Michael retired from the first round of the Formula Nippon Championship on Lap 16 when his engine simply stopped." We do not know what the problem is yet, but it is most likely to be water getting into the engine electrics - I am really destroyed...
Michael retired from the first round of the Formula Nippon Championship on Lap 16 when his engine simply stopped." We do not know what the problem is yet, but it is most likely to be water getting into the engine electrics - I am really destroyed by this, today was one of my best drives and I really felt I had everything under control in very difficult conditions," said Michael Krumm.
Both the morning warm up and race where completed in full wet conditions, the continuous rain made the conditions atrocious and challenged all the drivers skill and determination, Michael made the very best of the conditions.
In the morning warm up Michael set the third fastest time, but more importantly practiced driving blind! "The times this morning were not important, as we were fifth on the grid I expected to be in traffic. So I used the time this morning to get a feel for the conditions - on several laps I waited to follow in another car's spray using the edge of the track as a reference, this is very difficult to do, but very important in these conditions" commented Krumm.
Michael made one of his traditional getaways from fifth position, taking second position before the first corner, challenging for the lead entering the first right hand corner. Pole sitter Hattori held the advantage through the corner and Michael set about learning the conditions and challenging his team mate for the lead.
Michael and Hattori quickly gained an advantage of 10 seconds over the third placed car, Hattori benefiting from clear visibility and Michael on his gearbox, in a ball of spray. "It was hard to follow Hattori so closely, but I did not want him to gain any advantage" As the leading duo traded fastest lap times and edged out the gap to the third placed car to 17 seconds. Michael began to suffer a sticking throttle - on one occasion jamming open as he approached the braking area for the last chicane. Short cutting the chicane Michael duly waited for Hattori allowing him back into the lead to avoid receiving a penalty.
The following lap Michael had dropped to over 3 seconds behind Hattori, he then set a string of fast laps closing the gap back to a few tenths of a second, only to be thwarted by the engine failure.
"The accelerator sticking was a problem, but I compensated for this and soon was right behind Hattori again. He was braking very early for the chicane and I knew I would be able to get him either here or in one of the other slow corners. But the engine just died and that was that. The conditions today were so difficult, but it was possible to race I think I have never driven better than today so a DNF is not what I hoped for. I am pleased for Hattori and Team 5Zigen to take the first win of the season, but sorry for all my supporters that we could not make a fight till the end of the race", said Krumm