From pole position to first victory of the season – Australia´s Joey Mawson (20, Van Amersfoort Racing) won the opening race of the 2016 ADAC Formula 4. Pole-setter Mawson claimed the win ahead of the two US Racing drivers, Kim Luis Schramm (18, Germany) and Jannes Fittje (16, Germany) at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in a race that was affected by rain prior to the start. Mick Schumacher (17, Germany, Prema Powerteam) placed fourth. “The championship has got off to a perfect start with a great qualifying and today´s victory,” said Mawson. “I´m really happy; the team did a great job.”
Rain fell just before the race at Oschersleben, delaying the start. Most teams took the opportunity to switch to wet-weather tyres on the grid. The contest started behind the safety car, and the 35 drivers were released after two laps. Mawson accelerated in an expert manner and promptly pulled out a small lead – only Schramm was able to keep up with him. Fittje, Schumacher and Moritz Müller-Crepon (19, Switzerland, Van Amersfoort Racing) battled for third place on the podium behind the leading pair.
Mawson defends comfortable lead despite safety car
There were two more safety car periods during the race. First Juan Manuel Correa (16, Italy, Prema Powerteam) skidded off track, then the two ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV drivers, Mike David Ortmann (16, Germany) and Lirim Zendeli (16, Germany) were forced to retire following a collision. But Mawson defended his comfortable lead even after the two subsequent restarts and ultimately secured victory.
In fifth place was Müller-Crepon ahead of the two Lechner Racing drivers Thomas Preining (17, Austria) and Michael Waldherr (19, Germany). On her ADAC Formula 4 debut, ADAC Sports Foundation protégée Sophia Flörsch (15, Germany, Motopark) finished ninth behind Dutch youngster Job van Uitert (17, Jenzer Motorsport). In tenth place was Estonia´s Juri Vips (15, Prema Powerteam) who also emerged as the best rookie. His tenth place means that he starts from pole position in the third race at 16:40 on Sunday. The starting order for this final run of the weekend is determined by the results of the first race. The Top Ten line up on the grid in reverse order. Consequently, Joey Mawson will start from tenth.
The grid for Race 2 on Sunday (10:10, live in SPORT1+) is decided by the second-best times from Friday´s qualifying in which Joey Mawson also posted the second-fastest lap. Kim Luis Schramm, Mike David Ortmann, Jannes Fittje and Sophia Flörsch booked grid positions two, three, four and five respectively.
Comments on the first race of the 2016 ADAC Formula 4:
Joey Mawson (winner, Van Amersfoort Racing):
“The safety car deployments didn´t make it any easier, but everything worked remarkably well. Tomorrow, I intend to go on the attack again. Another win would make for a perfect weekend.”
Kim Luis Schramm (P2, US Racing):
“In principle, we are satisfied with second place. It´s a good result at this early stage of the season. I got quite close to overtaking Joey. It was tight, but unfortunately it didn´t work out. Joey may have a little more experience than me, but he can be beaten.”
Jannes Fittje (P3, US Racing):
“My first podium ever. We achieved what we set out to do. There might even have been a little more in it for us, but the second safety car didn´t really play into my hands. Tomorrow, we want to score a lot of points.”
Gerhard Ungar (Team Principal US Racing):
“We are very satisfied with the second and third places. At one point, it looked as if we might even take the lead. But overall, we´re very happy.”