ADAC Formula 4 is one of the new FIA supported F4 championships that have started this year. Having already gained much attention, with the addition of a few young stars and respected teams. The championship which starts this weekend at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben and will include 8 rounds all supporting the ADAC GT Masters package.
An incredible 18 teams with up to 42 drivers could be competing on the grid, so drivers will have to perform if they want to stand out.
Engstler Motorsport – #38 Luca Engstler
Already an established name, the team, under the guidance of Franz Engstler, has competed in the World Touring Car Championship since 2005 and has been a feature in motor racing since 1996. The team has been more recently been focused on its youth team with Franz saying; “ADAC Formula 4 is exactly the right platform for young drivers, enabling them to put their talents to the test at a high level. Bringing on the next generation was the original idea behind the setting up of the Engstler Junior Team.”
HTP Junior Team – #27 Marvin Dienst / #28 Janneau Esmeijer
Having already set up in ADAC GT Masters, the team has experience of the tracks and the engineering. With the team offering the opportunity of career progression. “We can offer our Formula 4 drivers test drives in the Bentley Continental GT3 as the next step in their career progression, since we are a Bentley partner team in the ADAC GT Masters,” said Norbert Brückner.
With Dienst having competed in ADAC Formel Masters for the last 2 years with 4 wins, he’ll be one of the title favourites going into the year.
Jenzer Motorsport – #14 Moritz Müller-Crepon / #15 David Kolkmann / #16 Marek Böckmann / #17 Ricardo Feller
Arguably the team with one of the longest histories, they were set up by Andreas Jenzer in 1993, with experience in GP3 and the Italian Formula 4 championship. While Kolkmann has had experience in Formel Masters and will be looking to build upon a mediocre 2014 season.
Manager Andreas commented; “I’m very keen to return to German motor racing, and ADAC Formula 4 gives us as a team good reason to do just that, as it constitutes the best platform for young drivers starting a career in motor racing.”
Lechner Racing – #22 Florian Janits / #66 Marcel Lenerz
Both drivers competed in the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC season last year with Janitz coming third and Lenerz thirteenth. Janitz has returned to the team, meaning he will look to build upon his success in the year to come.
While the sports director, Robert Lechner said, “ADAC Formula 4 is currently by far and away the most attractive open-wheel series for young drivers, so it’s obvious that we would like to tackle this latest challenge with our team.”
Motopark – #7 Joel Eriksson / #8 Jannes Fittje / #9 Jonathan Cecotto / #10 Michael Waldherr
The team has a history of promoting young drivers to success such as Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen. But all eyes will be on the next Cecotto. Hoping to build on the success of his father and older brother his inclusion should raise the profile of the team. While Eriksson, younger brother of GP3 race winner Jimmy, is another left over from the Formel Masters Series.
This was backed up by team boss Timo Rumpfkeil, “The car provides a brilliant learning experience and trains drivers well for their subsequent roles in pro motor racing.”
Mücke Motorsport – #3 Benjamin Mazatis / #4 Robert Schwartzman / #5 David Beckmann / #6 Mike David Ortmann / #12 Thomas Preining
Having taken on more drivers than any other team the competition and expectation will be high. However; with all drivers having little to no experience in cars it is likely that this will be a year that the team simply learn the championship. However team boss, Peter Mücke backed the decision up by saying, “ADAC Formula 4 constitutes an important link between karting and single seater racing.” Hoping the championship will prepare the drivers for a future with good training.
Neuhauser Racing – #1 Kim-Luis Schramm / #2 Tim Zimmermann
“We decided to compete in the new ADAC Formula 4 after our success in Formel ADAC,” said team boss Hannes Neuhauser, who was confidence of their chances.
While the number one may be a pressure for some, Schramm goes into the season with two years Formel Masters experience collecting three podiums. Meanwhile Zimmermann remains at the team after coming third in the series. As a result, he goes into the season as the favourite and pressure will be on to perform at the start of a new generation of young talent.
Piro Sports – #13 Cedric Piro / #34 Toni Wolf / #35 Carrie Schreiner
Cedric remains at the team as a Formula Renault 1.6 NEC refugee. While Wolf and Schreiner come into the year with little experience. As a result, the team may not make as big an impact as they were hoping. While they have been around since 1996, the drivers championship may be out of reach. But they’re confident with their decision to enter “ADAC Formula 4 gives a good grounding for higher things in motor racing,” said team manager Erwin Piro.
Prema Powerteam – #32 Guanyu Zhou / #99 Ralf Aron
With the same two drivers entered for the team in the Italian Formula 4 championship, which they won last year, it’s going to be busy for the team with one of the richest histories in Europe. While Zhou has also got commitments as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
With Aron the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC runner up, he will be another championship favourite going into the year. Angelo Rosin, the team principal, said it “will allow our young drivers to complete their experience with their presence in a high level series.”
Provily Racing – #77 Job van Uitert
Gerben Provily, who set up the team in 2008, has not played up his expectations of the year. “We regard our first season in the ADAC Formula 4 as a learning year. We are aiming to take things step by step and do the best we can.” While, van Uitert, the young Netherlands born driver competed in the Dutch Mazda MX5 Cup last year and will also compete for the team in the Formula Renault 1.6 Euroseries this year.
Race Performance – #23 Alain Valente / #55 Marylin Niederhauser
Niederhauser joins the list of females entered in the series, with yet another all-Swiss team in a championship. Meanwhile Valente managed an impressive six podiums in Italian Formula 4 last year, being another star from that series.
The team will be run by Urs Meier and has much experience having competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the past five years.
RS Competition – #33 Jan Jønck / #44 Glenn Rupp
Having spent years as an established Danish based karting team they have decided to make the jump to cars. Team principle Robert Schlünssen justified this by saying, “In view of the growing ambition of our drivers, it is abundantly clear to me that we must take the next step with them,” So perhaps it’s unsurprising that they taken on two drivers inexperienced in cars as their rookie line up.
Team Scheider – #11 Leon Wippersteg / #46 Mauro Auricchio
Two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider continues with his junior packaging by entering the ADAC F4 championship. When asked why he made the move, he responded with; “ADAC Formula 4 is cost effective and provides a good framework. It affords me the perfect opportunity to work with my team and take the next step in promoting juniors,” While Auricchio will be hoping for a more successful time after the step up from Fórmula 3 Brasil.
SMG Swiss Motorsport – #18 Giorgio Maggi / #19 Mattia Drudi / #20 Nikolaj Rogivue
The team has hired 3 drivers, all with car racing experience to give them the best chance in the new series. Maggi has two years experience in Formel Masters, however; with a best result of 6th he’ll need a revolution in results.
While Druddi will be another early favourite after finishing as the runner up in the Italian Formula 4 championship and Rogivue has competed in a one off German Formula 3 race. The leadership comes from team boss Jörn Becker, who has worked mainly in Formula 1 for over eight years.
Van Amersfoort Racing – #25 Mick Schumacher / #26 Harrison Newey / #36 Joseph Mawson / #37 TBA
Without a doubt, the worlds eyes will be on one man. Schumacher has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, while the inclusion of Newey will just further gain media attention. Mick’s pre-season may have been defined by high speed crash, but he’ll make sure it doesn’t affect him as he makes the step amongst drivers with more experience and titles.
The team has yet to fill its fourth seat, but ahead of the season, team boss Frits van Amersfoort, seemed confident saying “All the key factors are in place: A good car in which to learn, reliable technology and strict rules so that costs remain manageable.”
Also competing for the season are 3 self-entered entries, #24 Robin Brezina, #21 Michelle Halder and #31 Yan Leon Shlom. The lack of team support may be an issue for them, but it does allow them more control which may benefit them in the championship.
The first round starts this weekend in Oschersleben. ADAC Formula 4 with the first practice starting on Friday, 9:00am local time.