Mikkel Jensen: “I expect that we can be able to fight for podiums”

Mikkel Jensen will be embarking on his second weekend as a FIA European Formula 3 Championship driver this weekend when he takes to the track at the German Hockenheim circuit, with hopes of having a much stronger weekend than he did at Silverstone three weeks ago.

The twenty-year-old Dane is part of a five-strong Mücke Motorsport line-up in 2015, driving alongside Santino Ferrucci, Kang Ling, Michele Beretta and Maximilian Günther, the driver he beat into second place in the ADAC Formel Masters championship in 2014.

Talking to The Checkered Flag ahead of round two of the championship at Hockenheim, Jensen revealed that he was relatively late getting into motorsport, only getting into a kart aged fifteen and making his single seater debut in 2013.

“I have always had the interest in motorsport, but I was never really driving on my own,” revealed Jensen. “My family loves cars so I think the interest comes from them. So at the age of 15 I got my first kart.

“I started to late in my opinion, and I was always thinking about that during my karting years. But apart from that it has gone really quickly. If you think about I was not even started karting 5 years ago, then I’m quite proud about what I have achieved.”

Jensen arrived in European Formula 3 in 2015 as the reigning ADAC Formel Masters champion, having taken ten wins from twenty-four races with Neuhauser Racing. However, the Dane revealed his performances surprised even him, especially after his first season in 2013 where he struggled to tenth place in the championship.

“It was really unexpected,” insisted Jensen. “[During] my 2013 season we were struggling so much the whole year. I finished 10th and could not expect to be champion just one year later.

“But everything was perfect, and I worked really well with my team, Neuhauser Racing. Neuhauser Racing kick-started my career when it seemed to be dead, so a big thanks to those guys. Without last season’s results I won’t be here in FIA F3 now.”

The Dane insisted a move up to Formula 3 was essential for the development of his career, and also became a member of the Mercedes-Benz Junior Team, which made a move to the Mücke Motorsport team a logical choice.

“I was speaking with the boss, Peter Mücke already at the end of last year, where we were actually competitors in the Formula ADAC,” revealed Jensen.

“The deal with Mercedes made it obvious to go with Mücke Motorsport for this season. They have a lot of experience from the past years in F3. It’s much more professional than what you did in Formula ADAC. So the level is new for me.

“As I started driving late, my age had also big influence on the choice. I had to make this step to have the possibility for a professional career in the future. It’s a competitive Championship and if you do well there, you have really good possibilities for the future.”

Jensen arrives at Hockenheim for round two of the season on the back of a relatively disappointing weekend for the whole Mücke Motorsport team, with the Dane securing two tenth place finishes and a thirteenth during the three races. He feels that Silverstone will not be reflective of the team’s general pace, and hopes Hockenheim will kick-start his season.

“I have to be honest and say that I expected more,” insisted Jensen of Silverstone. “We were struggling the whole weekend. Especially in the qualifying, which made the races really difficult for us; qualifying is nearly everything with the big amount of cars.

“The races were a bit better, but it’s difficult to overtake in F3 with the high downforce.

“Silverstone was not our level. We will show more in the upcoming races. I expect that we can be able to fight for podiums during the season.

“I’m taking one step at a time, so at the moment I’m just looking forward to the second race weekend in Hockenheim, where I’m sure we will perform better than in Silverstone.”