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Zendeli celebrates debut victory in ADAC Formula 4

Motorsport / ADAC Formel 4, 1. - 3. Lauf Oschersleben 2017The third race of the campaign has produced a third winner. Lirim Zendeli (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg) has lifted the first winner’s trophy of his budding career in the third race of the ADAC Formula 4 opener at Oschersleben. The 16-year-old came home ahead of his Swedish team-mate Oliver Söderström (18) and Jonathan Aberdein (19, South Africa, Motopark) on Sunday. It was a second podium of the weekend for Aberdein. Best Rookie was Laurin Heinrich (15, Germany, Team Laurin Heinrich) in P16.

« It was incredible, » said an ecstatic Zendeli. « Up to that point of the weekend, nothing had gone as we wanted. But in the end, the car was simply mega. I was able to sail away at the front, and I also set the fastest race lap. Everything that could go right actually went right. »

The podium trio were followed across the line by Juan Manuel Correa (17, USA/Ecuador, Prema Powerteam), Juri Vips (16, Estonia, Prema Powerteam) and Kim-Luis Schramm (19, Germany, US Racing) in P4, P5 and P6 respectively. Rounding off the Top Ten were Julian Hanses (19, Germany, US Racing), Fabio Scherer (17, Switzerland, US Racing), Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark, US Racing) and Andreas Estner (16, Germany, Neuhauser Racing).

Zendeli got off to a perfect start and immediately went into the lead. His cause was aided by a collision between polesetter Kami Laliberté (17, Canada, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Marcus Armstrong (16, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam) on the first corner, which sent them both spinning of the track. As a result of this incident, the safety car came on the track for six minutes, and the field formed up behind it.

Zendeli successfully defended his lead after the restart and pulled out a small gap. In his wake were Söderström and Aberdein. A spin by Louis Gachot (17, Great Britain, Van Amersfoort Racing) then left gravel on the track, so the safety car was deployed again while the marshals swept it clean. When the restart came with 13 minutes still on the clock, Zendeli kept his cool to seal his first victory of the season in assured fashion.

Topping the championship table at the end of the first of seven race weekends is Juri Vips. The Estonian, who won the first race of the campaign on Saturday morning, is on 47 points, two ahead of Nicklas Nielsen (45) who won the second round. They are followed by Aberdein (34), Zendeli (33), Correa (32), Scherer (31) and Söderström (22).

In three weeks’ time, the next generation of formula drivers will vie with each other for honours at the Lausitzring. Races four to six of the 2017 championship will be contested on the weekend of 19th – 21st May in the framework of the Motorsport Festival, where the headline acts are the ADAC GT Masters and the DTM.

Further comments on the ADAC Formula 4 race

Lirim Zendeli (winner, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.): « You come here with huge expectations, because you’ve been incredibly fast in testing. Then things don’t work out in free practice, so you’re wondering whether it’s the car or the driver. I had another chat with my team boss yesterday, we mulled everything over, and he said OK, the car is properly set up, now they were going to get me as the driver properly set up and then everything would fall into place. »

Oliver Söderström (second, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.): « I am so happy. I would never have imagined that we would finish on the podium. During the winter tests, we were lacking pace and I was feeling quite down. To be up here today makes me very happy, and I’d like to dedicate this result to my girlfriend, who has really supported me during this time and to whom I owe much. »

Jonathan Aberdein (third, Motopark): « I am very happy with the weekend, especially with regard to the races. We got the maximum we could from them, but things could have gone better in qualifying. Now, I’ll be going to the Lausitzring with a good feeling. Until then, of course, we have work to do. We especially want to be faster in free practice. »

Laurin Heinrich (16th and best rookie, Team Laurin Heinrich): « Everything went well and I also coped with the tyre degradation. The safety car played into our hands because it made the race more competitive. On the second corner, I managed to overtake the rookie in front of me. It’s an extremely cool experience standing alongside the others on the podium. Leaving Oschersleben with my first trophy is just great. When we were here three weeks ago for testing, we never thought that we would be going home with a cup. That obviously makes us extremely proud. »


Press release ADAC Formel 4


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