The “young wild ones” lived up to their name in the third and final ADAC Formula 4 race in Austria. In an eventful race with a host of overtaking manoeuvres, retirements and safety car phases, Luke Browning (US Racing) eventually benefitted from a penalty handed to Sebastian Montoya (Prema Powerteam) to claim his first victory in ADAC Formula 4. Montoya was first across the finish line, but ultimately had to settle for seventh place after receiving a time penalty for an early start.
Victor Bernier (16, R-ace GP) started from pole position, ahead of Montoya and Kirill Smal (16, Prema Powerteam). Right from the off, the trio were embroiled in a fierce battle at the head of the field. Montoya passed Bernier at the start to lead going into the Niki Lauda corner. However, like Bernier, the Columbian started too soon and was subsequently handed a five-second penalty. Shortly after, Marcus Amand (15, R-ace GP) came off the track, resulting in a safety car phase. Montoya got away well at the restart and was briefly able to pull away from Bernier. However, the Frenchman and Small remained hot on Montoya’s heels and did manage to pass the Columbian at one point. Smal then lost his front wing when trying to pass Bernier for the lead and was forced out of the race. That incident allowed Montoya to regain the lead and pull clear of the chasing pack.
Montoya went on to cross the finish line first, but the victory was then awarded to second-placed Browning. Cenyu Han (16, Van Amersfoort Racing) adopted second place, with third going to rookie Nikita Bedrin (15, Van Amersfoort Racing), followed by Taylor Barnard (17, BWR Racing), Valentino Catalano (15, BWR Racing) and Sami Meguetounif (17, R-ace GP). Pole-sitter Bernier eventually had to settle for 13th place.
“The team worked really well together. We communicated superbly during the race. I was always kept informed about what was happening on the track. I can’t imagine it working any better,” said the victorious Browning after the race. Han summed up his second place as follows: “That was a very good race from me, I am really happy with it. I obviously benefitted a little from mistakes made by other drivers. Despite this, I was able to get through my race well and did not get flustered.”
Oliver Bearman (16, Van Amersfoort Racing), who won the first two races on Saturday, was forced to retire after a collision with his Van Amersfoort team-mate Joshua Dufek. Tim Tramnitz (16, US Racing) lost his rear wing after a collision with Italian guest driver Francesco Braschi (16, Jenzer Motorsport) and came home in 15th place.
The next race weekend takes place from 9th July to 11th July in Zandvoort, in the Netherlands.