Olli Caldwell picked up his second podium of the season in the 2018 ADAC F4 Championship with a third-place finish at round two, Hockenheim, last weekend. It was a brilliant drive from Olli which would see him salvage a podium in what was a difficult weekend for the Prema Team. Unfortunately races two and three didn’t quite go to plan for different reasons but Olli still sits seventh in the championship into round three at Lausitz EuroSpeedway.
The weekend got off to a fantastic start with Olli qualifying 4th for race one, a turnaround from what had been a slightly difficult couple of practice sessions. It had put Olli in a fantastic position to get that second podium he had set his sights on, but qualifying two would unfortunately not go the same way with Olli down in 12th despite being within 0.2 seconds of 4th!
Olli got race one off to a good start leaving him 4th for the first safety car which would be released almost immediately into the 30-minute duration. A couple of laps later and the race would get underway and it was where the biggest moment in Olli’s race would come. A brilliant start left him in a lead quartet that was clear within three corners allowing Olli to experiment with a wide line whilst trying to pass Lawson ahead.
Out of the turn six hairpin Olli was almost alongside Lawson but tucked back in for the next flat out right hander with the leaders going wheel to wheel. In to Mercedes Olli set himself up nicely for a switch back move but he quickly had to put a rain check on that with the leaders making contact causing both Lawson and Olli to get off the throttle in avoidance. With Wishofer not emerging safely Olli was now into 3rd but all the battling had allowed his teammate Enzo Fittipaldi to close in.
With the pressure now on Olli had to settle down and start putting in some quick laps in and just like in race three at Oschersleben, as the race went on Olli got quicker and quicker and would eventually finish in a comfortable 3rd just 2.5 seconds away from the lead. It was a fantastic result to get underway, but with two more races still to come the celebrations would be short lived.
After a difficult second qualifying Olli would start race two in 12th and would be looking to make places quickly after the impressive pace shown in race one. However, any chances of a good result were ruined after just four corners. An incident at ‘Paribolika’ saw Olli having to take to the grass in avoidance and he did an excellent job to avoid a huge incident and keep himself in the race. However, it destroyed any chances of a good result and left Olli finishing down in 15th.
Not only did that incident leave Olli down in 15th but it would also mean that’s where he’d start race three. With the top eight positions reversed for race three, the second race saw a genuine chance of Olli taking a reverse grid pole, but his last race of the weekend now looked to be an uphill battle!
Over the 18 laps Olli would struggle with tyres making overtaking almost an impossibility at times, but as ever Olli fought hard and took the last championship points available with 10th place. It was damage limitation considering the misfortunes of race two and it leaves Olli 7th in the championship. It is also more lessons learnt to take forward for the rest of the season with five weekends remaining including another visit to Hockenheim in July where the championship will support the German Grand Prix.
Olli Caldwell: “We started the weekend off well with a P3 in race one but unfortunately had a contact in race two and then struggled with tyres in race 3. Our overall pace was very good and now looking to carry it on to the next rounds.”
This weekend Olli will head to the Paul Ricard circuit in France for the second round of the Italian F4 Championship. Olli is currently 6th in the championship after three strong points scoring finishes at Adria.