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An interview with the 2021 Danish ‘F4’ Champion Mads Hoe

Interviewed by Danny Jones, edited by Harshi Vashee

F4 is regarded as the 1st step to F1 in almost every racing driver’s career – but not Mads Hoe. Mads didn’t even technically win the Danish F4 Championship, he was racing in an F5 car – more on that later. We discussed Mads’ career so far, his title winning season, and there’s even a bombshell at the end!

What got you into Motorsport?

Mads: My father wasn’t home so much when I was a child because of his job, so he bought a go kart for me,and one for himself, so we could spend the weekends on the racetracks together and then it just evolved from there.

Do you have any motorsport inspirations?

Mads: I really don’t know. I´ve always just been driving because it was fun but, if I have to mention someone, it would be Kimi.

Kimi Raikkonen once said he treats motorsport as a hobby, would you say you do too?

Mads: Well, you can’t say it better than he does. I drive and compete in motorsports because I think it’s fun, and because of all the good times I’ve experienced. I love the way Kimi is racing because he loves it, no matter if it´s rally or F1, he is just doing what he loves.

You managed to win the championship in an F5 car, what is the difference with an F5 and F4 car?

Mads: The Formula 5 was called Formula Ford a few years ago so, a lot of people already know what a F5 car is. It is just a Formula Ford with a wing-kit from an F4 and a limiter that limits the F5 from 160 hp to 125 hp.

For me, it is just so much fun driving the F5. I just love the Formula 5, I feel so much at home driving it. The H-pattern is so much more difficult than the supportive paddle shift, which won’t downshift before the car is ready and by itself cuts the gas in the upshifts.

Even though the Formula 5 has been limited to 125 hp from the former 160 hp, it’s still just so much more fun (We´re losing around 1 and a half second per lap because of the limiter)

The Formula 4 cars have 160 hp, wider tires, paddle shifts, better brakes and are also never made from carbon.

Whereas, the F5 now have 125 hp, H-pattern gearbox, no supportive, pipe frame chassis, and most of them are 10 years older than the F4.

What is it like driving for your own team?

Mads: This is a tough one to answer, I have never tried anything else, it has always just been me and my dad. But I think that it is my favorite part because as a child, my dad wasn’t home much because of his job so, racing on the weekends was a way for me to spend a lot of time with him.

How good are names like Juju Noda and Emerson Fittipaldi Jr for the series in increasing its reputation and popularity? Mads: It is good, but they´re only choosing to drive in Denmark, because they can begin a year earlier than in other countries. I think that the Danish F5 and F4 need to rely on the Danish talents, because the international talents won’t keep coming every year.

You’ve raced in Danish F4 for a while, is this the most competitive it has ever been? Mads: Actually I´ve only technically been racing in the Danish F4 for a single year, that was in 2019. The other years I have been competing in F5, but with participation in F4, because the F5s are running like a b-rank for the F4. If you are comparing my lap times in the two cars, I´ve been around half a second faster in the Formula 4 on every track, than I have ever been in the Formula 5. So I haven’t been faster this year than the other years, the others have just been slower.

The whole year they have all said it was because I had more experience. None of them realized that they had been sitting behind the steering wheel of a race car for more kilometers than I have, because I never do test days – I only drive on race weekends.

Are there any particular highlights from this year? Mads: I think I have a favorite on track highlight and a favorite off-track highlight this year

The on-track highlight is my pass on Wulff on the outside off turn 3 on Jyllandsringen in the rain, it shows how much I believe in what the car can do, and it was a lot of fun.

The off-track highlight is from the first race weekend of the year; I made a perfect race weekend with pole position and 3 heat wins. After the races Emmo (Emerson Jr.) came into our tent with a Pirelli cap signed by his father – I was absolutely starstruck. Just being recognized by them was absolutely stunning for me. What do you love about motorsport? Mads: This can’t be explained with words man. Well, there are so many things that I love about it, not only the racing, but also seeing the young guns evolving into better race drivers.

I´m in love with the adrenalin, the races, the weekends with the team, my mechanics and my dad, the winning feeling and so on, it just continues. Can we expect you to be continuing in the series next year? Mads: Well, I´ve said to myself that 2021 was going to be my last year racing, partly because we can´t find the budget to keep doing it, but also because I´m getting older, I need to focus on my education as a Web developer and begin to work a lot more.

But who knows if an offer slides into my DM I’ll consider it.

No matter what, the team will continue. My sister will still be racing and we’ll try to get some other drivers to join Mads Hoe Motorsport. I will still be present at the Danish races as a coach and mentor for our drivers, and who knows, maybe I´ll guest a race or two in a race car older than most of the boys in Formula 4 haha.

We thank Mads for his time answering our questions and wish him the best of luck on his post-racing career!

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