It hasn’t been the easiest weekend for PREMA Powerteam, lining up at Red Bull Ring in the first event of the 2021 ADAC Formel 4 Championship.
Sebastian Montoya captured another podium with P2 in race 1 and went close to a win despite a small mistake that he promptly and boldly recovered in Sunday's race 3. The Colombian crossed the finish line in the lead but was penalized 5 seconds due to a jump start which led to P7.
Russian Kirill Smal showcased an impressive performance. The 16-year-old took a brilliant third place in the race and then put up a clever drive on the older tyre looking forward to the reverse grid of race 3. Then in Race 3, he had a brilliant performance and seemed set for a win when he suffered contact with a contender (who was later penalized) in close-quarter combat.
Danish racer Conrad Laursen and fellow teammate Hamda Al Qubaisi faced their share of bad luck and attrition and came home without points. Laursen took a top-10 spot in qualifying, while the Emirati showed good pace and promise, and there will be more on the table for her in the following races.
#6 - Sebastian Montoya
"I think this weekend was very good, but a few mistakes saw our first win of the season slip out of our hands with a late safety car in race 3. Qualifying was very good with a double P3, but we were unlucky as the final 5 minutes of the session didn’t count! We still managed to walk away with a podium and our heads up high after crossing the line P1 in the last race of the weekend."
#7 - Kirill Smal
"The weekend overall was quite difficult, as we struggled a little bit with the pace in FP and qualifying. Then for race one, we finally found a good pace. For race 2 we knew we would be slow because we had older tires, so our strategy was to be in top-8 for the reverse grid and we basically did that. In race 3, we were looking good for a recovery, and we were really quick. In addition, two guys in front of me had 5-second penalties, but when I tried to move on for P2, the driver decided to finish my race and his as well. Nothing to say, it’s racing, but we were fast and it’s a good point for future races here."
#20 - Conrad Laursen
"The weekend was filled with mistakes on my side which I learned from, and it was actually a good weekend for learning. The results weren't there, but I know we can improve, and we just have to keep working, making myself gain a little more experience in the car to take better decisions and improve my driving. That will eventually lead to good results. "
#88 - Hamda Al Qubaisi
“The first round of the ADAC Formel 4 championship at Red Bull Ring didn’t really go as planned. A mistake in qualifying cost me quite a lot, making it difficult during the races, I think the pace was there, but still, there is definitely a lot of work to do on my side and I’ll take this weekend as a learning experience for my upcoming races.”