Joey Mawson became the 2016 ADAC Formula 4 Champion after winning the opening race at Hockenheim. A disaster for rival Mick Schumacher on the final lap put it beyond his reach as Mawson took the flag for full honours.
The race was preceded by the news that Schumacher would start from twenty-third. The German driver had been one of six drivers disqualified from qualifying and won the preceding qualifying race to give himself the best chance at maintaining his title hopes.
Championship leader Mawson started second and diced with Juri Vips on the opening lap. This allowed pole sitter Mike David Ortmann to maintain his lead briefly before Mawson caught up. As for Schumacher, he was ninth after two laps. His parade through the field continued, chasing an unlikely podium.
Mawson wasn’t slouching either and with two-thirds of the race remaining, held on around the outside of the hairpin to take the lead from Ortmann into the Mercedes Arena. At the same time, the final podium place was being fought between the rookies of Vips and Lirim Zendeli.
For Schumacher, overtaking Kami Laliberte proved to be trickier than most with the Van Amersfoort Racing driver swapping fifth and sixth. The German eventually edged Laliberte to the inside of the track, onto the grass, securing the place.
It wasn’t going perfectly for everyone though. Australian Formula 4 championship contender, Jordan Love was forced to pull off after a severe puncture, ending his debut race. Meanwhile, a mistake on track dropped Laliberte to eighth behind Thomas Preining and Job van Uitert.
The rain arrived with two minutes to go and a battle between Vips, Zendeli and Schumacher for third resulted in Schumacher running wide at turn one. He kept his foot in and barreled back onto track almost collecting Preining, who took the position.
Nothing could stop Mawson though. The Australian cruised to victory and thanks to Schumacher’s mistake, took the 2016 ADAC Formula 4 championship. He would celebrate with a Shooey and was joined on the podium by Ortmann and rookie winner Vips.
Zendeli was forced to settle for fourth as Preining inherited fifth on the final lap after Schumacher’s mistake. Van Uitert would come home seventh, a year after his spectacular crash, with Laliberte behind. Rounding out the top ten was Simo Laaksonen and Kim-Luis Schramm who recovered from his half stall at the start.