Marcus Armstrong, ADAC F4, Sachsenring 2017


Marcus Armstrong leaves the Sachsenring as the new ADAC Formula 4 Championship leader after finishing third, second and sixth at the penultimate round held at the weekend. He now has a 21.5 point lead over Felipe Drugovich (Van Amersfoort Racing) heading to the final round this coming weekend at Hockenheim.

“It’s great to be in front,” commented Armstrong. “I’m very pleased.”

Race 2
Fabio Scherer (18, Switzerland, US Racing) won the 17th ADAC Formula 4 race of the season, taking his first victory of the season. The Swiss driver, who had already finished second yesterday, took P1 from the new leader in the overall standings, Marcus Armstrong (17, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam), and from Sophia Flörsch (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV). Flörsch notched up the best result of her career to date, becoming the first female driver ever to finish on the podium of the ADAC Formula 4.

Armstrong now has a 5.5-point lead on the previous leader Juri Vips (17, Estonia, Prema Powerteam), who finished seventh. Their main rival, Felipe Drugovich (17, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing), retired at an early stage and is now 38.5 points down on Armstrong. There are still four races to be run in the ADAC High-Speed Academy.

Scherer started the race from P3 and got away really well. The Swiss driver went into the lead over the first few metres, and Armstrong also overtook pole-sitter Julian Hanses (20, Germany, US Racing). There was a contact further down the field between Felipe Drugovich and Kim-Luis Schramm (20, Germany, US Racing), which resulted in both of them retiring from the race. The safety car came out for five minutes, and Scherer maintained his lead from Armstrong and Hanses on the restart.

Hanses, who won yesterday, spun off the track a little later and found himself down in P19 after taking a trip through the gravel. The 20-year-old was forced to park up a little later, so Sophia Flörsch moved up into third place. She kept her nerve and defended her position to the end.

The safety car came back out for another five minutes when rookie Tom Beckhäuser (18, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg eV) retired, and the field bunched up once more. But even after the ensuing restart with another ten minutes on the clock, the three drivers in the lead successfully fended off attacks from their opponents. The race ended with another safety car period as Cedric Piro (19, Germany, Team Piro Interdental) retired two minutes before the finish.

Race 3
Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich (17, Van Amersfoort Racing) triumphed in the 18th round of the 2017 ADAC Formula 4 at the Sachsenring and is back in contention for the title after claiming a fifth victory of the season. The 17-year-old took the win ahead of Artem Petrov (17, Russia, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Frederik Vesti (15, Denmark, Van Amersfoort Racing) and is now third in the standings. He goes into the season finale next weekend at Hockenheim with a deficit of 21.5 points on championship leader Marcus Armstrong (17, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam). Armstrong’s team-mate Juri Vips (17, Estonia) is ranked second, 1.5 points behind the New Zealander.

“I’m very happy, because I was able to do some good overtaking and to drive at a consistent pace,” said Felipe Drugovich, who has now notched up as many victories as Armstrong and Vips combined. “I was totally focused on this race after the disappointment of the morning, and fortunately that turned out well. Everything is still possible in the championship. It won’t be easy, but the three races have to be driven first.”

Juri Vips came in fourth behind the Van Amersfoort trio of Drugovich, Petrov and Vesti, while Fabio Scherer (18, Switzerland, US Racing) rounded off a strong weekend at the Sachsenring with fifth place. Next across the line in P6 was Armstrong ahead of Sophia Flörsch (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), who had made her maiden ADAC Formula 4 podium appearance in the second race earlier on Sunday. Lirim Zendeli (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), reigning Best Rookie champion Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark, US Racing) and David Malukas (15, USA, Motopark) completed the Top Ten. Tom Beckhäuser (18, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) finished 17th and lifted the Best Rookie trophy.

Kim-Luis Schramm (20, Germany, US Racing) got off to a poor start behind pole-sitter Artem Petrov and had to let a large part of the field go past in the first few metres. Consequently, Petrov led initially from Vesti and Drugovich until the safety car was deployed at a relatively early stage. Julian Hanses (20, Germany, US Racing), who won the first race on Saturday, was forced to retire after colliding with Doureid Ghattas (15, Germany, Team Piro Sport Interdental). Ghattas, though, was able to continue.

The restart came after six minutes, with 21 still on the clock. Artem Petrov initially put in a strong defence of his lead. Drugovich behind him moved up into second place and immediately began to hunt down his Russian team-mate. The safety car came out again when Oliver Söderström (19, Sweden, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) was forced to retire.

The next restart took place with ten minutes still remaining, and Petrov again stayed out ahead. Drugovich, however, remained in contact with the race leader and overtook him seven minutes before the end. Having taken the lead, the Brazilian was not prepared to let victory slip from his grasp. Instead, he opened up a big gap and was ultimately able to celebrate a great success.