In an unexpected turn of events, a surprise drive from Fabio Scherer saw him recover from a bad start to take the lead and eventually win his first ever ADAC Formula 4 race. The mixed track conditions caught out a number of drivers but a smart decision to run on dry tyres saw the 16 year old scythe his way through the field late on.
Dark skies greeted the field as the track was visibly damp in some places. While some series may have chose to start normally, ADAC, perhaps off the back of the Italian Formula 4 Championship last week, chose to start the race under safety car. The move was intended to reduce chaos into the first few corners and allow the drivers time to warm up.
After failing to qualify for the first two races, a few withdrawals meant that Marylin Niederhauser was permitted to start from the back, though this didn’t last long as she spun while under safety car, only to beach herself in the gravel as she attempted to rejoin.
On the third lap, reverse grid pole sitter Leonard Hoogenboom was released with second place Mike Ortmann quickly disposing of the Dutch driver. Although he attempted to stay near the front, the conditions proved too much for Hoogenboom, eventually finishing the race outside the top ten.
The safety car would soon return to the track leaving the usual suspects at the top. By now Ortmann was holding off Kim-Luis Schramm and Joey Mawson. Though, the restart proved to be less fruitful for the Australian as he dropped behind Mick Schumacher before pitting with front wing damage.
With Mawson out of the picture, it was a perfect opportunity for Schumacher to capitalise, however it didn’t last long as he too fell victim to the conditions, dropping a few places. On dry tyres, Jannes Fittje and Scherer took full advantage as they continued to slice their way through the field.
They soon made their way past Lirim Zendeli before Scherer became the lead dry tyre runner. With one lap to go, Scherer took the lead from long time front runner Ortmann. Fittje would later follow him through as the Jenzer Motorsport driver won by over three seconds.
Scherer was delighted with his first win as Fittje and Ortmann joined him on the podium. Schramm, Zendeli and Schumacher rounded out the top six, with Mick moving to within three points of Mawson, who could only recover to twenty third. Behind them, Felipe Drugovich and Thomas Preining, who’d briefly held third place, rounded out the top eight.
Leaving the Laustizring, Mawson still leads the championship with 152 points, three in front of Schumacher, as third place Ortmann finishes on a round 100. On 98 sits Fittje, with Schramm just three points behind that.