Juri Vips (17, Estonia, Prema Powerteam) is the new ADAC Formula 4 champion. The Estonian finished third in the last race of the season at the Hockenheimring, which was enough to successfully defend his lead in the championship table from title rivals Marcus Armstrong (17, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam) and Felipe Drugovich (17, Brazil, Van Amersfoort Racing). Ultimately, newly crowned champion Vips and runner-up Armstrong were separated by just 4.5 points. Meanwhile, Drugovich finishes the campaign in third place by a margin of nine points.
“I’m feeling a lot of emotions at the moment, and of course, not all of them are positive,” commented Armstrong. “I so much wanted to win, and I also think that could have been the case today. It would have been possible to come away with the title. It’s so hard getting this close and yet not winning it.
“We had a big problem in qualifying, but for all that, we made the best of a very difficult situation,” Armstrong said. This compounded his ability for a top result in the first two races, finishing tenth in both.
“On the other hand, I have to be satisfied, because it was my first season and we have been very successful. As I see it, we were the fastest in the whole field, even if we had problems this weekend. Unfortunately, we don’t have the trophy that would have been well deserved.”
Juri Vips has become the third driver in ADAC Formula 4 history to secure the championship title. Joey Mawson (21, Australia, Van Amersfoort Racing) won last year and Marvin Dienst (20, Germany) the year before that.
Russia’s Artem Petrov (17, Van Amersfoort Racing) came home ahead of Armstrong and Vips on the day to claim a maiden ADAC Formula 4 win. Felipe Drugovich, who started the race from P10 on the grid, had to settle for fifth place despite going on a strong charge. Mick Wishofer (17, Austria, Lechner Racing) was not only Best Rookie again but also scored a point in the general classification by finishing tenth.
The last race of the year was a microcosm of the whole season: thrills galore, fiercely contested and with many twists and turns before the final outcome. Initially, pole-sitter Marcus Armstrong successfully defended his pole position. Juri Vips, who had started from third on the grid, went straight past Cedric Piro into second. But while the two championship contenders in the Prema squad were locked in battle, Piro took advantage of the situation to move into the lead. Petrov also overtook Juri Vips, who suddenly found himself back in fourth. Meanwhile, at the front, Cedric Piro’s lead was gradually being cut back and his pursuers, Armstrong and Petrov, were getting closer and closer.
But when Armstrong launched into an overtaking attempt, Russia’s Petrov went past the New Zealander and previous race leader Piro on the outside. From that point on, he was determined not to let this chance of a debut win slip from his grasp. Petrov gradually built up a gap, and it was several more laps before Armstrong managed to get past Piro, by which stage it was too late to challenge the Russian. Not long after, Juri Vips overtook Piro and steered his car over the line in third.