With 38 drivers announced for the upcoming season, ADAC Formula 4 headed to Oschersleben for two days of pre-season tests ahead of the 2016 season. Mick Schumacher, son of seven time Formula 1 world champion, Michael, ended the tests as the fastest driver with a time of 1:26.492.
After an enthralling 2015 season, a number of drivers have returned to the series, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen our fair share of rookies join the grid, with 20 so far announced for the upcoming season.
The first day ended with an experienced name at the head of the pack, Kim-Luis Schramm, who has moved to US Racing for 2016. He completed the day with a time of 1:26:806, only six hundreths of a second quicker than second place Mike Ortmann.
Ortmann proved to be one of the most consistent runners, improving his time and finishing the second day in third overall. After winning the rookie title in 2015, the young German will be hoping to claim the main honours, returning to the Mucke Motorsport team. Behind him, rookie Nicklas Nielsen was third quickest on Monday.
“I’m super happy. I’d not really expected it. The car was great, the team worked brilliantly well,” Ortmann said. “We had two good test days. It definitely gave me a huge boost of motivation.”
The second day saw Schramm drop slightly down the order, but it was his US Racing team mate; Jannes Fittje who took the initiative, setting a best time of 1:26.521, three hundreths behind the best time of the day.
Despite the fields best efforts it was Schumacher who topped the morning and afternoon sessions, beating Schramm’s time from the day before and setting the benchmark for the upcoming season. Oschersleben proved to be Schumacher’s most successful circuit last season, with the Prema Powerteam driver picking up his solitary win there. As a result, it’s yet unproven whether he can keep up his performance at weaker circuits.
Speaking after the tests, Schumacher said; “We’re fairly pleased with what we’ve accomplished over the final two days of testing before the season starts – although you can never be completely satisfied. To be honest, though, it’s high time we got started, so that we can actually see where we stand. I’m looking forward to the first race at Oschersleben.”
Schumacher had ended day one as fifth fastest and will be determined to keep up his momentum with the first round at Oschersleben starting in under 10 days, the weekend of April 16 / 17.