The most exciting championship in the history of the Formel ADAC has been decided: Marvin Kirchhöfer (18, Leipzig, Lotus) clinched the title ahead of time with victory number two in the second of three races on the final weekend in Hockenheim. Gustav Malja (16, Sweden, Neuhauser Racing) finished third, but a 15-point deficit means that the championship is now out of reach. Kirchhöfer follows in the footsteps of Pascal Wehrlein who, after a successful year in the ADAC 'Formula Racing Academy', made the step up to the Formula 3 Euro Series.
"On the last lap, I looked in my mirror on the long straight and saw that Thomas Jäger was behind me. It was then clear that I was champion," said Kirchhöfer after winning the title in his Formel ADAC debut year. Apart from Armando Parente who won the competition in its inaugural year of 2008, Kirchhöfer is the only driver to have won the junior series title in his debut season.
The Lotus team member has now won eight out of 23 races and stood on the podium 15 times. Kirchhöfer was followed across the finish line by Thomas Jäger (18, Austria) just ahead of Neuhauser team-mate Malja. The Swedish driver needed the second place himself to maintain any hope of taking the title.
Jeffrey Schmidt (18, Lotus) finished fourth. The Swiss youngster now has a realistic chance of claiming third place in the championship in the third and final race on Sunday, as Jason Kremer (17, Bonn, Mücke Motorsport) who currently occupies the spot could finish no higher than eleventh today. Schmidt is just eight points behind Kremer.
Indy Dontje (19, NL, Lotus) and Beitske Visser (17, NL, Lotus) came fifth and sixth respectively. Florian Herzog (19, Dresden, Mücke Motorsport) was the highest-placed of the Mücke Motorsport drivers in ninth, behind Alessio Picariello (19, Belgium, G&J / Schiller-Motorsport) and Sebastian Balthasar (16, Cologne, G&J / Schiller-Motorsport). Roy Nissany (17, ISR, Mücke Motorsport) picked up the remaining point.
Comments from the Top Three drivers
Marvin Kirchhöfer, Winner:
"It's hard to describe how happy I am to have won the Formel ADAC championship in my first year - it's difficult to put into words. On the last lap, I looked in my mirror on the long straight and saw that Thomas Jäger was behind me. It was then clear that I was champion. It may have looked like an easy race, but at some point I heard noises coming from the car that I hadn't noticed before - I think my subconscious must have been playing a trick on me."
Thomas Jäger, Second:
"The start went better in the second race, but over the distance, I couldn't match Marvin Kirchhöfer for speed and had to settle for second place. Right up to the last lap, I didn't realise that Gustav, who was challenging for the title, was right behind me. He would have been a worthy champion, but the same goes for Marvin. I offer him my sincerest congratulations - he has been impressive in all departments this season and has consistently put in strong performances."
Gustav Malja, Third:
"I am very disappointed. It's not the end of the world of course, but I had really set my heart on winning the Formel ADAC championship. The start was probably the main issue - I didn't get away well and dropped back several places. I managed to work my way up the field to where I could see my team-mate Thomas Jäger. Right up to the final corner, I thought I would be able to overtake him, keeping my championship challenge alive, but unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. So I would like to congratulate Marvin on his title win."