Ortmann and Mawson Secure Poles as Schumacher Struggles

ADAC Formel 4 - 19. + 21. Lauf 2016 - Zandvoort, NL - Foto: Gruppe C

A second pole position of the season for Mike David Ortmann puts him in prime position to disrupt the ADAC Formula 4 championship battle. He’ll be joined by Joey Mawson on the front row of the Hockenheim grid, with the Australian also taking pole for race two.

Group A

The first group session begun with experienced Dutch driver Janneau Esmeijer leading the way. The benchmark would continue to drop as qualifying went on, while Schumacher’s team manager was called to race control.

Both the championship leader and the rookie leader failed to set a competitive lap in the first half, though Mawson would go second with ten minutes to run. In front of him was Thomas Preining, the Austrian has been only the fourth driver this season to collect more than one win and set himself up for a run at pole.

As Group A counted down, Mawson found his way to the top, demoting Preining. Behind them, Leonard Hoogenboom was hoping to end the season on a strong note. A late lap from Juri Vips saw him jump up to second, pushing down Preining and Hoogenboom.

Having been anonymous for most of the session, a late surge from Jannes Fittje allowed him claim fifth. While behind him was rookie championship leader Nicklas Nielsen, the only driver to have pitted twice in the session.

Group B

Ortmann was first out of the pits and was straight to the top of the standings. The order would fluctuate throughout the session but all eyes were on Mick Schumacher.

The Prema Powerteam driver had started the session well, temporarily moving up to second place. As the time counted down so did his position. Coming from behind in the championship was never going to be easy and Schumacher eventually finished the group in fourth.

As it turned out, best-of-the-rest driver Ortmann remained quickest and even beat Mawson’s time from Group A ensuring he starts on pole. This also puts his group on the clean side of the grid as Kim-Luis Schramm was second in Group B.

Another impressive qualifying from rookie Lirim Zendeli saw him collect third, one hundredths of a second ahead of Schumacher behind. Kami Laliberte, who won the last race in Zandvoort qualified fifth, while Felipe Drugovich will lead the sixth row.