SUCCESSFULLY MAKING THE SWITCH The time for testing is over. In Hockenheim this Monday, Philipp completed the last in a series of winter tests in which, as reigning Formula BMW world champion, he duly posted the best lap time, coming ...
SUCCESSFULLY MAKING THE SWITCH
The time for testing is over. In Hockenheim this Monday, Philipp completed the last in a series of winter tests in which, as reigning Formula BMW world champion, he duly posted the best lap time, coming in four-tenths of a second ahead of his closest pursuer. Now he has the first race of this season's Formula 3 Cup to look forward to - once again at the Hockenheimring.
How is Philipp getting on with his new 'tools of the trade'?
Philipp learned a lot from Formula BMW that is now standing him in good stead in his new Formula 3 career. All the same, an F3 car is a big step up from what Philipp has been used to driving. "The difference is actually quite significant," concedes Philipp. Obviously in terms of engine performance, but he has adjusted to that relatively quickly. Far more surprising from his point of view is the aerodynamic grip. "For example, in Formula BMW, I had to brake for the first corner at Hockenheim and change down a gear," Philipp recalls. "In Formula 3, I sail through in sixth gear and only have to come off the gas very briefly." His engineers have been a great help in adjusting his style. "In any case, I learned a lot in Formula BMW that I can apply here as well."
What's the mood like within the team?
Philipp has gone into the new season brimming with confidence. His HS Technik team is made up mainly of Austrians, so that he really feels at home. He also knows his mechanic personally from the time he spent at Mucke. "I get on famously with everyone here and the team spirit is excellent." Let the season commence!
And what can we expect from the opening race?
His best time from testing was highly respectable but Philipp isn't taking anything for granted. At the curtain-raiser event, he intends to build on it. "The main thing on the opening weekend is not to drop out, not to do anything stupid and to consistently get in amongst the points" he says, plotting the course ahead. In this his first F3 season, he has set his sights on a place amongst the Top Three. "Obviously, for every racing driver the ultimate prize has to be the title, but I'll take things as they come and won't put myself under too much pressure." Because the competition is going to be stiff. "I'll give it my best shot and then we'll see how far up the podium I get."
About Philipp Eng...
Eng has been driving competitively since the tender age of nine. He started off in go-karting and took a string of Austrian titles in various categories - Division IV Cadets 80cc (2000), Division V Bambinis 60cc (2001) and the ICA Junior Class (2002). In 2003, he embarked on a year's training in Italy. In the 2004 European championships, he was fastest in qualifying, and in the Italian Open, he took the overall victory. In 2005, he once again returned to karting in Italy before finally making the switch to Formula BMW. The pinnacle of his career was third place overall in the 2007 season and winner of the Formula BMW World Final in Valencia. And his reward for this achievement was a Formula One test drive with the BMW Sauber F1 Team.