German teenager Niklas Krütten will make a full-time return to EuroFormula Open competition in 2020 after agreeing to race with Team Motopark.
The seventeen-year-old is the second name to join the defending champions, Motopark having taken Marino Sato to the title in 2019 and having won all bar two races throughout the season. Krütten raced for Motopark in the final three events of last season, finishing inside the points in four of the six races, with a trio of eighth place finishes his best results.
He had started the year racing in the German-based ADAC Formula 4 championship, winning the second race at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben with Van Amersfoort Racing before dropping off the grid after the round at Circuit Zandvoort.
Krütten hopes to be amongst the front runners when the season begins, whenever that may be, having had positive feelings about the new-for-2020 Dallara 320 during testing earlier this year.
“I want to be in amongst the front-runners right from the start,” said Krütten. “I’ve already gained experience with the new car during test drives. I felt really good right from the start, and I have a very positive feeling about the season.
“The change wasn’t hard for me. The Dallara 320 is more responsive to changes than the 317 and it has a bit more downforce and braking efficiency. We are faster than last year, but from a pure driving perspective, it’s not so different.
“There’s a halo like in Formula 1 now, but I soon got used to it. The new car definitely looks great and is a lot of fun to drive!”
“I have learnt to pay more attention to the behaviour of the car”
After his experience of racing in the series in 2019 and the subsequent testing, Krütten says he has learned a lot about Formula 3 machinery and what is needed to be fast in the Dallara 320.
“The Formula 3 car is technically much more sophisticated and offers a lot more options to work on the setup than a Formula 4 car,” said the German. “It has more power and produces a lot more downforce, which leads to much higher cornering speeds and significantly faster lap times.
“I have learnt to pay more attention to the behaviour of the car and to work more closely with the engineers on the setup. As drivers, we have to give very precise feedback. I quickly adjusted to the higher speeds and G-forces which require much faster reaction times in addition to an even higher level of physical and mental fitness.”
Motopark Team Principal, Timo Rumpfkeil, says he is happy that the team were able to keep hold of Krütten for 2020 after he impressed them during their brief time together at the end of last year.
“I am delighted that we were able to persuade Niklas to join us for the 2020 season,” said Rumpfkeil. “The races in 2019 were like being thrown in at the deep end for Niklas, but he did an excellent job nonetheless.
“He had terrific pace at all of the events, and he learned a lot, which is going to be a big help to us in the 2020 season. In the winter we were able to consolidate this during the test drives, and Niklas will be going into the new season in a heightened state of preparation.”