Petr Ptacek Jr was happy to take several positives from his debut ADAC Formula 4 Championship event at Hockenheim last weekend.
The 15-year-old joined the US Racing – CHRS squad for the German championship’s season finale and he saw it as a great opportunity to add to the single-seater experience he has already successfully accumulated as the winner of the Italian F4 series’ Rookie Cup in 2018.
“It was a new experience for me and it was positive for me to do an extra race in the season,” the Czech driver said.
While qualifying wasn’t as strong as he’d hoped – finishing P16 and P13 in the sessions – Petr was pleased he got to tackle a pair of qualifying sessions in wet and cold conditions for the first time in his short career. And he’s determined to use that experience positively in the future.
“I think those sessions will show themselves to be very useful to me in the future because the conditions were changing throughout,” he explained. “I made a few minor mistakes, which was frustrating, but the important thing is that I will learn from them.”
Once the 30-minute races got underway, Petr used the racing skills he’s been fine-tuning in Italy to fight his way up the order and record P8, P9 and P10 finishes across his trio of races at the 4.6km Hockenheim circuit.
Despite racing his own ‘training’ car at Hockenheim and having to get to grips with a different set-up to what he’s used to in Italy (ADAC regulations don’t allow teams to use their own rear suspension settings, for example), Petr was pleased to finish ahead of some rival drivers who had already raced at the track twice before in 2018.
He said: “I would say the level of competition in Germany is roughly the same as it is in Italy. The main difference is that the drivers in Germany have more experience because many of them are in their second season of F4 racing.
“That means they generally have a better chance of winning, but it was definitely a good experience to be able to test myself against them and to race in a new environment and on a new track.”
With his maiden ADAC F4 Championship event now compete, Petr’s attention turns to the final round of the Italian F4 Championship at Mugello on 26-28 October.
Image © ADAC F4 media