Three special days for Marcel: Oschersleben hosted the debut weekend of the new ADAC Formula 4 series, and the 17-year-old was in the thick of it. After a learning year in Formula Renault 1.6 NEC, Marcel is now keen to make an impression in Formula racing and has already had some measure of success. Marcel used his experience to good advantage in a keenly fought race contested by a large field of 35 young drivers.
The first Oschersleben race weekend came around after only one week of preparation, but Marcel remained unflustered to put in a solid performance, qualifying in P25 and P22 for the first two races. “It was extremely close,” says the Lechner Racing squad member. “Three or four tenths faster and we would probably have been five or six rows further up the grid. Due to the short preparation time, the team and I have missed out on experience of working together.”
With cool assurance to success
Race One on Saturday called for attack. With a strong performance, Marcel battled his way through the tight field past ten other drivers to finish 16th. A creditable result, considering the track characteristics at Oschersleben do not exactly favour overtaking. And on Sunday, the 17-year-old confirmed in impressive fashion that this charge up field was not a one-off. Starting from 22nd on the grid, he once again put on a bravura display of passing skills to finish the race in 17th place. In the third race of the weekend, Marcel started from 16th. However, the gears wouldn’t engage, and he found himself rooted to the spot. He then had to mount a charge from the rear of the field. After a third comeback of the weekend, he eventually crossed the line in 29th.
“I’ve definitely noticed that my previous experience helps a lot in this large field of contestants,” said Marcel. “I know the points on the track where I can brake a little later.” This sense of routine is also reflected in the professional approach of the 17-year-old. There is no trace of any nervousness, despite the significant lack of preparation time compared to the opposition. “Why should I let myself get worked up before a race? I know what I can do, and I’m aware that I am still at the early stage of collaboration with the team. Everything needs time to slot into place.”
Steep learning curve
With three strong performances in the bag, Marcel can leave Oschersleben feeling well satisfied and shrug off a P29 finish in Race 3. The most important thing for the Lechner Racing junior is the steady improvement that was evident at Oschersleben. “We drivers learn lap after lap,” he explains. “The team also learns from lap to lap about the behaviour of the car and the best setup. The objective is clear: these performances should not be a one-off, though we can certainly improve on the grid positions. I am satisfied with my weekend.” The he adds with a chuckle: “It would have been so much better if all of this action had been happening ten places further up the field. “
The next opportunity to make an impression comes on the weekend of 5th – 7th June at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, where Round 2 of the 2015 ADAC Formula 4 is to be staged.