The ADAC Formula 4 2019 season got underway in Oschersleben with three races split over Saturday and Sunday.
The field consisted of 18 drivers, with a good mix of rookies and well known faces.
Gianluca Petecof had taken Pole Position for race 1 ahead of Roman Stanek and Paul Aron. One of the big pre-season championship favourites, Niklas Krütten only started fifth in the first race.
Krütten did however get off to a fantastic start, and was third going into Turn 1, and second leaving Turn 2! Petecof did manage to keep his lead, while Stanek was in third.
Oliver Rasmussen made a small mistake in Turn 1, braking a little too late, so Norwegian Dennis Hauger made it past the Dane.
Then Hauger and Aron started a battle for 7th in the race. It took a few laps for Hauger to get past, but he did eventually outbrake the opponent. Rasmussen tried to dive past Aron too, but instead he and his teammate Aron made contact, which resulted in the Dane losing half of his front wing. That meant that he had to pit and retire, due to damages to the car.
Lucas Alleco Roy and Arthur Leclerc had some close battling through the second chicane, which resulted in the former running through the gravel, before returning to the tarmac, a few positions further back.
All of a sudden we had Krütten under pressure from Stanek, with the German making a mistake in Turn 1, so the Czech driver could pass him. Theo Pourchaire was next in line to pass Krütten, with Ido Cohen running right behind the pair.
Hauger continued his move forward, and overtook Cohen in the battle for fifth. Hauger also passed Pourchaire, which made him run right behind Krütten – which he passed one lap later – and then the Norwegian was third.
Alleco Roy made it past Leclerc on the penultimate lap, without contact this time.
Nico Göhler had a spin on the very final lap, when the ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg Mücke Motorsport driver went a bit far over a curb and made too much correction on the steering wheel.
Gianluca Petecof won a race 1 full of action – just not for him. He won by 14 seconds to Roman Stanek and Dennis Hauger.
Dennis Hauger started race 2 ahead of Gianluca Petecof and Roman Stanek, with Theo Pourchaire, Niklas Krütten and Paul Aron following them.
While Race 1 was run on dry asphalt, there had been rain Sunday morning ahead of Race 2. So the race was started behind the Safety Car, with all drivers on the rain tires, where they all got two slow laps, before the field was released.
But there was a dry line starting to appear, making people think about slick tires very early on.
Hauger got off to an amazing start, and had a big gap to Petecof in P2.
Lucas Alleco Roy was the first driver to put on slicks, since he started in 16th, and had nothing to lose anyway.
Dennis Hauger lost the car on the wet curb, and spun over the grass. So that put Petecof into a big lead over Stanek and Pourchaire. The two US Racing – CHRS drivers Stanek and Pourchaire switched positions, but had Krütten right behind them.
Alleco Roy didn’t gain much from the early switch to slicks, since he had a run through the wet grass, and only just avoided the barriers.
Aron had made it into fourth ahead of Krütten.
Pourchaire had all of a sudden closed the gap to Petecof, and put the Brazilian under pressure. It would appear that he had used up his rain tires, since he last positions to first Pourchaire and Krütten on the same lap, and Stanek just a few turns later.
Then Krütten took the lead of the race. Petecof started defending over Stanek, but had to give the position to not only Stanek but also his own teammate Aron. Petecof dropped like a stone, and was out of top-10 in just a few laps.
Ido Cohen and Nico Göhler had a coming together, with Cohen getting stuck in the gravel, resulting in a Safety Car to get his car removed.
Arthur Leclerc and Gianluca Petecof pitted for slicks, trying to regain some of the lost. They left the pits in 16th and 17th, but still on the same lap as the leaders. Alleco Roy had proved that slicks was the right thing to have by now, running four seconds faster than everybody else right before the SC period.
Dennis Hauger and Alessandro Ghiretti pitted after slicks too, but didn’t make it to the back of the fied, before the field was released once again.
Krütten did get a good gap at the restart, but Petecof had already passed three drivers before Turn 1.
Alleco Roy and Leclerc made contact, resulting in two of the slicks cars initially dropping out of the fight for podium positions. The former even picked up a puncture.
Aron repeated the masterpiece from yesterday by taking a teammate off, when he took the front wing of Petecof’s car, when he made a move for P3! Petecof got another trip through the gravel when Leclerc decided to push him off.
There was high drama in the very final turn of the lap, when Krütten and Leclerc hit each other, and the latter had to run through the gravel. Theo Pourchaire actually beat Arthur Leclerc two the line – but Niklas Krütten did manage to win.
The tarmac was all dry for race 3, where Roman Stanek started from Pole Position ahead of Alessandro Ghiretti, Gregoire Saucy and Joshua Dürksen.
Race 2 winner Krütten started 8th while Race 1 winner Petecof was all the way back in 16th.
Dürksen made it into third at the start, while Lucas Alleco Roy ran out of tarmac in Turn 3.
Petecof was on his way through the field, being 13th after the first lap, but stalled a little in his progression.
Stanek got a good gap to US Racing – CHRS teammate Ghiretti, who fought with Dürksen. Dürksen from Paraguay managed to overtake Frenchman Ghiretti, with an amazing overtake around the outside in Turn 1. Leclerc was in fourth right ahead of Saucy, Aron and Krütten.
Petecof started attacking Hauger in the final turn before the start-finish straight, but didn’t make it past. The was so frustrating for the Brazilian, that he ran into the rear of the Norwegian driver in Turn 1. That send both drivers out of the points. The stewards gave Petecof a Drive-through penalty for the contact.
Lucas Alleco Roy and Alessandro Famularo had a collision, where the Venezuelan hit the wall, while Alleco Roy pitted with damaged front suspension. Famularo also got a Drive-through penalty for that. So that was two Prema Powerteam drivers – two Drive-through penalties…
Oliver Rasmussen was storming through the field, having started in 12th, having made it into 8th with 10 minutes to go, doing a faultless race, opposite to his Prema Powerteam teammates.
Both Petecof and Famularo parked the cars with 5 minutes to go – they were out of the points anyway.
Rasmussen still continued to advance up to 7th, and was right behind teammate Aron, which he tried to make it past. He managed to do so with a few minutes left of the race, with Aron losing another place to Krütten shortly after.
Rasmussen started attacking Gregoire Saucy and even managed to overtake him around the outside in the super fast Turn 7. So he crossed the finishing line in fifth, having started twelve .
But Roman Stanek won the race ahead of Joshua Dürksen and Alessandro Ghiretti
Roman Stanek leads the championship ahead of Niklas Krütten and Joshua Dürksen, while Theo Pourchaire, Arthur Leclerc, Paul Aron and Gianluca Petecof are just a few points behind.
The next round of the ADAC Formula 4 will be run at the Red Bull Ring on 7-9 June 2019.