Successful premiere for Manuel Sudau in Formula V. The 33-year-old German wins at the very first attempt in the Racing Lounge in Cham: "Cool" he says about his success. Christoph Holstein from Zug finishes second. Felix Hirsiger, the winner of the first two races, has to settle for third place.


German wins at the Nürburgring

At the virtual Nürburgring, Sudau started from pole position to the 30-minute final race. In the first half, he profited from the fact that the drivers fought hard for positions on positions 2 to 4: "I was able to consolidate my lead in this way". As the race progressed, Holstein and Hirsiger pushed the pace and pressed the German beginner. But Sudau did not allow himself to be put off: "I knew that I could hardly be displaced from the top without making a mistake”.

Sudau, who lectures at ETH Zurich as a spatial developer, could no longer be dissuaded from the ideal line. He was correspondingly satisfied after the award ceremony: "I started with low expectations. All the more reason for this success. And the Sunday trip to Central Switzerland also paid off financially: "I'm happy to take the 5,000 francs back home."

The success of Sudau was not necessarily foreseeable. In qualifying, his 14-year younger German colleague Angelo Michel indicated just as much potential. But for the Munich driver, the race ended in the lap of the last 32: "The physical demands are bigger in these simulators than in German Simracing", Michel described the main difference to the domestic class. The power density also made the task more difficult. In the morning elimination 25 drivers finished within three seconds. "The air in the top group is getting thinner and thinner," says race director Marco Hammer.

But back to winner Manuel Sudau. Not least, he had hoped for learning effects for the simulator races in Germany - especially in interaction with his colleague Felix Hirsiger: "Due to his past in real racing, Felix brings with him some qualities that we don't have - racing instinct, perfection in preparation and physical detail work".

These are words that Monisha Kaltenborn likes to hear. The former Sauber team boss, CEO of Formula V since the beginning of the month, sees a major intersection between simulator racing and the real world: "The transition is already fluid. Just look who's starting with us. There are many drivers with a background in classes such as Formula 4 or Formula Renault. In Formula 1 the drivers are evaluated according to their telemetry data. These data can also be read from us - and you can see exactly where you can optimise yourself."

She sees no limits for the new series: "We want to have a global network built up in the medium term - so that we can hold championships on national and international levels. We have the advantage that we don't have to gradually expand out of Switzerland. We can also go directly to a far country. Anything is possible in the virtual world."

Hirsiger climbs on a bicycle

Everything is also possible in the race for overall victory. While Manuel Sudau will be absent from the next Formula V race in August due to private commitments, Leader Hirsiger will shift his focus to muscle-driven locomotion at short notice. The ambitious amateur cyclist wants to pedal from his home in Erlenbach to Monte Carlo in the coming days - all alone and with just a few change of clothes and a credit card in his luggage: "I've always wanted to do that", he says, is the trivial reason for the 1,500 kilometre long return journey. He crosses the Col du Galibier (2642 m above sea level) and the Col de la Bonette (2715 m above sea level), two of the highest asphalted roads in Europe. This should also point him in the right direction for the continuation of the Formula V season. For the Zurich racer, there is still only one goal: overall victory and a championship bonus of 30,000 Swiss francs.