The German motorsport federation’s scheme of sending young drivers to the French Formula 4 championship will run for a second year.
Following the demise of Germany’s own F4 championship at the end of 2022, it was decided that the federation would maintain a presence in contemporary single-seater racing by using its ADAC Sports Foundation programme to form an ‘ADAC Formula Junior Team’ in French F4.
Initially two drivers were supposed to be supported this year but the federation decided to back three, with Max Reis the highest placed of those as he came 14th in the standings with one podium. Tom Kalender and Finn Wiebelhaus were the other two.
Next year Montego Maassen, son of Sacha, and Mathilda Paatz will form the junior team in French F4 and both are car racing rookies.
“I’m looking forward to this task and am highly motivated. Above all, I want to counter the prejudices that exist against women in motorsport with good performance,” said Paatz. “At the moment I’m looking forward to my first year in a F4 car. I don’t put any pressure on myself and try to gain as much experience as possible in the first season.”
She has been a finalist in the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s Ferrari Driver Academy-affiliated Girls on Track Rising Stars programme for the past two years, first in the junior group and then in the senior group, and has spent 2023 racing on OK karts.
She started the year with 56th place in the WSK Super Master Series, was 64th in the CIK-FIA European championship and has also raced in the Champions of the Future and WSK Euro Series.
Maassen was runner-up in Rotax Max Challenge Germany this year on Rotax Senior karts, and says “in my view, F4 in France is the perfect platform to take your first steps in formula racing, I’m also looking forward to the challenging race tracks”.
His father is a two-time class winner in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in single-seaters won the 1994 Macau Grand Prix.