Juri Vips is the first race winner of the new ADAC Formula 4 season. Driving for Italian Prema Powerteam the 16-year-old Estonian won the first race on Saturday in Oschersleben, finishing ahead of Danish rookie champion Nicklas Nielsen (20, US Racing) and the South African Jonathan Aberdein (19, Motopark) to secure his first ever win in the ADAC Formula 4.
“What a great start to the season! I’m pleased that everything went well,” said Juri Vips, who pulled off his race-winning overtaking manoeuvre on Nielsen just before the end: “That brought me the win! We now want to rack up as many points as we possibly can this year.”
The leading trio of drivers were followed home by Fabio Scherer (17, Switzerland, US Racing), Juan Manuel Correa (17, USA/Ecuador, Prema Powerteam) and Julian Hanses (19, Germany, US Racing). Lirim Zendeli (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV), Oliver Söderström (18, Sweden, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV), Marcus Armstrong (16, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam) and Kami Laliberté (17, Canada, Van Amersfoort Racing) completed the Top Ten. Charles Weerts (16, Belgium, Motopark) in P12 was best-placed rookie.
Polesetter Felipe Drugovich (16, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing) did not get a good start and had to let the eventual winner, Vips, and Nielsen go by. Armstrong also passed the Brazilian shortly afterwards. Nielsen quickly drew away out front, while Vips opened up a gap on Armstrong and Drugovich. The drivers maintained their positions until rookie Tom Beckhäuser (18, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV) spun off the track, which initiated a five-minute safety car period.
Nielsen retained the lead on the restart and quickly increased the gap again – but Vips refused to be shaken off and continually reduced his deficit on the Dane in the second stint of the race. Three minutes before the end, he then launched his overtaking manoeuvre to claim his first victory at the finish line.
Nicklas Nielsen will be in pole position on the grid in front of Drugovich and Scherer for the second race on Saturday (3.45 pm, live on SPORT1). Grid slots in this race were decided by the second-best times from qualifying on Friday. Vips, Laliberté, Armstrong, Correa, Aberdein, Zendeli and Hanses will line up behind them.
The order on the grid for the third race is determined by the results from the first race. The Top Ten will line up in reverse order on Sunday (11.45 clock, live at SPORT1+) with Kami Laliberté on pole and race winner Vips in P10.
Further comments on the ADAC Formula 4 race
Juri Vips (Winner, Prema Powerteam):
“We always want to win and score as many points as possible to make sure we’re among the championship leaders. Yesterday, we had a few problems with the car, but today we found a very good setup.”
Nicklas Nielsen (Second, US Racing):
“I was expecting it to be tight – the differences in qualifying were minimal. I got off to the perfect start today, but towards the end, I was unable to match Juri for pace. In the second race, I’ll be on pole, which is another opportunity to go on the attack.”
Jonathan Aberdein (Third, Motopark):
“I’m satisfied with this. Third place is a good result. I started from P5, then worked my way forward and defended my position. Obviously, I’d like to finish on the podium in the next race too, but that won’t be easy from eighth on the grid.”
Charles Weerts (Twelfth and Best Rookie, Motopark):
“This has been a good start for me, and I believe we have the pace for the Top Ten. That’s my next target.”