Markus Pommer: Reward for a professional season

Markus Pommer: Reward for a professional season

26.09.2014: There was no doubt about the result last weekend: Markus Pommer is this year's

There was no doubt about the result last weekend: Markus Pommer is this year's ATS Formula 3 Cup champion. The 23-year old driver from Neckarsulm has won 13 races and scored 394 points, which means he was leading the ranking beyond reach at the penultimate event of the season.

The Team Lotus driver at the wheel of his Dallara F311 Volkswagen handled the track at Sachsenring best in the torrential rain, claiming a lights-to-flag victory and at the same time the 2014 championship title. We talked with the 23-year old about the biggest triumph of his career.

Markus, you have won the title of the ATS Formula 3 Cup at the penultimate racing weekend of the season. Did you know from the outset that you would succeed?

No, I didn't know that at all. For me, it was quite a long way before I came to the Formula 3. Initially, I had an offer to contest the GP3, which did not lead to anything. Some great offers from the AutoGP followed and I accepted one of those in the end.

It was quite a spontaneous decision to contest both the Formula 3 and the AutoGP. At first, I had almost no experience in either series. However, after a few days of testing I had my pace again.

So it took a while to make yourself familiar with everything?

Sure, it took a while for me to adapt to the new situation. After one year in Formula 2 I knew the other drivers from tests only. Even though it was helpful that I had contested Formula 3 before we had to wait and see how the season would work out. We wanted to claim the title.

Half a year later, what do you think of your competitors now?

There were hardly any differences noticeable during the tests. I was able to build a gap only when I had the set-up under control to some extent. Over the season it helped a lot that I had more experience. Often I made fewer mistakes. Nevertheless, there are a few drivers who have a great pace and do a phenomenal job.

A lot has been said about the "whole package" which you need in order to be successful in motorsports. Why was your "whole package" better than that of the other drivers?

I have been in open-wheel racing for six or seven years now. I know all the tracks well. I also have a good relationship with my team or rather with my engineer, who even lives in my village. That comes in handy. It really facilitates our collaboration. Work in the simulator, a good car and so on – success depends on so many factors.

Formula 3 is also well-known as the “school of motorsports”. Numerous top Formula 1 and DTM drivers have contested this series for young talents. Did you learn new things this season?

Sure! I won a lot of races and gained experience. You become more confident and consistent with each race. And every race helps in the collaboration with the engineer.

Everyday life in Formula 3 entails considerable effort. In addition, you contest the AutoGP. Advantage or burden?

I think I had about 17 racing weekends in total this year. You are in the car all the time. On the one hand, it helps with the flow and the collaboration with the team. On the other hand, it was quite stressful at first. At the very start I didn't get to go home for four weeks.

In addition, we then completed some days of testing and it was “drive, drive, drive” all the time. By now I have really gotten used to it.

What will you remember about the 2014 season?

I had a lot of fun. Working with the team was just fantastic. I didn't have any bad luck throughout the season. The other drivers were fair and in the end it worked out well for me. Everything went smoothly.

What advice would you give to your successors for their debut in Formula 3?

The team is crucial because you are allowed to do a lot of development work. It's advisable that drivers complete tests in several teams. The Formula 3 vehicle is very aerodynamic. That's something you have to get used to. Steering is also more difficult to manage. A good preparation and a close collaboration with the engineer at the start and throughout the season are essential.

Do you aim to contest Formula 1?

It would be a fantastic goal but unfortunately it is very unrealistic. I think I have a greater chance in LMP sports or in America. I could also imagine contesting the GP2. However, if you don't get a chance to contest with a top team it quickly becomes all about the money.

What will you do in the next few weeks? And what are your plans for next season?

At first I will contest the final race of the ATS Formula 3 Cup at Hockenheimring. Then I will travel to Estoril in Portugal for the AutoGP. And finally I will contest in Formula 3 at the Suncity Group 61st Macau Grand Prix. I would love to continue in open-wheel racing. And the World Series by Renault or LMP racing are good options. Nothing has been decided yet though.

Thank you, Markus! We wish you all the best!

Bettina Eichhammer- photo Formel 3 Vereinigung


26.09.2014 / MaP

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