It was only a matter of time, but Niklas Krütten has now taken his maiden win in the ADAC Formula 4 after achieving plenty of top-notch results. The BWT Mücke Motorsport driver from Trier did really well in his big home race as the sun beat down on the Eifel. Krütten’s family, friends and many of his fans came to the circuit and loudly cheered on the BWT Mücke Motorsport driver. At any rate, the Nürburgring is one of 15-year-old Krütten’s absolute favourite tracks, and so, he had set his sights high for the three races. Apart from winning Race 3, he was also best rookie. He is now 20 points behind David Schumacher, son of ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher, with three races remaining and 75 points still on the table. He rounded off an altogether extremely successful weekend by achieving two more finishes in the Top Ten.
Starting from second on the grid, Krütten sensed that he had a good chance of winning the third race. He set off in determined fashion, and, like a pro driver, overtook his team-mate Köhler, who had started on pole. After that, it was just a matter of keeping the gap to his rivals large enough to stay in the lead at the chequered flag. Krütten went about his task in an impressive manner. The BWT Mücke Motorsport driver never let the gap to his closest rival shrink to less than half-a-second. After some 30 minutes of racing, he took his maiden win with a controlled, error-free drive.
Krütten laid the foundations for his first success by twice securing eleventh position on the grid in Saturday’s qualifying. His form in qualifying has improved tremendously during the course of the season. His charges up the field in Race 1 and 2 show that Krütten and the Nürburgring are a perfect match. He moved up two positions in the first race and by four places in Race 2 to take P7. Thanks to the reverse grid rule, that meant grid slot two for the last race, which proved ideal for his eventual race win.
The ADAC Formula 4 season finale at the Hockenheimring is in a little while, but before that, he’ll be heading off to Vallelunga in Italy for the penultimate race weekend of the Formula 4 Italian championship (14th – 16th September).
Four questions for Niklas Krütten
Niklas, congratulations on taking your maiden win in single-seater racing!
Thanks! Even though it’s not yet sunk in properly that I won the third race on my favourite track, I can tell you that it’s an incredible feeling. The fact that I’ve achieved my greatest success to date in formula racing at my home fixture makes my win really special. I’ve finished on the podium a few times now, but it’s simply amazing to stand on the top rung of the podium. We’ve all worked very hard, everyone in the team, including myself, so I’m really pleased to be able to give my engineers, mechanics and all those involved something back with my victory. I could really get used to finishing on the podium top rung.
How did the race go? You defended the lead like a pro…
My goal was to take P1 as quickly as possible. Fortunately, I managed to get a really strong start once again. As a result, I’d passed my team-mate, who started out from pole position, even before the first corner. As the race progressed, the drivers hunting me down got a little closer, but still, I controlled the race from the front and never let my lead shrink to less than half-a-second.
What was going through your mind on the last lap?
I heard from the pit wall over the radio that I was on the final lap. As I had controlled the race from the front throughout, I knew where I need not push quite so hard, so as not to risk the win unnecessarily and still come home safe and sound. I braked a bit earlier on the approach to the turns but at the same time, never ran the risk of being overtaken by those in pursuit. My tactics paid off. As I crossed the finish line, I swerved towards my team’s pit wall in order to thank BWT Mücke Motorsport for their terrific work this season.
The penultimate race weekend of the Italian Formula 4 at Vallelunga is next up on the agenda in just over a month’s time. How do you expect to do there?
I already know Vallelunga from last year. Besides, we’ll have two days of testing there beforehand. I’m really looking forward to it, because the track layout has a lot to offer. It goes uphill and down dale, plus, there are plenty of fast, tight corners. The track is also very technically demanding, but as far as I’m concerned, the more demanding, the better! Even though we’ve now got a longish break ahead of us, I feel pretty certain that I can take the momentum from my maiden win with me to Vallelunga.