Sachsenring brings podium to Artem

Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich (17, Van Amersfoort Racing) triumphed in the 18th round of the 2017 ADAC Formula 4 at the Sachsenring and is back in contention for the title after claiming a fifth victory of the season. The 17-year-old took the win ahead of Artem Petrov (17, Russia, Van Amersfoort Racing) and Frederik Vesti (15, Denmark, Van Amersfoort Racing) and is now third in the standings. He goes into the season finale next weekend at Hockenheim with a deficit of 21.5 points on championship leader Marcus Armstrong (17, New Zealand, Prema Powerteam). Armstrong’s team-mate Juri Vips (17, Estonia) is ranked second, 1.5 points behind the New Zealander.

“I’m very happy, because I was able to do some good overtaking and to drive at a consistent pace,” said Felipe Drugovich, who has now notched up as many victories as Armstrong and Vips combined. “I was totally focused on this race after the disappointment of the morning, and fortunately that turned out well. Everything is still possible in the championship. It won’t be easy, but the three races have to be driven first.”

Juri Vips came in fourth behind the Van Amersfoort trio of Drugovich, Petrov and Vesti, while Fabio Scherer (18, Switzerland, US Racing) rounded off a strong weekend at the Sachsenring with fifth place. Next across the line in P6 was Armstrong ahead of Sophia Flörsch (16, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), who had made her maiden ADAC Formula 4 podium appearance in the second race earlier on Sunday. Lirim Zendeli (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), reigning Best Rookie champion Nicklas Nielsen (20, Denmark, US Racing) and David Malukas (15, USA, Motopark) completed the Top Ten. Tom Beckhäuser (18, Czech Republic, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) finished 17th and lifted the Best Rookie trophy.

Kim-Luis Schramm (20, Germany, US Racing) got off to a poor start behind pole-sitter Artem Petrov and had to let a large part of the field go past in the first few metres. Consequently, Petrov led initially from Vesti and Drugovich until the safety car was deployed at a relatively early stage. Julian Hanses (20, Germany, US Racing), who won the first race on Saturday, was forced to retire after colliding with Doureid Ghattas (15, Germany, Team Piro Sport Interdental). Ghattas, though, was able to continue.

The restart came after six minutes, with 21 still on the clock. Artem Petrov initially put in a strong defence of his lead. Drugovich behind him moved up into second place and immediately began to hunt down his Russian team-mate. The safety car came out again when Oliver Söderström (19, Sweden, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) was forced to retire.

Artem Petrov (second, Van Amersfoort Racing): “This race weekend was hard work for me because it was the first time I have driven on the Sachsenring. The only tests I have done with Van Amersfoort were at Hockenheim, and I liked the car immediately. The race today wasn’t all that tough. I’m very happy for Felipe. This win is very good for the team and for our championship hopes. I myself could have done better, but I made a few mistakes. The ADAC Formula 4 is more challenging than the Italian Formula 4 series. I am pleased to be competing in the races here in Germany.”

The next restart took place with ten minutes still remaining, and Petrov again stayed out ahead. Drugovich, however, remained in contact with the race leader and overtook him seven minutes before the end. Having taken the lead, the Brazilian was not prepared to let victory slip from his grasp. Instead, he opened up a big gap and was ultimately able to celebrate a great success.

source: ADAC F4

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