Laaksonen Holds Off Schumacher to Claim Maiden ADAC F4 Win


ADAC Formel 4 - 5. Event 2016 - Red Bull Ring, AUT - Foto: Gruppe C

Motopark and their driver Simo Laaksonen achieved their first win of the year around the Red Bull Ring. The reverse grid ADAC Formula 4 Championship race saw the Finn start on pole, defending his line over the 30 minutes.

Away from the start, all cars made it through the first corners safely. Laaksonen and second place Michael Waldherr originally broke away, with the battle continuing behind. A strong start from Mick Schumacher saw him go four wide with Felipe Drugovich, Nicklas Neilsen and Mike Ortmann into turn three.

As the second lap got underway, Schumacher found himself under pressure from Ortmann. A mistake for Waldherr dropped him back to third. A queue of cars soon battled for the final podium place with Schumacher breaking away in second.

Laaksonen kept the lead as Waldherr eventually worked his way into third. Behind them, Waldherr now found himself holding off Joey Mawson and Nicklas Neilsen. The action was cut short though with Kim-Luis Schramm‘s stricken car bringing out the safety car.

As the race was restarted, Laaksonen worked on rebuilding his lead over the opposition. Mawson was quick to get up to speed and was quickly into fourth as the field tussled behind. Ortmann managed to keep up with Schumacher, but the racing was again brought to a halt.

Another safety car was soon deployed as Yannik Brandt was caught in a sandwich, breaking his suspension, into turn one.

Laaksonen once again lead the field away, but this time did not drop Schumacher as easily. Meanwhile Mawson attacked Ortmann, but in both cases, the leader kept the position.

Schumacher was optimistic and forced his way to the outside of turn two. He ran wide allowing Ortmann to close in, as Mawson fell into the clutches of Waldherr and Neilsen. The incident gave the Finn some breathing space, though Schumacher later caught up.

With five minutes to go, it became a four way battle as Laaksonen continued his rugged defence. Mawson was pushed to the pit wall but kept his foot in and took third with Ortmann running wide into turn one, dropping him to fifth.

Despite Schumacher’s attacks, Laaksonen held on to take his maiden victory as Mawson completed the podium. Neilsen crossed the line fourth from Ortmann and Juri Vips. Rounding out the top eight was the struggling Waldherr and Leonard Hoogenboom, who put in another strong performance.