The ADAC Formula 4 is entering a crucial stage at the Sachsenring

The ADAC Formula 4 is entering a crucial stage at the Sachsenring

14.09.2017: ... in the run-up to the finale • Vips, Armstrong, Drugovich with best chances of lifting the title

... in the run-up to the finale

•    Vips, Armstrong, Drugovich with best chances of lifting the title

•    Rivals Zendeli, Schramm & Co sense an opportunity                

Who will succeed champion Joey Mawson to round off the third season of the ADAC Formula 4?

With six races to go before the end of the season, the question remains as wide open as ever. Races 16, 17 and 18 this weekend at the Sachsenring (15th - 17th September) could go some way to providing an answer.

The final round is scheduled for the following weekend at Hockenheim (22nd - 24th September). SPORT1 and SPORT1+ will broadcast all races live, and live streams will also be made available at, and

Juri Vips (17, Estonia, Prema Powerteam), his team-mate Marcus Armstrong (17, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam) and Felipe Drugovich (17, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing), who has taken four wins from the last six races, are favourites to win the championship.

Just 23 points separate them as we approach the final rounds where there are 150 points still to be won. All three of them have shown already on many occasions this season that they are hungry for the title.

Juri Vips is at the top of the table despite having secured the fewest number of wins of the three. The Estonian has consistently finished in the points more times than the others. Only once - in the third race at the Lausitzring - did he miss finishing in the Top Ten. However, the 17-year-old still has a score to settle at the Sachsenring.

He crossed the finish line only once last year at the roller-coaster of a circuit and only scored four points in the second race. "This is a nice, high-speed circuit and one of my favourites on the calendar," said Vips, who is especially keen on the technically demanding passage in the first sector.

Marcus Armstrong is currently second in the standings but has considerably less experience as he heads to the Sachsenring circuit. Still, that does not necessarily mean a great deal. "I tested there in July and really enjoyed it.

Challenging sectors alternate with passages where it's easier to make up time," said the New Zealander, who has enjoyed a very successful first season in the ADAC Formula 4. In the best case scenario, the 17-year-old 'Kiwi' could even clinch two championships this autumn, as he is currently at the top of the table in the Italian counterpart to the ADAC Formula 4.

Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich has so far racked up the most victories (four) and led the field for the greatest number of laps (62). He also intends to improve on his rather poor showing from last year (one point from the three races), which he should easily do.

 "I like the track with its many extremely fast left-handers and only a few slow right-hand turns. The fast passages are really challenging, but I feel confident," said Drugovich, who is in third place overall.

At the Sachsenring, Lirim Zendeli (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV) will be aiming to continue a really good run of success. He made a superb return to form at the Nürburgring, securing best time on the day, pole position and win number two after a dip in performance around the middle of the season.

Zendeli is feeling confident and hopes he can continue his fine showing: "The Sachsenring really suits me. I was super quick back in 2016 but spun off on the third lap in qualifying. During testing recently, I was at least as quick as the fastest there despite having the flu, and I assume that there's more to come. We should be competitive at the Sachsenring."

Kim-Luis Schramm (20, Germany, US Racing) also hopes to achieve a great deal in races 16, 17 and 18, especially in view of the fact that he has been on the up in the last few races, managing to reduce the deficit on the championship leaders.

"The Sachsenring is right up my street. I took pole position there last year," he told us. He is really clued in as to what is important at this particular circuit. "You're uphill and downhill all the time at the Sachsenring. You've got to stay on the throttle in order to have enough momentum to get uphill."

But Schramm is not the only top contender for a win in the Kerpen-based outfit run by ex-Formula 1 star Ralf Schumacher and Gerhard Ungar. Julian Hanses (20, Germany), who was second at the Nürburgring, rookie champion Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark) and Fabio Scherer (18, Switzerland) are also always good for podiums.

Things are looking interesting too in the rookie stakes where Mick Wishofer (17, Austria, Lechner Racing) is still on top after taking the rookie title at the Nürburgring and at Oschersleben.

The young Austrian leads on 263.5 points from Charles Weerts (16, Belgium, Motopark, 232 points), Laurin Heinrich (15, Germany, Team Laurin Heinrich, 197.5) and Richard Wagner (17, Germany, Lechner Racing, 190).

ADAC Formula 4 on TV

SPORT1          16/09/2017          11:00         Race 1         LIVE          16/09/2017          11:05          Race 1         LIVE      
SPORT1+          16/09/2017          11:05         Race 1         LIVE      
SPORT1+          17/09/2017          03:00         Race 1         Recording          17/09/2017          09:15          Race 2         LIVE      
SPORT1+          17/09/2017         09:15          Race 2         LIVE          17/09/2017         15:40         Race 3         LIVE      
SPORT1+          18/09/2017         02:20         Race 3          Exclusive      
SPORT1+          18/09/2017         09:20         Race 3          Recording      
2017 ADAC Formula 4 schedule

28/04/17 - 30/04/17          Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
19/05/17 - 21/05/17          Lausitzring (with DTM)
09/06/17 - 11/06/17          Red Bull Ring Spielberg/AUT
07/07/17 - 09/07/17          Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
04/08/17 - 06/08/17          Nürburgring
15/09/17 - 17/09/17          Sachsenring
22/09/17 - 24/09/17          Hockenheimring
Uschi Vogel/Andreas Asen, photos ADAC


14.09.2017 / MaP

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