While Kevin Magnussen has been taking the Formula Renault 3.5 series by the scruff of the neck, another Danish driver has been quietly but effectively having a good season. Marco Sørensen of the Lotus outfit has 2 wins to his name, both in the dominant weekend in Austria which also saw his take a pair of pole positions and a fastest lap. But just how good is Marco Sorensen, let us take a look at his career to date, plus work out what we could expect from him in years to come.
Marco Sørensen began racing single seater cars back in his native Denmark in 2007, driving for Lucas Racing in the Formula Ford Denmark series. In the 16 races he competed in, he won four, took 12 podiums, and finished third in the championship on 238 points, behind fellow Dane’s Christian Markussen and Johan Jokinen.
2008 saw him cross to the United Kingdom, racing in the British Formula Ford series with Fluid Motorsport. He won only once – at Silverstone – with four additional podiums, finishing 8th in the standings. He also participated in eight races of the inaugural ADAC Formel Masters series in Germany, taking 4 wins for the ma-con Motorsport team and 4th in the championship – not bad for only joining the season at the halfway mark! He also raced two races in the Formula Renault 2.0 Portugal Winter Series for Motopark Academy, securing 7th and 4th place finishes.
He remained with the Motopark Academy outfit for 2009, with a dual campaign in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) series. His Eurocup season wasn’t that great, scoring only 15 points in 14 races, failing to reach the podium once. However his NEC season was much better. A win the season finale in Spa-Francorchamps saw him finish third in the championship behind champion Antonio Felix da Costa and runner-up Kevin Magnussen. He scored 232 points with four additional podiums to his one race win.
2010 was a very disrupted season for Sørensen, starting only 8 times in the German Formula 3 championship with the Brandl Motorsport team, though he did managed to score a podium at the Nurburgring. He remained with Brandl for the 2011 German Formula 3 season, impressing with 2 wins (at Spa-Francorchamps and at EuroSpeedway Lausitz), but also with 11 second place finishes and two more thirds! Not bad for a 16 race campaign! He also made a guest appearance in the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series event at Silverstone, winning race 2 but due to his guest status not scoring any points for it.
Initially Sørensen was out of a drive for 2012, however he was invited to a test session with the Lotus (Charouz Racing System) team in the Formula Renault 3.5 series and impressed enough for them to give him the drive for the season. He didn’t disappoint, winning (again) in Spa-Francorchamps, and finishing sixth in the championship. He also missed out on other wins at Aragon and Silverstone, when car trouble and punctures cost him comfortable race leads. He had done enough to convince Lotus to retain him for 2013.
With one round of the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 series to go, Sørensen sits seventh in the standings, having dominated the Austrian round of the season at the Red Bull Ring with two poles, two wins and a fastest lap to boot. He also scored a podium in Monaco.
So how good is Marco Sørensen? Well he is a solid driver for sure in Formula Renault 3.5, with flashes of extreme speed, as shown in winning in Austria this year and Spa-Francorchamps last. Everyone in the paddock knows what he can do, and he nearly always brings the car home in the points. What he really needs to do is get amongst the Kevin Magnussens, the Stoffel Vandoornes and the Antonio Felix da Costa’s more often, prove he can be championship material. Right now he’s not doing that often enough, even though we know and he knows he can.
While Magnussen, Vandoore and Felix da Costa are being heavily linked to Formula 1, whether in 2014 or beyond, Marco Sørensen hasn’t been mentioned as of yet. Its up to Marco Sørensen to change that next year, have a breakout season, whether its in Formula Renault 3.5 or other. Its up to Marco and Marco alone to prove he’s good enough for Formula 1.