Niklas Krütten gets 2020 Euroformula Open Championship season under way in Hungary
After a long wait, Niklas Krütten got the first
round of the 2020 season under way at the weekend. The Hungaroring was the
venue for the first race meeting of eight on the calendar of the Euroformula
Open Championship, in which Krütten is contesting his first full season of
Formula 3 with Team Motopark. The start in Hungary brought the talented
17-year-old German driver two results in the Top Ten and some important insights.
On the 4.38-km Formula 1 track just outside Budapest, Krütten got back into the cockpit to race for the first time after the long break due to lockdown, his Dallara 320 being run for the first year in the Euroformula Open Championship. He finished both practice sessions on Friday in P6 and P7 ahead of team-mate, Manuel Maldonado.
Krütten secured a grid slot on the fourth row in qualifying on Saturday morning. However, neither the quali nor the first of the two races over 17 laps went according to plan for the ADAC Sports Foundation protégé, who came eighth. He was five seconds adrift of a finish in the Top Five in the race, which meant though, that he was still within striking distance of the target set before the weekend.
He made progress in Q2, moving up into fifth place on the grid during the 25-minute session in the battle for best time. Despite being well-placed on the grid, his race ended in P10 and was not the success envisaged. In the opening stages, Krütten was forced to run very wide to avoid a collision in a scrap for third position and lost the touch with the leading group as a result.
Krütten is in eighth position overall in the standings after the opening weekend in Hungary. The next round in the Euroformula Open Championship is scheduled for 20th to 23rd August at Le Castellet’s Circuit Paul Ricard which is where Formula 1 has held the French Grand Prix since 2018. Championship Races 3 and 4 will be staged there.
Three questions for Niklas Krütten
How did you use the long break to prepare for the start of the season?
We’ve done a lot of work on the simulator with our coaches during these past few months while placing increasing emphasis on data analysis. The telemetry workshops were very interesting and informative. In addition to the driver practice sessions, I did a lot of fitness training as usual and followed my nutrition programme in order to be ready for the season opener.
Were you satisfied with the way you began the 2020 Euroformula Open Championship?
It wasn’t a dream start by any means. We had problems with the car’s balance from the outset, and finding my rhythm proved difficult. The second quali brought some small consolation, but we had actually hoped for more. Still, we now know what areas need work before the next race.
What are your goals for the second round at Le Castellet?
I want to get established in the Top Five, for sure, and think in terms of podiums. That is the goal we believe matches our potential. I’m pretty confident that by the time Le Castellet comes around, we will have made the right moves so as to be in a position to fully exploit the possibilities. I’m really looking forward to striking back in France after missing my chance in the opener.