Date of birth:
Place of residence:
SAKM Hahn, March 2010
European Le Mans Series & IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Ligier JS P320 (ELMS & IMSA)
COOL Racing (ELMS) & United Autosports (IMSA)
Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher
Motorsports, Football and Kickboxing
Nürburgring, Red Bull Ring, Spa-Francorchamps
Niklas Krütten discovered his passion for motorsport as a young lad. While his sister was busy riding horses and his brother was playing football, Niklas was already a regular at the kart track at the age of eight. And it wasn’t long before the boy from Trier’s talent became evident: He finished his first season in the KCT Mini Kart Cup as the best rookie in 2010. A further three years in mini-karting were followed by two seasons in international junior karting and two seasons in international senior karting, where it didn’t take him long to establish himself as one of the leaders.
Niklas entered single-seater racing in 2018, and contested races in various Formula 4 series in Europe and the United Arab Emirates. After multiple podiums, he ended his maiden season as the best rookie in the German ADAC Formula 4. Halfway through the 2019 season, he was in the top 3 of the German and Italian Formula 4 championships, when he received an offer to switch to Formula 3. Successful guest starts paved the way for a permanent Formula 3 start in the 2020 season, which went on to be Niklas’ most successful season to date – he ended the Euroformula Open 2020 as Rookie Champion in the top 5. But unlike most junior drivers, he didn’t take the traditional route and join Formula 2; he switched to endurance racing for the 2021 season instead. In the European Le Mans Series he will start as a permanent LMP3 driver, and he will contest endurance classics in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the USA.
His great potential has also been recognised by ADAC Stiftung Sport (ADAC Sports Foundation), who has been developing the youngster since 2019 and providing him with regular training sessions to help him to interact with journalists, among other things.
The man from Rhineland-Palatinate prepares meticulously for his race appearances. In his personal race simulator at home, Niklas completes countless laps on the upcoming racetracks. “Simulator work is the perfect preparation for me. Obviously, it doesn’t replace my real racing car, but you can work up to best times nicely, without painful accidents or expensive repairs,” explained Niklas with a smile.
But professional motorsport is about more than just the work in the cockpit. A whole team supports the junior driver, helping him make continuous improvements. The regular sports programme is supervised by a fitness trainer. A dietician is also on hand to support the talented youngster. A mental coach prepares Niklas for the demands in the cockpit and at the racetrack. And when Niklas isn’t busy with motorsport, he enjoys getting behind the wheel of his own car and delivering pizzas for a restaurant owned by a friend of his. “I just love being at the wheel. So if I can do that and help someone out, it’s a win-win situation,” said Niklas, and added with a laugh “And I love to win.”
You are taking the next step in your career and will now be driving in LMP3. What does this mean for your professional development?
After three years of sprint racing in single-seater cars, the switch to endurance racing with Le Mans prototypes is a big change. As well as the circuits, new challenges like race strategy, pit stops and driver changes also await. They provide a great opportunity to demonstrate my potential and develop as a driver. Motorsport is a team sport, and such things as the communication and discussions with engineers and the other drivers in the car are a crucial success factor. I am really looking forward to the new challenge and know that I will learn a huge amount. On the one hand, this is very important to my professional development. On the other hand, I will also benefit greatly personally. The signs are really good for the 2021 season.
Your goals for 2021 are clear: together with your new team COOL Racing, you want to end the season in the top three of the LMP3 class in the European Le Mans Series. The same goes for the guest starts in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. What is your strategy for success?
We have a lot of work ahead of us, if we are to achieve these goals. As well as adapting to the car, which is new to me, I must also get used to driving for longer, so my physical fitness is more important than ever. As such, I will go about my training in a disciplined manner and will stick to my nutritional plan. I have a trainer for both these aspects, who gives me really good advice and helps me a lot. On top of this, I will also be racing for a new team in both series. We have to become attuned to one another and improve our cooperation all the time. Even at the first test with COOL Racing, I noticed that it was going to work brilliantly. I will do my best to implement the advice I am given and will do as much testing as possible. I can also do that away from the track, on the simulator. I have some superb equipment for that at home. I firmly believe that it is going to be a successful year. That is another important factor – mental fitness and a healthy confidence. I would say that I have both of those.
You are one of the drivers receiving support from ADAC Stiftung Sport again in 2021. What does that support mean to you?
It is really great to be supported by the foundation again, and gives me a good feeling! Starting out on a career in motorsport is an expensive business. Anyone who has been there knows just how quickly it all adds up. For this reason, any form of support is important and really helps me. I am pleased with the faith that has been put in me and am very grateful to every single sponsor.
Runner-up in the driver and team standings
Four podiums (two wins, two second places)
Top 5 in overall standings
Nine rookie victories
Formula 4 Cup
Two top 5 finishes in Rookie standings
Top 3 in overall standings
One win, one podium and two top 5 finishes
Top 5 in overall standings
One win and one podium
Best-placed Rookie in overall standings
P2 in Rookie Cup
One race win and six podiums
Nine Rookie podiums
P3 in Rookie Cup
Rounds 4 & 5
One win and two top 5 finishes
Best German WSK Champions Cup
Best German rookie CIK-FIA European Championship
P5 Trofeo delle Industrie
P13 CIK-FIA World Championship
P12 International German karting championship
Best German SKUSA SuperNationals
P6 German Vega Trophy championship
Best rookie German ADAC championship
P3 German Vega Trophy championship
P8 German ADAC championship
P3 West German championship
P4 German ADAC finals
P3 KCT championship
Best rookie KCT championship