Ralf Schumacher has long since become accustomed to his new role as team principal of a racing outfit in the ADAC Formula 4. He has managed Team US Racing together with Gerhard Ungar since the start of the season and intends to keep pushing forwards in the ADAC High Speed Academy just as he used to do when he was competing in Formula 1 and in the DTM. Schumacher’s journey to the track will only be short this weekend, since the ADAC Formula 4 will be lining up at the Nürburgring, 5th – 7th August.
“We will obviously try to build on previous successes,” said Ralf Schumacher ahead of what US Racing are themselves calling their ‘home’ fixture at the Nürburgring this weekend. “I always enjoy going to the Nürburgring and have always really liked the circuit. It’s where I took my first tentative steps in motor racing a long time ago in the ADAC Formel Junior series. It will certainly be nice to be back.”
US Racing will again field four drivers in races 16, 17 and 18. ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Jannes Fittje (17, Germany), Kim-Luis Schramm (19, Germany), Louis Gachot (16, Great Britain), the son of ex-Formula 1 driver Bertrand Gachot from Belgium, and Carrie Schreiner (17, Germany) will line-up on the grid for the team.
Schramm in fourth place overall with 150 points and Fittje, who is fifth on 112, both still have a chance of winning the championship. “Basically, we are very satisfied. The two of them definitely have the necessary speed, but their results have been very variable at times,” said Schumacher, adding with a chuckle:
“That’s simply what happens when you work with young people. They make mistakes now and again!”
Schumacher is not worried by the fact that his team lost the lead in the team standings to Van Amersfoort Racing last time out at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria:
“We just had some bad luck at the Red Bull Ring, but clearly, our main objective is to continue to score points and to retake the lead in the team standings. We’re well prepared for the Nürburgring, and it should be possible, hopefully. We’ll have to see. But then of course, Van Amersfoort also have a very strong and experienced outfit.”
Schumacher shares the running of Team US Racing with Gerhard Ungar:
“Gerhard is responsible for the technical side of things. That’s his job, his life, and he doesn’t need any advice from me. I’m delighted to have him at my side. We take all the decisions together concerning the business and the drivers.”
Ralf Schumacher remains optimistic about the championship. Although his two drivers Schramm and Fittje are some way behind his nephew Mick (17, Germany, Prema Powerteam) in second place with 208 points and championship leader Joey Mawson (20, Australia, Van Amersfoort Racing, 254), there are still nine races left in which to reduce the deficit.
“I certainly hope that we can reel them in a bit, but you have to admit that with his experience, Joey Mawson is in a league of his own. He has driven flawlessly this year and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He is more experienced and older than most of the others,” said Ralf Schumacher: “Every single year’s difference in age matters an awful lot. You have to say, though, that the guys, whether we’re talking about our team or whether we mean Mick, are doing a really terrific job. If not much goes wrong for him, then I think Joey is the top favourite, but Mick can still be a thorn in his side as can we.”
During the 2016 season, the ADAC High Speed Academy is holding six race weekends in conjunction with the ADAC GT Masters and also appeared at the joint meeting of the ADAC GT Masters and the DTM at the Lausitzring and under the banner of the TCR International Series in Oschersleben. Television partner SPORT1 will broadcast the races live via a variety of media: on free-to-air TV, online and on mobile devices.
The ADAC Formula 4 is again relying on the services of tried and trusted partners during the 2016 season, utilising Formula 4 racing cars with Abarth turbocharged engines and chassis from Italian manufacturer Tatuus. Italian premium tyre manufacturer Pirelli, who are well-known from Formula 1, and wheel manufacturer Motec also supply equipment to the ADAC Formula 4. Eibach, who make suspension springs, and DEKRA, one of the world’s leading expert service providers, are partners media partners.
ADAC Formula 4 on TV to the series. Auto Zeitung are still the official media partners.