Eriksson Extends Title Lead with Victory

Another great race from Joel Eriksson saw him run away from the rest of the field despite having his lead cut by two safety cars. He won the first race of the weekend at Spa-Francochamps, extending his lead in the ADAC Formula 4 championship.

Eriksson lined up on pole position after a mixed weather qualifying session. He was joined on the front row by Robert Schwartzman who continued his excellent qualifying form from Austria. The field had a clean start with no collisions throughout the 38 strong grid, but half way round the first lap, Jonathon Cecotto collected Marvin Dienst, ruining both of their races.

Eriksson continued to build his lead, managing to pull out a 2 second gap after only one lap. Further back in the field the Mucke Motorsport drivers of Mike Ortmann and Benjamin Mazatis collided, damaging their cars and prospects.

It wasn’t long before we had our first safety car with Cedric Piro edging Nikolaj Rogivue into the wall between turn one and turn two. The race was suspended for three laps with the leader having lost his advantage. When the race was restarted with 20 minutes to go, Eriksson was now forced to hold off Guan Yu Zhou who had taken Schwartzman.

But Schwartzman wasn’t going to be able to fight back. A poor restart saw him fight Ralf Aron behind. This wasn’t the only battle, as the battle for fifth intensified between Janneau Esmeijer who tried and failed to hold off Lando Norris in his first ADAC F4 race and race winner, Joey Mawson.

After getting past, Norris caught up to Aron in fourth, managing to take the place just before the second safety car came out. It was caused by Harrison Newey, who had been running ninth, spun and had his extinguisher go off, forcing him to retire just off the track.

The retirement bunched the field up once again with the battle for tenth intensifying. The position would mean pole for the reversed grid final race.

Mick Schumacher was the car in front at first, but after a battle with Marek Bockmann it was Michael Waldherr with the advantage across the line as Schumacher fell back to fifteenth by the chequered flag.

Eriksson won the race comfortably ahead of Zhou with Schwartzman holding off Norris for the final podium place. Behind in fifth was Mawson who beat Aron, David Beckmann, Esmeijer, Giorgio Maggi and Waldherr rounding out the top ten.