Schumacher Rounds Out Season on a High at Hockenheim

ADAC Formel 4 - 21. + 24. Lauf 2016 - Hockenheim, GER - Foto: Gruppe C

The final round of the ADAC Formula 4 season was won by Mick Schumacher. The Prema Powerteam driver had started fifth, but made the most of two safety cars to claim victory around Hockenheim.

As the lights went out, pole sitter Kim-Luis Schramm pulled slightly in front, making a better getaway than his shambled stall in race two. Sadly for him, the lead didn’t last long. Kami Laliberte, who had started in third, was challenging for the lead by the hairpin.

Laliberte held on around the outside to take the lead, demoting the US Racing driver. Behind them a similar tussle saw Mick Schumacher win third off Simo Laaksonen. The entire field made it safely through the first laps as the grid spread out.

While he may have collected the championship, Joey Mawson‘s season ended in less fashionable style; in the gravel. Having secured the title, the Australian was running around at the lower end of the points until Lirim Zendeli hit him into turn two breaking his suspension.

The crash had brought out the safety car, bunching the drivers up. The restart wasn’t clean for all competitors, as Thomas Preining lost his fifth place dropping down the order. Elsewhere Schumacher made a way past Schramm.

Another crash, between Robin Brezina and Oliver Soderstrom, put them both out the race and brought out the safety car again. In getting out the car, Brezina ran towards Soderstrom’s car. The Swede quickly jumped out and defensively ran towards the barrier, Brezina slowed to a walk soon afterwards, still visibly upset. Whether Brezina meant anything cynical by his actions are up to interpretation.

As the race restarted for the final time, Schumacher was on the hunt and overtook Laliberte in the dying stages to win his fourth race of the season from the Canadian. Issues for Laaksonen in the final few laps forced him to retire as Juri Vips inherited third place.

A poor restart from Schramm had once again cost him, as the German was forced to settle for fourth, ahead of Preining. A solid if unspectacular race saw Job van Uitert claim yet more points with a sixth place finish. It was his best result of the season and pushes him into the top twenty in the overall standings.

Rounding out the top eight were Mike David Ortmann and Nicklas Nielsen. Despite an up and down season, Nielsen will be pleased to have collected a points finish even if the rookie title was less likely.