Zendeli extends lead with victory on Formula 1 weekend

Zendeli extends lead with victory on Formula 1 weekend

22.07.2018: • Championship leader wins ahead of Caldwell and Fittipaldi • Jack Doohan, son of former world champion Mick, is Best Rookie • Impressive backdrop for ADAC Formula 4 at Hockenheim

•    Championship leader wins ahead of Caldwell and Fittipaldi

•    Jack Doohan, son of former world champion Mick, is Best Rookie

•    Impressive backdrop for ADAC Formula 4 at Hockenheim         

Hockenheimring - Race 2

Date:     22nd July 2018      
Length of track:     4,574 metres      
Top Three:     1. Lirim Zendeli (GER)
2. Oliver Caldwell (GBR)
3. Enzo Fittipaldi (BRA/USA)      
The fifth weekend of the 2018 ADAC Formula 4 season was contested at the Hockenheimring where it shared the billing with Formula 1. Lirim Zendeli (18, Germany, US Racing CHRS) celebrated his seventh victory of the campaign and extended his lead at the top of the championship.

In front of a huge Formula 1 crowd the 18-year-old crossed the finish line ahead of Oliver Caldwell (16, Great Britain, Prema Theodore Racing) and Enzo Fittipaldi (17, USA/Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing). Best rookie was Jack Doohan (15, Australia, Prema Theodore Racing), the son of five-time motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan, who came fourth in the general classification.

After having to settle for third on Saturday, Zendeli was delighted with today's result: "I really wanted this win and was determined to take the initiative right at the start. I have never been so focused on the gantry lights as I was today.

The preparation for this race was super intense, and the outcome has certainly left me much more secure in the championship." Zendeli tops the table ahead of Liam Lawson (16, New Zealand, Van Amersfoort Racing) after 14 of this season's 20 races.

Fifth place went to Gregoire Saucy (18, Switzerland, Jenzer Motorsport) ahead of rookies Joey Alders (18, Netherlands, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Gianluca Petecof (15, Brazil, Prema Theodore Racing). Charles Weerts (17, Belgium, Van Amersfoort Racing), Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) and Federico Malvestiti (18, Italy, Jenzer Motorsport) finished eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Zendeli started the race from P2 behind pole-sitter Liam Lawson but got past his main championship rival even before they entered the first corner. Lawson and David Schumacher (16, Germany, US Racing CHRS) then tried to put the championship leader under pressure, but the 18-year-old from Bochum did not flinch or waiver.

Two minutes after the start, a collision involving Leon Köhler (18, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) brought the safety car out onto the track. Köhler was forced to retire, and Lawson was obliged to pit during the safety car deployment to have damage to his car repaired. Zendeli's championship rival then re-joined the field as tail-ender.

 Zendeli managed the restart with consummate skill and then proceeded to pull out a gap on his pursuers. Schumacher initially found himself in second place where he had to ward off attacks from Frederik Vesti (16, Denmark, Van Amersfoort Racing), Doohan and Fittipaldi.

The skirmishes behind allowed Zendeli to further distance himself from the pursuing pack. Schumacher then had to pit due to a defective front wing. When he re-emerged, he was at the rear of the field. Despite finishing way back in 12th place, Schumacher retains his lead in the Best Rookie standings ahead of Niklas Krütten (15, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.).

The field was bunched together yet again with 20 minutes left on the clock when Mick Wishofer (18, Austria, US Racing CHRS) was forced to retire and the safety car came out again. The restart came four minutes later, and as before, Zendeli broke away from his pursuers with two blistering laps. Behind him, Fittipaldi attacked Prema Theodore Racing team-mate Caldwell but was unable to find a way past.

Ultimately, it was a comfortable victory for Zendeli. In no fewer than five races at Hockenheim this season, he has finished on the podium each time. The next fixture on the ADAC Formula 4 calendar comes on the weekend of 3rd - 5th August when the juniors of the ADAC High-Speed Academy are once again paired up with the seniors of the ADAC GT Masters.

Further comments on the ADAC Formula 4 race

Oliver Caldwell (second, Prema Theodore Racing)
: "I am very, very satisfied. We started the race from eighth, so the runner-up spot is great. It was fantastic competing in front of such an impressive backdrop and all the Formula 1 fans. There is always room for improvement; we came second and didn't win, so we could have done even better still. But at the end of the day, we leave here on a positive note."

Enzo Fittipaldi (third, Prema Theodore Racing):
"That was a decent race; we were very fast. Unfortunately, I made a mistake against Oli, otherwise second place might have been possible. But all in all, I'm happy with the weekend."

Jack Doohan (Best Rookie, Prema Theodore Racing):
"Unfortunately, the weekend was not quite as successful as I would have liked. The result in the second race came as something of a consolation, and I'm obviously satisfied with fourth place. I am here to learn, and I've learnt a lot. The trophy for Best Rookie makes it all worthwhile."


Calendar for the 2018 ADAC Formula 4

13/04/18 - 15/04/18          Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
04/05/18 - 06/05/18          Hockenheimring (with DTM)
18/05/18 - 20/05/18          Lausitzring (with DTM)
08/06/18 - 10/06/18          Red Bull Ring Spielberg/AUT
20/07/18 - 22/07/18          Hockenheimring (with Formula 1)
03/08/18 - 05/08/18          Nürburgring
21/09/18 - 23/09/18          Hockenheimring

Oliver Runschke, photos ADAC


22.07.2018 / MaP

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