Austrian team Neuhauser Racing have confirmed that they will run Andreas Estner and experienced German racer Michael Waldherr ahead of the 2017 ADAC Formula 4 Championship. This will be Estner’s second season, while Waldherr, now 20, will enter his third year in F4.
2016 proved to be a learning year for Estner who struggled to make it into the points, a personal best result of seventeenth the best he could manage. The 16-year-old will be hoping for a better season as he looks to gain a foothold in the series.
“The main focus when training juniors is on creating a harmonious relationship between team and driver.” said Team Principal Hannes Neuhauser. “Do driver and team work well together – does the driver have faith in his team? That’s very important. If the driver doesn’t have any faith in the team, then you can forget it!”
On the other hand, Waldherr will potentially be looking to challenge for the championship. He finished third in the BMW Talent Cup in 2013 and was the highest placed ADAC F4 driver without a podium in 2015, showing great consistency. Last year proved to be a disaster, but could be fighting towards the front as he enters the year as the series elder statesmen.
“The fact that as a small Austrian team, we consistently finish ahead of the big boys shows that we’re doing an excellent job. We’ve no need to hide, all things considered,” continued 32-year-old Neuhauser. “We all realise that winning the championship title is going to be tough, but we certainly intend to be a bit of a thorn in the side of the guys up front.”
Elsewhere, Lirim Zendeli will make his return to the category after a year learning the car and circuits. He finished fifth in the rookie standings last year, with five rookie wins and one overall podium. He’ll drive alongside Oliver Söderström who only scored on one occasion last year.
Both will return to the BWT Mucke Motorsport team, who recently announced a change in car colour along with the signing of Sophia Florsch. Zendeli’s addition means that the top six rookies will all return for a shot at the overall title.
The 2016 rookie champion, Nicklas Nielsen along with Felipe Drugovich are two of the others that will return to the series this year, albeit at other teams. Neuhauser believes they could be tough competition to beat.
“I think they will both be front-runners, as will the drivers from Prema and Van Amersfoort. I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I hope we managed to help them last year and that they can put into practice what they learned from us.”