Austrian driver Thomas Preining tops ADAC Formula 4 Qualifying after Group B was forced to set their times in wet conditions thus gifting the Group A leader the overall pole. It’s the first time he’s had a front row start this season beating Joey Mawson, pole sitter for race two, by 0.051 seconds.
The first session started in fine conditions as the drivers funnelled out of the pit lane. All eyes were on Mawson, as the championship leader. The Australian had been the pole sitter around the circuit earlier in the year and needed to impress.
Mawson suffered his worse weekend of the season at the Lausitzring and after topping second practice it was a surprise to many that Preining put in a stunning lap to push the van Amersfoort Racing driver down to second in the group.
Those two proved to be the only drivers to break into the 1 minute 26 second range, as Kim-Luis Schramm, who’d topped the first practice only managed sixth in Group A.
The heavens opened as the drivers geared up for Group B. Knowing that it was impossible to claim pole position, the field set about beating each other for the inside of the grid. In the end, it was Mick Schumacher who claimed the overall lead, racing onto the front row and putting himself ahead of championship rival; Mawson.
Once again though, it was Simo Laaksonen who gave Schumacher the biggest headache, missing out by three hundredths of a second and as a result ended the session in second overall.
This means the grid for the first race will see Preining line up alongside Schumacher, with Mawson and Laaksonen behind. The third row saw strong respective qualifying times from Felipe Drugovich and Jonathan Aberdein.
The second race will see Mawson on pole as his second best time was quicker than Preining’s, who will line up third behind Schumacher and ahead of fourth placed Laaksonen. Despite a poor session, championship contender Mike Ortmann lines up sixth behind rookie Lirim Zendeli.
“My first lap wasn’t all that good, as I made a couple of errors,” said Preining. “But on the second lap, everything went just right, and fortunately that was good enough. I wouldn’t say that we were in need of a lucky break, because it was down to our own efforts that we are right up there at the front. We can be proud of that as a team.”
Race one will take place at 17:20 Local Time at the Oschersleben circuit.