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From footballer to racing driver
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship returns to action at the Nürburgring after a six-week summer break. The iconic circuit in the Eifel region is the venue for races 22 to 24 for the 21 drivers from seven teams, who enter the final third of the season this weekend. Premium tyre maker Hankook has been supplying the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with the Ventus race tyre since 2013. In doing so, it supports the young drivers as they make their way in professional motorsport.
Nürburgring/Germany, 11th September 2016 – Mikkel Jensen is someone who is utterly determined to succeed. The 21-year-old is now in his second season in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, having previously won the ADAC Formula Masters in 2014. The Dane first took his place at the wheel of a kart at the age of eight. After that, however, he initially dedicated himself to a different sport. “My father had nothing to do with motor racing, but wanted me to race karts. I preferred playing football and enjoyed watching the races on television,” says the Formula 3 driver.
However, his father would not let it lie. When he gave the 15-year-old Mikkel a kart, he finally managed to ignite a passion for racing. Mikkel Jensen: “At first, I only saw karting as a hobby. However, when I completed a successful test in the ADAC Formula Masters, I noticed that I actually had a chance of becoming a professional racing driver.”
After his victory in the ADAC Formula Masters, many teams were interested in the flying Dane, who joined the kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport team in the FIA Formel-3-Europameisterschaft in 2015. Here, he learned everything he knows about car set-up, tyres and race tactics. “In Formula 3, the top speed is not quite as high as it is in some of the other series. However, we do drive with an incredible amount of downforce, which allows us to achieve such extreme cornering speeds,” he explains.
The 21-year-old enjoys driving on the race tyre provided by premium tyre maker Hankook. “The slick has a massive peak, which it maintains for a long time. In qualifying, you can get in not one flying lap, but several with the Hankook race tyre. And that goes in all conditions and on every track,” says Mikkel Jensen, who will be pushing hard again as he enters the business end of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
Like many young drivers, his dream is to secure a Formula One seat and follow in the footsteps of Max Verstappen, who finished third in the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the absolute pinnacle of motor racing. Mikkel Jensen: “I would like to be a professional driver, win races and earn money that way. If I can make a living and ultimately feed my family from motorsport, I would be very happy.”