Up close with Mr Pitlane himself:

Maximilian Günther meets star reporter Kai Ebel

From Michael Schumacher to Sebastian Vettel, in the past 20 years, Kai Ebel has had the biggest stars in Formula 1 in front of the microphone. This week, it was Maximilian Günther’s turn to field questions from the dashing RTL reporter, also known as Mr Pitlane. The 16-year-old youngster met Ebel at a two-day workshop run by the Deutsche Post Speed Academy.

‘How do I present my public persona properly?’ That was the key element to be considered by Maxi and his fellow trainees in the Deutsche Post Speed Academy during the session. To kick off, the young racing drivers’ personality was put under the spotlight; everyone knows that speed alone is no longer enough in the world of motor racing. “The aim was to assess our own particular strengths and weaknesses off track,” said Maximilian. “Often, you don’t quite know how you come across to other people.”

Three key words – how would Maxi himself describe his personality?

1. Determined
2. Focused
3. Ambitious

With the aid of presentations from experts, video analysis and group discussion, Maxi learned at the workshop how to take centre stage properly without changing his personality. “We took into account things like posture and content,” said Maximilian. “It was weird at first, having to describe yourself to the group, but I quickly got used to it and learned many more important things for my future in motor racing.”

And then along came Kai – how did that make you feel?

Theory is good – practice is better. After the personality coaching, they then had to put into practice what had been learned with adversary star reporter Kai Ebel and his microphone. Ebel subjected the reigning Formel ADAC vice-champion to a thorough grilling, posing plenty of tricky questions. In the subsequent analysis, Ebel gave his young interview partner valuable tips on how to deal with the media. “I was already familiar with interview training, but it’s a completely different story when a well-known reporter like Kai sticks a microphone under your nose,” said Maxi. “Kai is an extremely nice guy, and meeting him in person was a great experience.”

The Deutsche Post Speed Academy was established in 2004 and has since produced many popular motor racing drivers, including Formula 1’s Nico Hülkenberg and Adrian Sutil, plus DTM stars Timo Glock and Pascal Wehrlein. “Former graduates of the academy show where the path can lead and that gives me a little extra boost for my second Formel ADAC season,” said Maximilian, who has also received support during the past two years from the ADAC Sports Foundation.

Foto: Maximilian Günther