The Racing Nurse

A thrill of speed in the Formula V Racing Lounge in Cham: 50 male racers and a lady fought in the four Evotek simulators on the Formula 1 circuit of Monza for the starting positions for the first round of the Swiss Championship on Saturday, 25 May.


The fact that this is about more than honour and prestige (but also about prize money totalling over 100,000 Swiss francs) already shaped the mood in the room at the premiere event: the concentration in the simulators was literally tangible, the silence during the eight-minute races deafening. And the emotions were as high as in a real Formula 1 race. A clenched fist there, a staggering shake of the head there. The performance was meticulously analysed by the drivers. Not everyone was happy about his performance for a long time. Because Formula V is no child's play - and the technical and coordination requirements are high. The high-speed track of the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza demanded a lot from the participants.

Living in Thun, working in Bern, racing in Cham: Danica Brönnimann.

Danica Brönnimann from Thun, the only woman in the starting field, showed a more than respectable performance. Although she had first sat in a simulator and prepared herself for her game at home on the game console, she kept up well with her male rivals, improved from run to run and classified herself with a time of 1:26.125 in the wide midfield.

However, the 27-year-old operation assistant from the Inselspital in Bern was not completely satisfied: "The manual shifting system takes getting used to. With the automatic shifting an even better time would have been possible." Basically, however, she was very impressed by the racing atmosphere and the possibilities offered by the simulator: "I've driven a Formula Renault car on a real race track before. This comes very close to reality." But the pace in Monza is faster than on almost any other circuit. The speed record is 372.6 km/h - set up by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005. The Formula V racers also broke through the 300 km/h barrier on several sections of the circuit on Saturday: "That's a very strong feeling," says Darica.

The lady from the Bernese Oberland was not alone with her positive impression. Even as a spectator you could see for yourself how realistic the conditions in the simulator are. The drivers were pressed into the belts by the centrifugal forces and shaken by a rumble on every uneven surface. The tension drove the sweat into their foreheads.

Race director Marco Hammer was highly satisfied with the test under competition conditions: "We used the day to optimise the procedures and simulate the first day of the race. Two weeks before the start of the Swiss championship he can say with a clear conscience: "We are ready". This also applies to Danica Brönnimann. The country's fastest surgical sister has a good chance of winning the Swiss championship for the first time on 25 May after her performance at her premiere.

Christoph Holstein set the best time of the day with 1:21.013, and 14-year-old Junior Kevin Aebi, the youngest racer in the field, achieved a remarkable 1:24.309.

Thomas Renggli, Cham