Niklas Krütten finishes twice on podium in rain at Misano

May 2019
Niklas Kruetten
Second race weekend in the Formula 4 Italian Championship. Following on from the rain-hit season opener at Vallelunga, the second race meet took place at Misano's MotoGP circuit in extremely changeable weather. Van Amersfoort Racing driver Niklas Krütten had a strong showing despite the adverse conditions and finished both races on the podium after having started out from fifth on the grid each time. Very heavy rain caused the third round to be stopped and not restarted.

Krütten qualified fifth for the first and second races and fourth for the third round, thus laying the basis for his first two podium finishes of the season in the Italian Formula 4. Showing strong pace, he gained two places in Race 1 and was third at the finish. He did even better in Sunday morning's second race. With a fantastic start, Krütten shot up into second place and took over the lead on the second lap, but a simple driving error ultimately cost the Van Amersfoort Racing driver the victory.

The second ADAC Formula 4 race of the season at the Red Bull Ring is next up on Krutten's schedule (June 7th - 9th). The Austrian circuit is his favourite track.

Five questions for Niklas Krütten

You achieved your first two podiums of the season in the Italian Formula 4 at Misano. How would you sum up your weekend?
Well basically, I'm extremely happy with the weekend. My mistake in Race 2 bothers me a bit, because it ultimately cost me the win. We secured a good haul of points in the end, and that's the most important thing. Two podiums in two races, you can't complain about that! What's more, my starts were excellent again and I was on the pace. That gives me confidence for the rest of the season in both the Italian and German Formula 4.

You mentioned your starts. A particularly good one was the key to success in the second race...
There's no doubt about that! That was a real rocket start and I was already in second place after the first corner. I took the lead on the second lap when the pole-sitter got a drive-through penalty. My team-mate Dennis Hauger and I gradually drew away from the others. I then pulled out a gap on him. It really looked like I was heading for my first victory of the season in the Italian Formula 4.

... and then you made a mistake. What happened?
I accept that the error was all mine. It began with a car spinning off into the gravel trap. I eased off the throttle, anticipating that the safety car would come out at any moment. As a result, my team-mate caught up with me. However, the safety car did not appear. I tried to keep Dennis to my rear and pull out a bit of a gap on him again. I approached a turn a little too fast and had to run wider than usual, which meant that I didn't hit the exit to the corner properly. Dennis used that to launch an overtaking manoeuvre. It was an ambitious move, but ultimately only came about through my mistake.

You were third in the first race. Was that the most you could achieve in the circumstances?
Third place was the maximum possible without taking too many risks. However, my pace was excellent as it was on Sunday, but basically, I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks. Conditions were extremely tricky. While knowing that I can always push and hardly make a mistake even when conditions are particularly tough, it was vital that I finish a safe third.

You'll be racing in Austria at the Red Bull Ring this June. What's it going to be like?
The Red Bull Ring is an incredibly awesome track. We should be well placed there just as we've been in the previous races. The layout is very fluid with a good mix of slow, medium-fast and fast turns. I also like the atmosphere at the circuit and always love to go back there. I would like to repeat my podium finish from last year, but be on the top rung of the podium this time!