Niklas Krütten (16, Germany, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Roman Stanek (15, Czech Republic, US Racing CHRS) won Sunday’s two ADAC Formula 4 races at Oschersleben. In this morning’s tricky conditions, ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Krütten beat off competition from Theo Pourchaire (15, France, US Racing CHRS) and Arthur Leclerc (18, Monaco, US Racing CHRS). Leclerc, brother of Formula 1 shooting star Charles Leclerc, achieved his first podium finish in only his second race in the ADAC High-Speed Academy. Paul Aron (15, Estonia, Prema Powerteam) was Best Rookie in P4. “The semi-dry conditions gave us our chance,” said Krütten. “I gave the team the right instructions and they did a great job.”
On Sunday afternoon, Stanek drove an impressive lights-to-flag victory, crossing the finish line more than ten seconds ahead of Joshua Dürksen (15, Paraguay, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) and Alessandro Ghiretti (17, France, US Racing CHRS). The victory was also enough to take rookie Stanek to the top of the overall championship where he is on 47 points, six ahead of Krütten.
“It went brilliantly well right from the start, so I have reason to feel happy and satisfied,” said Stanek. “But this was my first win, so I now have to continue in the same vein, go flat out and push. I just focused on my race, not worrying about what the others were doing. I’m looking forward to the Red Bull Ring and the challenges ahead. This weekend definitely makes me want more of the same.”
Sun-day did not really live up to its name at Oschersleben early on. The morning was a wash-out and the rain did not stop until shortly before the start of ADAC Formula 4 Race 2. The race stewards decided to start the field behind the safety car due to the wet track. The restart, when it came a little later, amply demonstrated just how difficult conditions were. Pole-sitter Dennis Hauger spun off the track, allowing Saturday’s race winner, Gianluca Petecof (16, Brazil, Prema Powerteam) to take the lead. However, the Prema driver’s wet weather tyres quickly degraded on the drying track, and the pursuing bunch led by Krütten took advantage of his vulnerability and overtook.
At this point in the race, yet another safety car deployment shook up the running order. Petecof and Leclerc both came into the pits to change to slicks. After the restart, they used the advantage of their clearly superior tyres to overtake one opponent after another while Krütten continued to open up a gap at the front.
However, Petecof’s progress ended in a collision with his team-mate Paul Aron (15, Estonia, Prema Powerteam). The Brazilian damaged his front wing and was forced to retire. Meanwhile, Leclerc was busy reeling in Krütten, who then had to fend off a series of attacks. However, Leclerc ran wide and even spun off the track, forcing him to relinquish second place to Pourchaire.
The weather was much better for the third race of the weekend. The full wets stayed in the garages, and the track was completely dry. Pole-sitter Stanek took advantage of the settled conditions to post a comfortable win. He dominated the action from the start. By contrast, things were very close in midfield. Hauger and Petecof, who started from way down the grid following their strong results in Race 2, locked horns at an early stage, but their battle was not without consequences. Petecof received a drive-through penalty for making contact, and Hauger also fell back.
Dürksen pulled off a brilliant passing move on Ghiretti to win through in the fight for second place. Leclerc was fourth, while Krütten finished eighth. The next ADAC Formula 4 race weekend will be in six weeks’ time at Spielberg in Austria where the juniors of the ADAC High-Speed Academy will once again vie with each other for championship points.
Further comments from Sunday’s ADAC Formula 4
Joshua Dürksen (third overall, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.): “I am happy with my first race weekend in ADAC Formula 4. Some aspects went very well, and most importantly, I improved from race to race. It’s my first year in Formula racing, so learning is paramount. But I also want to score as many points as possible and get good results. In that respect, the weekend has been a big success for me.”
Arthur Leclerc (third in the second race, US Racing CHRS): “I’m obviously proud to have made it onto the podium on the first ADAC Formula 4 race weekend. But I felt that even more might have been possible. Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes. But it’s all part and parcel of racing, and in the next few weeks, I intend to sharpen up my act.”
Press release ADAC Formula 4