Stepping up: Niklas Krütten signs for Team Motopark in the Euroformula Open Championship
Opportunities have to be taken as and when they come, and Niklas Krütten didn’t need to be asked twice when he received the offer from Team Motopark to drive for the German outfit in the Euroformula Open Championship this season. For the 16-year-old from Trier (Rhineland-Palatinate), the mid-season move represents a step up from Formula 4 to Formula 3 racing. Krütten’s first competitive outing in the more senior class comes as early as next weekend on the historic British circuit at Silverstone.
Krütten is therefore leaving both the Italian and German Formula 4 series with races still left on the calendar. He won the Best Rookie trophy in the 2018 ADAC Formula 4 and was also well placed in the current season. After almost two years in Formula 4, two wins and a total of nine podium finishes, the talented youngster now feels that the time is right to make the next move in his promising career. Krütten has already taken his new car for several laps of the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
In Team Motopark, Krütten has the backing of a highly professional and ambitious outfit who have been in the sport for many years. The Oschersleben-based squad is known for its outstanding work in bringing on talented youngsters and has paved the way into professional motorsport for Formula 1 drivers such as Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Kevin Magnussen and Max Verstappen, as well as GT pros such as Marvin Kirchhöfer. In the current season, Team Motopark have chalked up eleven victories in twelve outings.
The Formula 3 cars used in the Euroformula Open Championship are built by the Italian manufacturer Dallara. The priority for Krütten will be adjusting to all the new features of the car, because they have significantly more aerodynamic capability than their Formula 4 counterparts. This results in a considerable increase in cornering speed, which presents newcomers with a special challenge. In fact, on the fastest corners, contestants reach speeds equal to those of the 2013 generation of Formula 1 cars.
The field of drivers for the Euroformula Open Championship is of a very high calibre and includes members of the Red Bull Junior squad. Krütten’s programme for the rest of the season comprises visits to Silverstone (7th – 8th September), Barcelona (21st – 22nd September) and the grand finale at Monza (12th – 13th October). The series is contested on all the high-status Formula 1 circuits in Europe with the exception of Monaco.
Niklas Krütten: “Making the switch mid-season and tackling the first race at Silverstone after just one day of testing in the new car will be especially tough, but it’s going to be terrific. At the same time, though, you have to be realistic and not expect too much. The rest of this year is going to be all about learning and being well prepared for next season. I’m really looking forward to the new challenge and the chance to compete for one of the world’s best Formula 3 teams on some of the most interesting and demanding circuits in Europe.”
Timo Rumpfkeil (Team Principal): “I’ve been following Niklas and his career ever since he first achieved success in karting and am delighted to have him in the team. We’ve not had much time to prepare for the Silverstone weekend, so he’ll be jumping in at the deep end. Still, it will be excellent preparation for next season, for sure! We intend now to use the short amount of preparation time available in the best way possible and support Niklas in the final three Euroformula Open races of the season so that he can learn and make good progress.”