Championship runner-up!

Podium in Race 1 at Hockenheimring

The finish of the first Formel ADAC race of the season finale at the Hockenheimring could hardly have been more thrilling. Dennis Marschall (18, Germany, Lotus) secured victory on the final lap with an overtaking manoeuvre on Maximilian Günther (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.). Newly crowned champion Mikkel Jensen (19, Denmark, Neuhauser Racing) completed the podium party in third place.

“I had been hoping to end the season on another high, and everything worked out brilliantly,” said Lotus rookie Marschall after his second win of the season. The die was cast on the 15th and final lap. After going on a charge and posting several personal best times, ADAC Sports Foundation protégé Marschall gradually reduced the deficit on pole-setter Günther. Marschall pulled off the decisive overtaking move on the 17-year-old on the way to the Mercedes-Tribüne.

But Günther was unwilling to yield and launched a counter attack. There was a slight contact with Marschall’s car. While the series newcomer emerged unscathed, Günther briefly lost control of his single-seater. He regained control of his Formel ADAC powered by Volkswagen at the last moment to cross the finish line in second place.

Günther may have missed out on a fifth victory of the season but still had reason to celebrate. The ADAC Sports Foundation protégé secured the championship runner-up trophy ahead of time, a piece of silverware that he had already won the previous year. His closest rivals, Tim Zimmermann (18, Germany, Neuhauser Racing) and local favourite Marvin Dienst (17, Germany, ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.) were unable to finish higher than P5 and P9 respectively. With his current points tally, Günther cannot be caught in the last two races at the historic Hockenheim track.

Günther appeared to be a certain winner for a long time. Starting from pole position, the defending and now new championship runner-up quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, extending a lead of almost three seconds. He benefited from a close-fought scrap between Jensen and Marschall for second place. Marschall had lined up in P4 on the grid but managed to overtake the Danish champion on the second lap, thereby paving the way for his subsequent success.

Maxi after the race: “I’m a bit disappointed that I could ultimately only finish second. But I’m not going to reproach myself, as I did everything correctly. At the start, I immediately held on to the lead, and my race pace was good. Unfortunately, I kept losing time on the opposition on the long straight in the middle sector. I tried everything I could to keep Dennis Marschall behind me. Obviously, it’s a pity to lose the race win on the final lap. But anyway, I gave it everything I’d got, and I had no chance against the differential in speed. Shortly before the end of the race, there was a misunderstanding when I tried to win the position back. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a bump, but at least we were able to keep driving. This result means that I’ve now got the championship runner-up trophy in the bag. That was my objective for the weekend, and it’s nice to have achieved it in the first of the three races.”

Foto: ADAC Formel Masters