DRIVER #5 // TRIDENT
In the beginning
Of course, my family was into racing, so it wasn’t difficult to follow that. When I was seven or eight years old, I got a go-kart and it went from there; I started in 2006 and carried on karting to 2013. I didn’t do a lot in Europe, just a few championships – I mainly raced in Brazil, and after that my first championship in cars was the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, I did some races there which were like, five weekends in a row, and I did that three times when I was around 16 or 17.
I did two years of F3 in Brazil after that – I did the second year because I had to finish school, I was quite young and I was looking at racing in Europe, but had to finish my education. Then I came over to do FIA F3, and then here I am!
It’s only a good thing to have my dad and brother, because they obviously know how it is and what happens during a weekend. They know the times when they need to help you, but also the times where they need to leave you alone and give you space when you’re really busy. My dad’s coming to all the races now, and I really like it – it’s a great help.
I remember as soon as I started seeing Formula 1, and when Vettel started to win a lot of races, I really became a fan of him. I still am today, even from Red Bull to Ferrari, and I really admire his way of life; he keeps it simple and doesn’t treat himself as a superstar, he’s a normal guy and he’s one of the best drivers in the world. I think it’s a really nice approach.
Race day routine
I try to sleep as early as possible, and not be on my phone because it really doesn’t help you at all. I try to sleep in a way that doesn’t require an alarm, you wake up on your own and I usually try to be up at least three hours before a race. You get some time to eat something light that doesn’t make you feel heavy, and drink water at the right time. If you drink too late, especially in GP3 the pre-grid is like, 15 minutes before and you’re strapped in, so you need to stop drinking a bit before to avoid the bathroom! I also do my warm-up, especially in practice you need to be on it from the beginning.
On the starting grid
I think I try to be calm. I feel quite safe in the car at the start. But I try not to think too much about it, you can always imagine stuff but in the end it usually never happens the way you think. In the beginning you try to imagine the scenarios, and you can still do it a little bit, but the main thing is to be focused and relaxed.
Hobbies away from the track
I live by the beach, so I love spending time there. I also do a bit of kitesurfing – not now, I’m a bit afraid of twisting an ankle or something, but during a vacation I do it quite a lot. But I also love spending time with my family, I live away from them so if I have the time I go back to Brazil to spend some weeks with them.