Here's the recap of a weekend packed with action in German, Spanish and British Formula 4 championships.
GERMAN FORMULA 4
BEARMAN TRIUMPHS ON SATURDAY IN HOCKENHEIM
Oliver Bearman from the Van Amersfoort Racing team won the opening ADAC Formula 4 race at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. The 16-year-old Brit led from start to finish to take a commanding victory at the 4.574-kilometre high-speed circuit near Heidelberg. In doing so, he claimed his fifth victory in seven races so far this season, and added a further 25 points to his tally in the championship. Irish rookie Alex Dunne (15, US Racing) finished runner-up, 1.706 seconds behind Bearman. Rounding off the podium in third place was Luke Browning (19, Great Britain, US Racing). Bearman started strongly from pole position and had already established a lead of one and a half seconds by the end of the opening lap. Behind him, three US Racing drivers were embroiled in a thrilling early exchange. Dunne, who had skidded into a gravel bed on the formation lap, took his opportunity and set off in pursuit of Bearman from second place. Browning and ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Tim Tramnitz (16, Hamburg, US Racing) went toe-to-toe in a determined battle for third place. The drivers in the leading group produced flawless performances in the final third of the race, each maintaining their position through to the finish. Bearman, Dunne, Browning and Tramnitz were followed home in fifth place by Vlad Lomko (16, Russia, US Racing). Sixth place went to Frenchman Victor Bernier (17, R-ace GP), ahead of Russia’s Nikita Bedrin (15, Van Amersfoort Pilot) in seventh. Marcus Amand (15, France, R-ace GP) was eighth. Hungarian Bence Valint (16, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Switzerland’s Michael Sauter (16, Sauter Engineering+Design) came home ninth and tenth. Hamburg’s Tramnitz set the fastest lap time of 1:42.239 minutes. The rookie competition was won by Dunne, ahead of Dedrin and Amand. “It is absolutely great to have won the first race here. Particularly after I claimed my very first race win in a single-seater here last year. I returned to the circuit with very fond memories,” said Bearman after his fifth win of the season. “The race may have looked easy from the outside, but the three guys behind me put me under a lot of pressure. Alex Dunne, in particular, had good pace in the first half of the race. However, he never got close enough and in the end I did a good job of keeping him at bay. I hope I can do the same again tomorrow.”
Bearman is refusing to be drawn into thoughts of winning the title with races to spare. “It is a long race, a long championship.” The 16-year-old’s initial focus is on race two on Sunday, which he starts from behind pole-sitter Tim Tramnitz: “I made a good start. I would like to repeat that. Tim, on the other hand, had a poor start. If he would like to do the same thing again, it would benefit me,” said Bearman, who expects it, “to be a really good race.”
TRAMNITZ AND BEDRIN WIN THE SUNDAY RACES IN HOCKENHEIM
Hockenheim. The first wins of the season for US Racing driver Tim Tramnitz (16) and Nikita Bedrin (15, Van Amersfoort Racing) from Russia took centre stage in ADAC Formula 4 on Sunday at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. In the first race of the day, late in the morning, it was Hamburg’s Tramnitz who converted pole position to take victory. The German national anthem was then played to honour the winner for the first time this season. “I am mega happy. My start was not so good, but the car then felt very good,” said a happy Tramnitz. The US Racing team, run by Gerhard Ungar and former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, also celebrated a further two podium results. ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Tramnitz was joined on the podium by his team-mates Alex Dunne (15, Ireland) and Luke Browning (19, Great Britain) in second and third place respectively. Reverse grid and plenty of excitement in the afternoon: in the third and final race of the weekend, the top eight from race two lined up in reverse order. On the front row, Bence Valint (16, Hungary, Van Amersfoort Racing) started from pole position, alongside Bedrin. Valint made a poor start and was down in ninth place by the time he completed the opening lap. Dunne was also unfortunate and was forced to retire from the race. At the head of the field, Bedrin assumed the lead ahead of the faststarting Oliver Bearman (16, Great Britain, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Vlad Lomko (16, Russia, US Racing). What ensued was an exciting race with a number of overtakes. In the end, rookie Bedrin took victory ahead of Bearman and Lomko, who also set the fastest lap of the race (1:42.697 minutes). “I am very happy with the result. It was a tough race. In the end, I was lacking a little bit of speed, but I was able to defend my lead,” said Bedrin. Fourth place went to Tramnitz, ahead of Victor Bernier (17, France, R-ace GP) in fifth. Browning, Valint and Joshua Dufek (16, Switzerland, Van Amersfoort Racing) came home sixth, seventh and eighth.
At the halfway point in the ADAC Formula 4 season, Van Amersfoort Racing driver Bearman holds a commanding lead in the overall standings with 167 points to his name. “I am obviously pleased to be leading at the midway point of the season, but there is still a long way to go. We must continue to get good results, in order to come out on top in the end,” said Bearman. His closest rival is now Tramnitz (118 points), who took advantage of the absence of Prema Powerteam drivers Sebastian Montoya (16, Columbia) and Kirill Smal (16, Russia). In the rookie competition, Bedrin (186 points) defended his lead. Van Amersfoort Racing leads the Team competition, ahead of US Racing. The next race weekend in the ADAC Formula 4 takes place from 1st to 3rd October at the
SPANISH FORMULA 4
SEBASTIAN OGAARD WINS THE FIRST RACE IN VALENCIA
The Danish Campos Racing driver took his first win of the weekend with a ten second margin over the second placed driver. Dilano Van’t Hoff and Dani Maciá out of the points after an incident.
Sebastian Ogaard took his third win of the season in the first race at Ricardo Tormo this weekend. After his double victory in Portimao, the second in the championship has cut 25 points in this race to his closest rival, Dilano Van’t Hoff, who was involved in an incident in the early stages of the race.
The Dutch MP Motorsport driver was fighting with Daniel Maciá for second place on the podium when, with more than fifteen minutes left in the race, the Dutchman’s front wing hit the Formula Champions driver’s right rear wheel. An incident which forced both drivers to a pit stop after which they were unable to get close to the points.
This situation allowed Campos Racing to put both drivers in the top of the standings. Pepe Martí, who started from fifth position, took advantage of Ryabov’s bad start and the incident between Van’t Hoff and Maciá to take second place, which he would defend until the end of the race from Quique Bordas’ attacks.
The Formula of Champions driver put pressure on Pepe Martí during the second half of the race, however, he was unable to overtake the Spaniard. In this way, Campos Racing, with its fifth win this season, is the only team with more victories in 2021, being MP Motorsport, with six, the only team with more wins this year 2021.
Third place, despite crossing the finish line in fourth, went to Marsim Arkhangelskii. The Russian Drivex driver scored his first podium of the season after the two-second penalty imposed on Quique Bordas at the end of the race, who lost two positions and was relegated to fifth.
DILANO VAN’T HOFF AND SEBASTIAN OGAARD WON THE SECOND DAY OF COMPETITION
The Dutch MP Motorsport driver won the short race while Ogaard won the second long race of the weekend.
The championship leader took his sixth victory of the season on Sunday at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia. After his incident on the first day of the race with Daniel Maciá, where he was relegated to the back of the grid after being forced to make a pit stop to change his front wing, the Dutchman managed to climb to the top of the podium despite crossing the finish line in second place.
A penalty imposed on Daniel Maciá at the end of the race relegated the Spanish Formula of Champions driver to the second step of the podium, allowing Dilano Van’t Hoff to take his first win in a short race this season. Similarly, Vladislav Ryabov, who took the chequered flag in third, was also penalised in the closing stages of the race. This situation allowed Rik Koen, who would have finished fourth, to move up to third place and take his second podium this season.
In the third race, as in the first, it was Sebastian Ogaard’s turn. Although the Danish rider did not win by the ten-second margin with which he took his first victory, this victory gives him his second double this season after the one in Portimao. Van’t Hoff finished second, having battled for much of the race with Ogaard. The championship leader, who again started from pole position, made a mistake at the start and was relegated to eighth position, from where he managed to recover to within a few tenths of a second of Ogaard at the finish line.
Third place in the second race on Sunday went to Filip Jenic. The Serbian Teo Martin Motorsport driver led for most of the race, but an incident with Alejandro Garcia on the main straight brought the safety car out and compacted the field. After having tried to distance himself from his closest pursuers in the opening laps, Jenic’s tyres could not withstand the pressure from Ogaard and Van’t Hoff, who overtook him with seconds to go.
After the third round of the championship Dilano Van’t Hoff remains the leader of the drivers’ and rookies’ championship while MP Motorsport continues to lead the team championship. The next round of the championship will be held in Jerez on October 2nd and 3rd.
BRITISH FORMULA 4
MCKENZY CRESSWELL MADE THE HEADLINES WITH A BRACE OF LIGHTS-TO-FLAG VICTORIES AT YORK
- Cresswell takes brace of lights-to-flag triumphs in North Yorkshire.
- Bolger defends valiantly to seal maiden win in action-packed reverse grid race.
- Zagazeta leapfrogs Rees at championship summit, Fortec out front in Teams Cup.
- Series heads next to Silverstone, Northants this coming weekend (25-26 September).
The JHR Developments racer was the class of the field in qualifying to take his second and third pole positions of the season respectively, and on both occasions fended off a first-corner challenge into Clervaux before bolting clear at the front.
The first saw him go wheel-to-wheel with JHR team-mate and erstwhile championship leader Matthew Rees, then in Sunday’s ITV4-televised finale it was the turn of Matias Zagazeta (Phinsys by Argenti) to attempt the same move around the outside into the first corner.
On both occasions, Cresswell emerged ahead, before capitalising on a hard-fought battle behind to stretch his lead, taking the chequered flag 3.8 and 4.6 seconds clear respectively.
His victories propel him back into the thick of the title battle with nine rounds still to run, the 15-year-old now third behind Rees and new leader Zagazeta, the Peruvian bagging a strong haul of points – plus a podium finish – to annex top spot at the summit by 5 points.
Cresswell sits a further 15 markers back, with another podium finish for Joel Granfors (Fortec) promoting him to fourth past James Hedley (Carlin), and just three points shy of the top three in the standings.
Cresswell’s visits to the winner’s circle book-ended a maiden victory for Carlin’s Dougie Bolger, the Japanese racer emerging victorious from a thrilling reverse grid contest in the evening sunshine on Saturday.
Bolger started from pole and survived a three-wide battle into Clervaux that wiped out Arden’s David Morales and left his team-mate Georgi Dimitrov at the back but came under increasing pressure late on from team-mate Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak.
Inthraphuvasak, who had secured second past Kai Askey (Carlin) with a bold dive to the inside at Tower the lap prior, attempted the same move on Bolger, but the latter held firm to take the flag a mere 0.4 seconds to wrap up his first win, and a 1-2 finish for the Farnham-based team.
That race also heralded a welcome return to the rostrum for Phinsys by Argenti’s Marcos Flack, the Australian making a late move on Askey to pick up his first silverware since Snetterton in June.
And a strong weekend for Michael Meadows’ outfit was rounded out nicely with a maiden podium finish for Aiden Neate, the 15-year-old taking third in the final race after keeping Zagazeta honest for the runner-up spot in the closing laps.
In the Rookie Cup, Rees remains out front by 40 points from Cresswell, who jumps back ahead of Ollie Gray (Fortec) into second spot, and Gray’s Fortec Motorsport team retain their Teams Cup advantage by a reduced 55-point margin over JHR Developments.
After a quick-fire turnaround, British F4 will be back in action at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, this weekend (25-26 September).