DRIVER #11 // JENZER MOTORSPORT
In the beginning
I started when I was around six or seven when my dad bought me a go-kart, and we started with some little practice sessions. We then started to go to a real race track, and started racing there. Around 2013 and 2014 I went karting in the World Championship, and got into the top ten so I started to go into formula cars. I did two years in Formula 4 in 2015 and 2016, where I often competed in the top five, before going to F3 Open – unfortunately I had no budget for the European Championship, and it was the plan to go there for a couple of years. This year, I’ve been given the opportunity to go into GP3 with Jenzer, which I’m very happy about! I’m starting to learn how to deal with much more horsepower, which is a lot more fun, and I’m looking forward to new tracks like Sochi and Abu Dhabi.
I’m part of the Deutsche Post Speed Academy, and I’m there now for a third year – you do a maximum of three with them.
For sure, the German drivers were always the heroes – like [Michael] Schumacher and [Sebastian] Vettel, but for me it was especially [Nico] Hülkenberg. He won everything when he was young, whether he was competing in F3, GP2 – whatever, he was winning. For me, it’s him that I watched racing and followed, and he’s the person that I really respect a lot.
Race day routine
One hour before the race, I start with a warm-up for my body, and after that I change and make sure everything’s ready – make sure my helmet is ready, make sure my clothes are there, headphones on for the radio. When I’m sure I’m ready, I talk to my mechanics about the car and make sure everything is ready when I get to the grid. I think everyone’s the same, more or less. I always get in from the same side, but this isn’t really a routine, but it’s because you get in from the left in karting – the engine’s always on the right side.
On the starting grid
I always have a sip from my drink bottle! I look for my starting position, check who’s around me and look at what to expect from the drivers around me – some drivers are more aggressive, some less so, so you have to be prepared for what they could do. You then watch the lights, focus on that, because that’s the most important part of the start. I prepare, do my best, try to gain a position!
Hobbies away from the track
I work on a lot of fitness stuff to keep me prepared for driving. Over the winter, snowboarding is quite fun, I do it a lot every year. I used to play a lot of football when I was younger – I wanted to be a professional footballer, but racing was a bit better for me so I stuck to that! I watch a lot of Bundesliga game, I support Werder Bremen because I was born there, so it’s my home club!