Niklas Krütten contested his fifth race weekend in the Formula 4 Italian Championship and his twelfth overall this season so far last weekend. The 15-year-old German has taken on an enormous amount of work in his first season in formula racing but is taking it in his stride. Last weekend, the BWT Mücke Motorsport driver was competing at one of the most historic racing circuits in motorsport, at Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari track which is a real classic, as there are no extensive run-off areas and gravel traps at every twist and turn.
Krütten has already demonstrated on a number of occasions that he can do well at such demanding circuits. The BWT Mücke Motorsport driver was again on impressive form at Imola’s 4.90-km circuit, using his racing intelligence, strong basic speed, combative spirit and foresight once more to finish on the Rookie podium in all of the weekend’s three races.
The BWT Mücke Motorsport youngster’s top performance during this fifth meeting of the 2018 Italian Formula 4 helped move him up into fourth place overall in the Rookie classification. His chances of securing the hotly-contested third place during the remaining two race weekends are excellent.
Krütten will be heading to the Nürburgring this weekend, just over an hour’s drive away from his hometown of Trier, to compete in the ADAC Formula 4. Fans of junior formula motor racing can look forward to an amazing battle for the top spot in the Rookie stakes at what is one of his all-time favourite tracks and his big home race. With a ten-point deficit, he is currently second-best rookie behind David Schumacher, the son of ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher.
Four questions for Niklas Krütten
Well done Niklas for finishing three times on the Rookie podium. What a terrific performance!
Many thanks. Of course, it’s great when all the hard work pays off, both for me as a driver and for the whole team with whom I get along very well. I also think it’s terrific that I did so well at Imola of all places. The circuit oozes history from every square metre. The track layout is also extremely demanding, which I really like, because it sorts the men out from the boys.
One of the keys to success was your customary strong starts…
Yes, starting is indeed one of my specialities. I have great reflexes and usually get away really well, which is essential at circuits like Imola, because overtaking is so difficult there. Another key to success was my performance in qualifying, for sure. We worked very hard in testing and it paid off. Starting twice from eleventh place and once from P12 certainly makes life a bit easier. Yes, I want to qualify even further up the field, but the way I’ve managed to improve so far in qualifying is very promising.
How did the races go from your perspective?
The first race was very hectic, especially at the start. There were a lot of collisions, and I had to be very careful. I immediately gained two places at the start and benefited from one or two other drivers being forced to retire. I finished seventh in the end, which was a great way to kick off the weekend. I started the second race from twelfth on the grid. I had to stick my elbows out in places but still overtook fairly. I fought my way up into eighth place during the course of the race. Even more would have been possible, but I didn’t want to risk finishing safe and sound on the Rookie podium. I managed to get a really strong start in the last race and passed two other competitors. I’m especially proud of my late overtaking manoeuvre at Tamburello, as I overtook the guy in front of me on the outside of the turn. I finished seventh once again and was third-best rookie, which made a great end to a thoroughly great weekend.
You should be able to secure more terrific results this weekend, hopefully, in your home fixture at the Nürburgring…
I’ve been looking forward to the Nürburgring weekend all year. The Red Bull Ring and the Nürburgring are two of my all-time favourite tracks. The combination of fast and slow turns and long straights is unique. I’ve already tested there and was very quick. It will also be really great to see a lot of familiar faces at the track, as family and friends will be there. It’ll be like racing in our front room.
Copy: Manuela Nicoletti / FotoFormulaK.com