One of MP Motorsport’s new recruits, Tim Tramnitz arrives in FIA Formula 3 this year fresh from a successful 2023 season. Third in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine last year, Tramnitz caught plenty of attention for his racing exploits, impressing enough to be named as one of the newest Red Bull Junior Team members for 2024.
There’s a growing sense of momentum behind him and it’s evidenced in his excitement when he talks about his upcoming rookie campaign in F3. Tramnitz, like many of his rivals, can’t wait to get started, and the MP driver says he’s in the perfect place to capitalise on his recent exploits.
“I'm really happy to be with MP. They have gained a lot of experience in the last few years and got better and better each season. They had a pretty good year last year. Franco Colapinto was really close to becoming vice champion, so I think this just shows the potential of the team.
“Having worked with them already in the tests it was a really nice feeling with everyone, so I feel really good within the team.”
Fresh from a winter break that was preceded by the three post-season tests at Jerez, Barcelona, and Imola, Tramnitz says preparations have been hugely positive in the time away from competition.
The MP driver was able to log a huge amount of mileage across all three tests, accumulating 434 laps at the wheel of the F3 car across all six days of testing. It was at the final of the three tests though that Tramnitz says things began to click into place.
“It was really useful. It is really important to do it and very helpful for me especially, not just for learning the car also speaking with the team, getting to know everyone and how the team works.
“Of course, there are some differences in what each team is doing, but learning the car, understanding how the car feels, how it behaves in certain situations, that’s really important.
“What was really good was that we had one wet day in Imola, so this was good as well as it was the first time in the car in the wet and sometimes it's a bit difficult to understand how the car works at the beginning.
“It's a completely different challenge because the car is so different, so testing was really useful. I was able to get up to speed and the pace was getting better and better at each test, so it was quite positive.”
The 19-year-old joins the Red Bull Junior Team ranks alongside MP teammate Kacper Sztuka and hopes to become one of the next in line to graduate up the single seater pyramid under Red Bull’s supervision.
It’s an opportunity he is taking with both hands and is eager to maximise. Tramnitz says he has already spent time in Milton Keynes at the F1 team’s headquarters and leaned on engineers and other experienced figures in his preparations for his rookie F3 campaign.
“2023 was a very important year for me because I was able to become a Red Bull junior because of last season. It was such a huge step for me because I would say as soon as you start your journey, you want to be joining an academy or want to get recognised by people for what you're doing. When it was clear that I would be joining Red Bull, I was so happy because if there's a team which is known for bringing their driver's through, I would say it's Red Bull.
“I think you're pretty close with everyone. There are lots of things to do, I would say it’s a good education in Milton Keynes as well. And it's just so good for me to learn with Red Bull. To have all those experienced people around you, they can really help you so much, it's incredible.
“To be there at the factory and talk with some engineers or very experienced people in motorsport, I think it's good to just have a chat with them and discuss with them a bit because you can really learn something from it.
“I think if this helps you in understanding the car a bit better and to be able to recognise things a bit quicker in the car, especially with such a limited amount of practice time before quali, that can help you a lot.”
Hitting the ground running is one of his primary aims heading into the new campaign, but there’s one more test ahead of the season getting underway, with three days of test action in Sakhir preceding lights out in Bahrain.
Tramnitz is eager to put those days to use, in particular learning about the Pirelli tyres in more depth around the same circuit he’ll be making his F3 debut at.
Ensuring the tyres are in the best condition for Qualifying is an aspect that the German driver highlights as being crucial to ensuring he’s able to make a positive start to life in F3, with the behaviour of the rubber different to what he’s experienced before.
“It would be good to be quite consistent at the beginning, not too many up and downs. Of course it would be nice to fight for podiums as well. The last test looked really promising so I think the targets would be to be in the top 10 and fighting for podiums.
“The biggest challenge is the tyre, which is really different compared to what I was used to in FRECA, especially for a Qualifying lap. How to get the tyres in and take care of them, I wasn't really used to before.
“There's so much performance and just understanding how the tyres works I would say is the biggest challenge for me, especially at the beginning of the year.”