Sixteen year old racer Michelle Halder is confident ahead of the upcoming season as she makes a return to the ADAC Formel 4 (German Formula 4) Series. Last year marked Halder’s first year of car racing after previously competing in karts as she stepped up to the highly competitive single-seater championship. ADAC Formel 4 regularly features at least 35 drivers competing in three half hour races over the course of the weekend with points being awarded to the top-10 drivers overall as well as the highest finishing rookies. As 2015 was Michelle’s first season in cars, she was classified as a rookie driver and ended the year as the 19th highest rookie with 20 points to her name. With some valuable winter testing under her belt, Halder is confident of challenging within the top half of the field with her team Engstler Motorsport.
The ADAC Formel 4 Championship is the premier single seater series in Germany with drivers coming from across the world to compete on some of Europe’s most prestigious circuits. In 2016 the series will feature 24 races over eight rounds during the course of the season with the opening event taking place at Oschersleben on the weekend of 16th/17th April with the year finishing at Hockenheim on the weekend of 1st/2nd October. With a record number of entries for the upcoming season, we may see some drivers missing out on the racing action due to the capacity of drivers which can race at any one time, there has also been “last chance race” proposed so the slowest drivers from qualifying can race their way into the weekend’s action. Last year’s championship was won by HTP Junior Team’s Marvin Dienst; however he was pushed all the way by Sweden’s Joel Eriksson and Australia’s Joey Mawson. Young British talent Lando Norris also competed in select races and impressed as he went onto take one victory at Spa Francorchamps and several other podium results. Michelle will be hoping the international nature of the championship may lead to opportunities overseas if she impresses during her second season.
With 2015 being Michelle’s first season in single seaters, it was always going to be a difficult challenge with all new surroundings in addition to the fact that she was one of the youngest drivers on the grid. Despite this, she did a superb job of finishing races and steadily improving as the season progressed. After failing to score during the first three rounds of the championship, Halder finished as the seventh highest rookie during the opening race at the Lausitzring in extremely hot conditions. During the third race of the weekend she scored one further point after coming through a tough battle with teammate Luca Engstler on the final lap. In contrasting conditions at the Nurburgring, Michelle scored a point during the second race of the weekend and was starting to become regular points challenger within the rookie class. The following round at the Sachsenring was possibly Michelle’s best of the season as she achieved a top-20 overall finish during race one, in which she was the eighth highest rookie, and then went onto collect a further point towards the rookie class in race three. Further points followed as the championship returned to Oschersleben before Halder ended the year in style with her second top-20 of the season in the series finale at Hockenheim where she was the eighth highest rookie. Michelle should be extremely proud of her performances during her debut ADAC Formel 4 season considering her levels of experience in comparison to other drivers. Her consistent pace and ability to avoid incidents will be a crucial asset as she heads into the 2016 season.
Michelle is currently one of five drivers who are starring in “Pole Position”, a German TV show for kids which gives potential racing drivers an insight into the race weekends and also how they balance their racing with school work. This is similar to a show which was broadcast in the UK two years ago called “The Racing Set” which followed four Ginetta Junior Championship drivers during the ups and downs of their season. The TV exposure gained from this show will help and potential sponsors get to know a little more about Michelle, in addition to giving her valuable media training which will prove vital if she works her way up the motorsport ladder.
Returning with Engstler Motorsport in 2016, Michelle will be aiming to work her way up the grid as the season progresses and possibly fight for top-10’s towards the end of the year. She will be encouraged by the reverse grid element of the weekend where the top-10 finishers in race one are reversed to set the grid for race three. This could give her a good opportunity of a potential podium result if she has a strong qualifying effort and converts this into a solid race one result. Winter testing has been a success so far for Halder and she’ll be hoping that the work she has put in during the off-season will propel her up the grid as she prepares for her second season in ADAC Formel 4.
Michelle is dedicated to working hard and fighting for the ultimate dream of reaching F1. She would like to thank ADAC Stiftung Sport, her parents and all the fans for their continued support.
You can keep up to date with Michelle’s progress using the social media links below:
Website – www.michelle-halder.de
Facebook – www.facebook.com/MichelleHalderOfficial
Twitter – www.twitter.com/MichelleHalder