South African Jonathan Aberdein shines despite disappointing results at Oschersleben
South African driver Jonathan Aberdein enjoyed a tumultuous debut weekend in the ADAC German Formula 4 championship opener at Oschersleben over the weekend. The Cape Town lad showed great pace in early wet practice, but his relative lack of experience saw him drop back as conditions changed thought he weekend. Still, Jonathan struck back with a great drive in the final to end 11th overall and fourth among the rookie drivers.
Jonathan started the weekend in stellar form running fourth and second in Friday’s wet opening practice, but he was caught out by a quickly drying track that saw him qualify 12th in his group and having to go into the last-chance qualifying race. He cruised home second to start the first of the weekend’s three points races 24th on grid. “Practice was wet, but qualifying was in the dry and we never had our dry setup spot on,” Jonathan explained.”
“The first race was OK — it was wet and I started 24th and was up to 15th after 4 laps then drove over someone’s disconnected front wing which gave me a puncture and I had to pit,” Jonathan explained his first race. “Luckily there was safety car so we didn’t lose a lap and I was able to fight back again and I finished 16th.
“The second race was more difficult — the track was drying again and I got caught up in a midfield struggle and ended up off the track, but I managed to get back on and I struggled on to the finish.”
Jonathan started the weekend finale 16th on the grid and enjoyed a far better run as he fought it out among the his leading rookie rivals to bring it home 11th. “The last race was far more like it,” Aberdein grinned. “We needed that result – I was close enough to the overall pace and right on the pace versus the other rookie drivers…
“This was out first weekend in ADAC Formula 4 and while we did struggle along the way, we learned so much,” Jonathan concluded. “The last race was much better but we still have a lot of work to do and I need to better understand what we need to do with the car as the conditions change.
“Still, it was a positive weekend and I’m looking forward to moving forward at Sachsenring in two weeks time.”