How to Go From First to Last In Formula 4

Two young Formula 4 drivers learned an embarrassing lesson over the weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJNon3hkygw
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ADAC Formula 4 Championship kicked off its 2017 season over the weekend. The German F4 series opened the year with three races at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.

If one were to make a list of, shall we say, odd and awkward first corners, Oschersleben would be near the top. It's a 90-degree left-hander into a virtually constant radius right-hand sweeper that almost makes a full circle. To get it right when you have the track all to yourself is tricky enough; taking it with a pack of cars requires skill and a sixth sense awareness of where all the drivers around you are—and where they will be.     

ADAC Motorsports

Oschersleben circuit layout

The drivers on the front row for the third race of the weekend put on a masterclass in doing it wrong. 

Kami Laliberté started from pole with Marcus Armstrong second on the grid. They came down the front straight with Armstrong all over Laliberté. As they battled their way down the track, they both forgot a very important fact: brakes are required to make the first turn. The front row pair were so caught up in fighting for the lead that they both locked up, and both got beached in the gravel. 

It's said that you can't win a race in the first corner but that you can most certainly lose it there. These two proved that. It would have been less embarrassing had they made contact and simply crashed out of the race—at least they each would have been able to claim they were fighting hard and that the other guy's bonehead move caused the wreck. Instead, they out-braked each other into a synchronized DNF.