DRIVER #18 // CAMPOS RACING
In the beginning
I started very late, in 2012. My first time in a go-kart was when I was four years old, and then I started practicing and did two or three races when I was young. Then I had a very big crash and my mum got scared, and she told me to stop racing. So I started to play football instead, and I was very good, actually. I played my last year with AS Roma, but then I had a moment in my career where I wanted to go back racing – I wanted it to be that if I won something, I won on my own. I begged my father to let me come back to racing, and here I am.
I did Formula 4, which wasn’t too bad although it was very difficult that year, and then I won the Euroformula Open championship, then I stepped up to GP3 last year. It was the worst year in my career, I had a lot of bad luck and the situation was not very good, and now this year I’m back and pushing to the maximum.
Ayrton Senna is my inspiration. The way he was going into a racing weekend, with all of his training – he was one of the first drivers who started to train properly. In terms of talent, Juan Pablo Montoya, who’s always been one of my favourite drivers. Montoya just had that way of adapting to a track and kicking everyone’s ass! Senna, the way he was driving street circuits, and the way he was able to build big leads in the rain, he’s one of my favourites for that.
Race day routine
First of all, I have to drink a coffee! I come to the hospitality to do it because it’s Italian coffee, and when I wake up I’m in that racing driver mentality and very focused. I like every detail to be ready, and I always have my trainer with me to work on warming up before the race, for massages and to help me with my exercises for concentration. I drink a coffee with him, and then I get in the car and drive it! I’m very superstitious, I also do all of my lucky things, when I get in the car I jump in the left hand side and get out on the left hand side, so all of those things!
On the starting grid
The start of the season wasn’t so good for this, I messed up the start in Barcelona, but when I’m on the grid I focus on the lights and think about the first corner. I’m also focusing on the procedures, but it’s mainly about the first corner – after that, I’m confident and I get into the rhythm.
Hobbies away from the track
I love to do a lot of sports, and I also love to travel. I love to explore the world with my friends, although I’ve never been to America so it’s my dream to go there…when I can afford the trip!