Big celebrations for Taylor Barnard (18/PHM Racing): The British driver claimed his first victory in ADAC Formula 4 in race ten of the season at the Nürburgring. Andrea Kimi Antonelli (15/Prema Racing) did cross the finish line in first place, but the Italian was handed a five-second penalty for a false start. 16-year-old Nikita Bedrin (ITA/PHM Racing) came through to clinch third place in the closing stages of the race. “I am obviously thrilled to have got my first win under my belt. I cannot quite believe it yet. It doesn’t feel real at all. I found out about the penalty during the race, so didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks on the track,” said the 18-year-old. This was also the maiden victory in the ADAC’s high-speed school for Paul Müller’s racing team from Berlin.
The race featured on the support programme for the ADAC GT Masters, and fans in the grandstands saw championship leader Antonelli lead into turn one at the 3.629-kilometre circuit in the Eifel region. In sunshine and temperatures around 16 degrees Celsius, the Mercedes Junior took full advantage of his pole position and initially managed to open a bit of a lead over Barnard. However, the eventual winner gradually closed in on the race leader. At the end of the 30-minute race, Antonelli took the chequered flag but was then relegated to second place. “I set off too early at the start and was consequently given a penalty. I wanted to pull away from Taylor in the race, but he was able to match my pace. Plus, I had issues with the balance of the car towards the end of the race, which meant I was unable to shake him off,” said Antonelli.
There was a three-way battle for third place. Once Barnard had passed second-placed Charlie Wurz (17/Prema Racing) at the start, Bedrin set about closing the gap to the Austrian. The PHM driver launched a successful overtaking manoeuvre with three laps remaining and went on to claim his second podium of the season. “I was stuck behind him all race and was ultimately faster than him, but I could not find the right overtaking opportunity. He then left a small gap in the turn at the end of the start/finish straight, and I am pleased to have taken my opportunity,” said Bedrin, describing the overtake.
James Wharton (16/Prema Racing) was also involved in the battle for the final place on the podium. The Australian eventually came home fourth as the best-placed rookie. His Prema team-mate and race winner from Zandvoort, Conrad Laursen (16/DNK), followed him home in fifth. Under the watchful eye of his father, former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz, Charlie Wurz ended the race in sixth place. Finland’s Rasmus Joutsimies (19/Jenzer Motorsport) finished seventh to record his best result of the season. After making his debut at the Formula 1 circuit in Zandvoort, German Valentin Kluss was once again in the points in eighth place. McLaren Junior Ugo Ugochukwu (15/USA/Prema Racing) and Jonas Ried (17/PHM Racing) from Ehingen in Baden-Württemberg completed the top ten.