Felipe Drugovich (17, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing) has won the eighth race of the 2017 ADAC Formula 4, thus celebrating his second victory of the campaign. The Brazilian became the first driver to reach the two-win mark this season. He shared the podium at the Red Bull Ring in Austria with runner-up Juan Manuel Correa (17, USA/Ecuador, Prema Powerteam) and third-placed Marcus Armstrong (16, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam). The seven previous races had produced seven different winners. One of them was Drugovich, for whom the first success came at the Lausitzring.
“The key to the win was the start,” said a delighted Drugovich. “I was already up to third on the first corner and soon after made it through to the front. From then on, I had the pace to control everything.”
Following the podium trio across the line were Jonathan Aberdein (19, South Africa, Motopark) and Juri Vips (16, Estonia, Prema Powerteam). The remaining championship points were claimed by Michael Waldherr (20, Germany, Neuhauser Racing), Kami Laliberté (17, Canada, Van Amersfoort Racing), Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark, US Racing), Fabio Scherer (17, Switzerland, US Racing) and Julian Hanses (19, Germany, US Racing). The Best Rookie trophy went to Laurin Heinrich (15, Germany, Team Laurin Heinrich).
Drugovich got off to a brilliant start and was already past third-placed Nielsen after the first few metres. And a few corners later, the Brazilian exploited a battle between pole-sitter Armstrong and second-placed Aberdein to take the lead. The 17-year-old then made the position his own while Armstrong, Nielsen, and Correa lined up behind in pursuit.
There was then a collision involving Andreas Estner (16, Germany, Neuhauser Racing) and Louis Gachot (17, Great Britain, Van Amersfoort Racing). Estner went out of the race, and the safety car was deployed for a full five minutes. Upon the restart, there was only the briefest of opportunities to do some actual racing before the safety car had to be sent out again. This was caused by a collision at the rear of the field which forced Malukas to retire.
The race started again with 15 minutes left on the clock. Drugovich continued to defend his lead resolutely. Behind the Brazilian, Correa and Armstrong engaged in a private Prema Powerteam battle which ran out in favour of the American. Pole-sitter Armstrong at least prevailed in a subsequent battle for third, warding off attacks from Aberdein to claim his second podium finish of the weekend.
Drugovich and Vips are now level at the top of the championship table on 94 points. Armstrong is third on 75 points. The third race weekend of the 2017 ADAC Formula 4 continues at 4.30pm this afternoon (Sunday) with the third of three races.