Perfect weekend for Andrea Kimi Antonelli: The Prema driver took victory in both ADAC Formula 4 races on Sunday. The Italian came through from eighth place on the grid to win an action-packed sixth race of the season at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. Marcus Amand (FRA) and Taylor Barnard (GBR/PHM Racing) joined him on the podium after the second race of the day. Rafael Camara (17/BRA/Prema Racing and Nikita Bedrin (ITA/PHM Racing) had previously completed the podium in the day’s opening race. Antonelli became only the second driver in the history of the junior series to win three races on one weekend. “I am overjoyed with both victories. It is unbelievable that I still managed to win despite the reverse grid rule, but I never gave up. This weekend has given me even more confidence,” said the Mercedes Junior.
Sunday’s first race at the 4.574-kilometre circuit took place in sunshine and temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius, and Antonelli benefitted from his pole position. Behind the pole-sitter, Camara and Barnard battled it out for second place. 17-year-old Barnard initially passed the Prema driver on the opening lap, but Camara was able to bounce back one lap later. Meanwhile, Mercedes Junior Antonelli set about consistently increasing his lead and went on to take his fourth win of the season in the ADAC’s high-speed school. Camara was followed over the finish line in second place by his team-mate Camara. Barnard eventually had to settle for fourth place, having lost out to his team-mate Bedrin. The 16-year-old was closing on Barnard all the time, and pulled off the decisive overtaking manoeuvre on lap 14. This earned him his first podium of the season. Barnard and Martinius Stenshorne (16/NOR/Van Amersfoort Racing) completed the top five.
For race six of the season, the top eight from Sunday morning’s race lined up in reverse order. Conrad Laursen (16/DNK/Prema Racing) started from pole position, while Marcus Amand started the 30-minute race alongside him on the front row. By this point in the day, the temperature in the Schwetzinger Hardt woodland had climbed to 25 degrees Celsius under a clear sky. Amand made a good start and took the lead in the run-up to turn one. The 16-year-old managed to open a gap in the early stages, but the appearance of the safety car on lap five saw the field bunch back together. When racing resumed two laps later, the US Racing driver defended his position, while Antonelli continued his march towards the front. The decisive manoeuvre came on lap ten, when Antonelli overtook Amand to make it a hat-trick, having also won the Saturday race. Only Dennis Hauger (NOR) had achieved this feat before him, in Hockenheim in 2009. “The start went great for me and I was able to pull clear of the second-placed car. However, the safety car did not help me and I was then unable to go with Antonelli. Despite this, I am pleased with my first podium,” said Amand.
Barnard ended the race in third place. This was his second podium at the former Formula 1 circuit. “The whole weekend went well for me, and I am very pleased with the results. I have been able to make some good progress. Let’s hope that continues in the coming races,” said Barnard. Camara came home fourth as the best-placed rookie, followed by Jonas Ried (17/Ehingen). The German from PHM Racing was pleased with his best result of the season in ADAC Formula 4. Charlie Wurz (17/AUT/Prema Racing), Martinius Stenshorne (16/NOR/Van Amersfoort Racing), Oleksandr Partyshev (16/UKR/Jenzer Motorsport) and Conrad Laursen (16/DNK/Prema Racing) also finished in the points. Watched on by his father, former Formula 1 driver Luca Badoer, Brando Badoer (15/ITA/Van Amersfoort Racing) finished in the top ten. Emerson Fittipaldi jr. (Van Amersfoort Racing) was cheered on by his father and two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, who was in Hockenheim to watch the racing. The 15-year-old Brazilian crossed the finish line in 12th place.
The third ADAC Formula 4 weekend of the season shares the bill with the ADAC GT Masters from 24th to 26th June in Zandvoort, the Netherlands. The motorsport stars of tomorrow will battle it out for more points at the current Formula 1 circuit. Antonelli heads to races seven to nine of the season as the championship leader with 137 points.