Home Formula 4ADAC F4 Felipe Drugovich wins first race of ADAC F4 decider to get points lead

Felipe Drugovich wins first race of ADAC F4 decider to get points lead

by Peter Allen

Photo: ADAC/Gruppe C Photography

Felipe Drugovich won the first race of the ADAC Formula 4 decider at Hockenheim to surge into the series lead, even though rivals Juri Vips and Marcus Armstrong charged into the points.

From second on the grid, Drugovich grabbed the lead in a chaotic start in which many drivers moved in reaction to green lights being shown, before the usual red lights were then briefly lit.

Drugovich’s Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Frederik Vesti followed him past pole-sitting Mucke Motorsport driver Lirim Zendeli, although Zendeli reclaimed second at the hairpin for the first time.

Zendeli then quickly reduced Drugovich’s early one-second advantage, with the gap between them coming underneath sixth tenths at one stage, but the Brazilian never truly came under attack and was able to take the chequered flag for his seventh win of the year with a second’s lead.

His 25 points put him into the championship lead, having been 18.5 behind at the start of the race.

From 13th and 20th on the grid after a horrific qualifying performance, Prema duo Vips and Armstrong battled their way up to eighth and 10th positions in the early stages.

They lacked pace to make any further progress however, with Vips having to fend off attention for the rest of the race from privateer Cedric Piro, while Armstrong had pressure from Mick Wishofer before catching Vips and Piro late on.

As a result, Drugovich is now four points ahead of Vips, who has overturned the 1.5-point deficit he had to Armstrong.

Drugovich is due to start second again in race two based on second-fastest qualifying times, with Vips 14th and Armstrong 24th.

Keeping the title fight alive however is the fact that Armstrong and Vips will now get to start first and third on the reversed-grid for race three – which offers points on the same scale – with Drugovich back in 10th.

Fabio Scherer completed the race one podium from seventh on the grid after passing Vesti at the hairpin in the closing stages.

Vesti just held on from fellow Dane Nicklas Nielsen, who profited when Michael Waldherr was tagged into a spin by Kim-Luis Schramm at the hairpin after Scherer had nipped past the Neuhauer racer.

Schramm slipped to seventh behind another VAR driver Artem Petrov.