Another Top-10 for Maya Weug in ADAC F4
Iron Dame Maya Weug clinched another top-10 in Formula 4 - for the fourth consecutive weekend - with a P9 in race 1 at Zandvoort in the German series.
Her second season in single seater has been a busy one, but an extremely successful one as well so far: after impressing with some strong results in her debut season in Formula 4 machinery, Maya Weug has taken it to the next level in 2022, consistently finishing in the top ten in the last four rounds.
The first ever Ferrari Driver Academy female racer scored her first overall points at the Italian F4 season opener at Imola, topping the 10th place conquered in Race 1 with a really impressive P6 on Sunday in Race 2. The Dutch/Belgian driver then kept momentum with a seventh and eighth place finishes in Misano. In Spa Francorchamps she was back in the top-ten with a tenth place finish that would put her 12th in the drivers championship - one of the most competitive junior series in the world, featuring almost 40 entries.
Weug, who is also part of the all-female project Iron Dames, is also contesting a part time campaign in the ADAC F4 German series, where she entered the third round - and her second this year - at one of her home tracks, in Zandvoort.
In the #83 Iron Lynx/Iron Dames Tatuus, Maya continued to fight within the top ten all weekend and, despite an unlucky final race, she kept her positive streak alive.
Prema Powerteam drivers once again locked out the front rows, with Andrea Kimi Antonelli taking pole from Camara, Laursen and Wharton. Maya Weug was seventh after yet another strong qualifying performance in Q1.
At lights out, Antonelli led Laursen - with the Dane moving up one place at the start. Towards the back of the grid, Charlie Wurz had a difficult start and stalled, while the Safety car was soon deployed when Brando Badoer (VAR) made contact with Jonas Ried (PHM Racing), sending the latter into the tyre barriers. Maya Weug, meanwhile, had managed to pass Emerson Fittipaldi Jr for sixth place.
The race resumed with 21 minutes left; Weug was squeezed between the VAR cars of Fittipaldi and Stenshorne, but defended sixth place. The fast charging Nikita Bedrin was then the biggest threat to Weug's on track position and the PHM Racing driver would eventually get past at Turn 3. The two switched back but, with 15 minutes to go, both Bedrin and teammate Taylor Barnard were past.
Bedrin chased and passed Stenshorne as well, before catching up with the Prema drivers. Up ahead, Antonelli had perfectly managed the restart and led comfortably, while Laursen and Wharton battled for third place - allowing Bedrin, Barnard and Weug to close in.
Bedrin secured fourth with 3 minutes to go and attacked Laursen for the last podium position on the final lap - but the Prema driver just about held on.
Antonelli took his sixth win of the ADAC F4 season - and fourth consecutive one - preceding teammates Camara, Laursen and Bedrin. Having been passed in the latter stages by the recovering Charlie Wurz, Weug was ninth at the finish line, scoring yet another top 10. Due to her guest driver status, though, the result would not gain her championship points.
Kimi Antonelli was again protagonist of a dominant race on Sunday's Race 2 and led Camara at the start. From P13 on the grid, Maya Weug battled with the Van Amersfoort Racing's drivers on the first lap - before the race was soon neutralized for two separate incidents, as Samir Ben squeezed Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi against the pitwall and Arias Deukmedjian made contact with Rasmus Joutsimies. Jenzer's Samir Ben received a drive through penalty for the collision.
It wasn't long, though, before the second Safety Car was deployed, following an incident involving Valentin Kluss who ended in the gravel at Turn 2.
The race was finally back underway with 15 minutes to go, featuring a Prema 1-2-3-4-5. Nikita Bedrin was again making up positions and moved into the top-five after passing PHM Racing's teammate Taylor Barnard at Turn 3. With an equally spectacular move on the following lap, Maya Weug passed Sauter at the banked corner, as she advanced to eleventh place.
Weug then tried to put Stenshorne under pressure, attempting to break into the top ten on the final lap - also having to defend from Joutsimies.
After 17 laps, Antonelli took another lights to flag victory and preceded Camara, Wurz, Wharton and Bedrin - once again the first of the non-Prema drivers.
Maya Weug had another strong race and finished P11.
Her starting position in Race 3 was looking promising for yet another battling race in the top end of the classify, but a contact in the opening stages meant that the final race of the weekend at Zandvoort was over before it had started for Maya Weug.
Emerson Fittipaldi Jr shared the front row with Conrad Laursen - the latter having the better start and passing the Brazilian at the end of the first lap. Barnard and Bedrin were up to third and fourth, just before the Safety Car neutralized the race on lap 2, when Arias Deukmedjian pushed Maya Weug off track. The Iron Dame lost her front wing and was forced to retire.
At the restart, Laursen battled Barnard for the lead, followed by Bedrin and Fittipaldi - then surprised by Wurz into Turn 3. The two PHM Racing drivers chased Laursen - while weekend dominator Andrea Kimi Antonelli was making up positions after the reverse-grid format forced him to a recovery. When Wharton had a big slide entering the final corner, Antonelli seized the opportunity and moved into fifth place.
Deukmedjian was handed a drive through penalty for the incident with Weug, but had no chance to serve it as the American slid into the gravel and retired later, bringing out the second Safety Car.
With 13 minutes left on the clock, Laursen held off the PHM Racing duo, but soon had to defend from the fast charging Antonelli, who had overtaken Wurz, Bedrin and Barnard. Half a second faster than the rest of the field, Antonelli caught Laursen on the final lap but, after a brilliant battle, it would be Conrad Laursen to come up on top by 0.058 seconds.
Charlie Wurz rounded out the podium.
Despite the disappointment, Weug leaves Zandvoort with two positive races and yet another top ten finish, showing great racecraft.
“Overall, Maya had a good weekend at Zandvoort, showing determination in her battles and keeping pace with her competitors" - Iron Lynx Team Principal Andrea Piccini commented.
"She drove very well in race one and two, gaining places and showing more experience in her race craft."
"Race three was unfortunate with the lap one incident, but we are making progress and now we focus fully on the Italian F4 Championship at Vallelunga next weekend.”
Maya Weug is in fact heading back to Italy for the fourth round of the Italian series at Vallelunga, outskirts of Rome, on 2-3 July.