ADAC Formula 4 championship leader Lirim Zendeli has set his eyes on the prospect on racing in Formula 1 in the near future.
The German born driver is in his third year of racing in the German series, leading this year’s championship by winning six of the twelve races and is now 24 points ahead of second place driver, Liam Lawson.
As the series heads into the halfway stage at the Hockenheimring next week, where it’ll be a support race for the German Grand Prix for Formula 1, Zendeli hopes one day he’ll race within the pinnacle of motorsport.
Reflecting on how he gained the interest of motorsport, Zendeli said it started with his father at a young age.
“My dad always used to watch Formula 1, and I would watch with him, even though I didn’t understand very much. I get my love of cars from my dad.” said Zendeli.
“Whenever I used to see nice, loud cars, I would break out in smiles. I’ve always enjoyed driving. When I was ten, I would sit on my dad’s lap at the wheel of his car in our small village and steer. That used to be a real treat for me.”
With the German leading the way and heading to the next round as part of F1’s support package, Zendeli admits that the dream would be to race in F1 one day as a professional driver.
“The dream is Formula 1, really. My goal is to become a professional racing driver, but I won’t give up even if it doesn’t work out with Formula 1.” Zendeli continued.
“I want to earn my living through motor sport. As far as I’m concerned, it’s important that I spend my life in motor racing.
“Michael Schumacher has been one of my role models all through my career, but there’s someone else that I also look up to, who is still in Formula 1, and that’s Lewis Hamilton. They both inspire me.”
As Zendeli leads the championship in his third year in the series and with European FIA Formula 3 & GP3 Series set to merge together next year, Zendeli says he will be racing in Formula 3 next year to help his bid to race in F1 in the future.
“I will definitely be in Formula 3 next year, but first, I want to become champion in the ADAC Formula 4, which should open a few doors, hopefully.
“And maybe then, I’ll be able to follow the normal route into Formula 1 via Formula 3 and Formula 2.”
Zendeli will return to the German circuit, having won here twice at the beginning of the season in his pursuit of the championship. The eighteen year says whilst he can’t wrap the series up just yet, he aims to extend it and push to get the job down at the Nürburgring.
“Hockenheim is a great race track and really suits me, actually. I’ll have to give it 100 percent again in order to be as successful as I was at the first Hockenheim race weekend when I took two wins and a third place.
I can’t wrap things up in the championship just yet. It’s too early to call, but I’ll try to extend my lead and then get the job done at the Nürburgring in early August on my home track.”