all by himself in Turn 1, so a Safety Car had to be scrambled to get his car craned away.
When the race was released again, Oliver Caldwell tried to overtake Saucy. That went all wrong, and the Brit outbraked himself, and ended taking his own front wing off, by hitting the rear tire of David Schumacher.
The race was led by Vesti ahead of Lawson and Zendeli.
Frederico Malvestiti and Amaury Cordell were being investigated for overtaking under Safety Car, but nothing was found to have happened.
Both Charles Weerts and Lucas Alecco Roy made it past Gregoire Saucy in the fight for 6th.
Lirim Zendeli was all under the rear wing of Liam Lawson and was almost past him, but had to drop back behind the New Zealander again.
But there were no changes out front, so Frederik Vesti won ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing teammate Liam Lawson and US Racing – CHRS driver Lirim Zendeli. David Schumacher won the Rookie classification.
Sunday was a new day, with Liam Lawson on Pole Position ahead of Lirim Zendeli and David Schumacher. Yesterday’s winner, Frederik Vesti was starting the race from P4.
Zendeli won the start and made it first into Turn 1 ahead of Lawson and Schumacher.
It was a very chaotic first lap with several collisions through the field.
Lawson got his rear tire cut by Schumacher’s front wing, resulting in a puncture for the New Zealander. So he had to go for a tire change, and was thus dead last in the field.
Leon Köhler hit the wall after contact with Tom Beckhäuser, which resulted in a Safety Car.
It thankfully only took a lap before we were back to green again.
Ido Cohen overtook Jesse Salmenautio in the midfield.
Schumacher got the technical defect flag since his front wing was scraping along the ground after the contact with Lawson. There was a whole train of cars behind him, led by Vesti, Jack Doohan and Enzo Fittipaldi, who all tried to get past him. Schumacher was acting in a very unsporting way going from one side of the straight to another – even though he was effectively out of the race due to the technical defect. That made Vesti lose several positions, while Doohan, Fittipaldi and Caldwell all got past him.
Mick Wishofer went off the circuit all by himself, getting stranded, so the Safety Car had to get back on circuit.
Another swift clean-up and then the drivers had 15 minutes to race in – if they would behave for the rest of the race.
Zendeli quickly went away out front, while Caldwell, Fittipaldi and Doohan followed.
David Schumacher chose to outbrake himself one more time at the hairpin, so he once again went into the rear of Lawson. Luckily he didn’t get a puncture that time. But the son of the former Formula 1 driver, Ralf, appeared to be overly motivated in the Sunday race.
Fittipaldi and Caldwell went side by side right in front of the Mercedes grandstand, but the two teammates just about avoided hitting each other.
Doohan came under pressure from Joey Alders, before Saucy sneaked past the latter.
Liam Lawson made contact with Amaury Cordeel in the hairpin, where the Belgium guest driver was turned around, parked in the opposite direction.
Giorgio Carrera didn’t leave any space for Lucas Alecco Roy at the start of the final lap. The Argentinian pushed the German onto the grass, resulting in both retiring with suspension damage.
Jesse Salmenautio and Konsta Lappalainen attacked each other on the very final lap, right in front of the Mercedes grandstand. The latter ended up with broken rear suspension, while the other crossed the line – but far outside the points. Not only were they both from Finland – they were actually KIC Driving Academy teammates…
But no such dramas out front with Lirim Zendeli winning the race, ahead of Oliver Caldwell and Enzo Fittipaldi. Jack Doohan won the Rookie classification.
Yesterday’s winner, Frederik Vesti, finished in a disappointing P11.
The Championship is still led by Lirim Zendeli ahead of Liam Lawson and Enzo Fittipaldi.
The next round of the ADAC Formula 4 will be run at the Nürburgring on 3-5 August together with ADAC GT Masters.