When did you start racing and what inspired you?
“I started racing when I was 6 years old but I’ve been driving ever since I can remember, I had an electric car since I was 18 months old and my parents say I was doing 3 point turnings at that age (not that I remember that 🙂 ), my favourite toys have always been cars and airplanes so I guess that speed inspired me.”
What advice would you give to anyone interested in taking up racing?
“I would say that he/she should only start competing professionally if racing is their passion, due to how expensive karting is nowadays. Should try renting first and some clubs run “hire and race” type of events.”
What’s the best racing advice you’ve ever received?
“Probably the advice that my mechanic gave me back in 2011, which was whatever happens during the race, never look back at your competitors, stay focused on your driving.”
Who was your favourite childhood race car driver?
“It definitely was Fernando Alonso, I started to admire him after he won two World Championships in 2005 and 2006.”
What are the biggest challenges a young driver faces today?
“I personally think that money is the biggest issue nowadays, and probably being aggressive but fair at the same time.”
Favourite race track and why?
“Motorland Aragon, I love that track because it’s good fun to drive and because I have always shown good pace round there.”
What achievements are you most proud of to date?
“My biggest achievements are signing for the seat to drive British F4 2016 season with TRS Arden International, and winning the 2012 MicroMax Festival at the Rotax World Finals in Portimao (Portugal).”
Favourite road car?
“My favourite road car is a MSO McLaren P1.”
With a lot of young drivers struggling with funding, how are you working your way around it?
“Well, it’s not easy! My parents spread the word, send information to businesses about me and my experience as a driver, and when I have the chance to socialise I always seem to end up talking to people about my racing!”
What is the hardest part of racing?
“I think keeping fit is the hardest part, also getting the right mind set is very important.”
Do you have a favourite racing memory?
“Yes, I do! I used to love karting so much back in the day when it all started, my Dad was on the tools not just for me but also for my younger brother. Now racing has changed a bit, I have my own mechanic and I don’t really see my Dad very often during racing, because I try to be focused on what I’m doing and act professionally.”
How does racing in Spain compare to the UK?
“Racing is very different in Spain. I think everyone is a bit more friendly and they are not as aggressive, but all very talented drivers.”
What would you say were your happiest times in karting so far?
“My happiest moments were definitely when I was racing with my Dad back in the day, and I won my first championship in our local circuit in Torrejon (Madrid).”
Is it important to have coaching do you feel, and is this an area you’d like to participate in the future?
“I think it would depend on the age, if you are very young you should take it easy and improve yourself. Now if you are around 16 and you feel you need help, then I think it’s a good idea. It would be great to participate in coaching younger drivers, but it is too early for me to think about that.”
Do you have a training/fitness plans?
“Yes, I do! Depending on the week and what I’m doing, but I train at least once a week and I have some sessions with my personal trainer. If you want to progress as a driver, fitness is essential.”
Quickfire: Monaco or Monza? 🙂
Quickfire: Describe yourself in three words? 🙂
“Competitive, ambitious, fast.”
Quickfire: Understeer or oversteer? 🙂
Quickfire: Most embarrassing moment? 🙂
“When I fell off the top step of the podium.”
Quickfire: Ferrari or Mercedes? 🙂
“Ferrari, because of its history.”
Quickfire: If you could take three things to a desert island, what would they be and why? 🙂
“Steering wheel, my phone and my race suit so I can pretend I’m still driving.”
Quickfire: Lewis, Fernando or Sebastian? 🙂
Do you have any dietary plans which you feel may aid/help your fitness?
“Yes, I definitely think that eating healthy is very important in terms of fitness. I always make sure I eat healthily, specially during the racing season. My mum is Spanish and always cooks fresh healthy food at home, and at school I always choose the healthy option.”
Do you have any routines, rituals or superstitions before you start a race?
“I put my feet under the pedals (in karting) before a race and I close my eyes and visualise a fast lap.”
Have you ever tried track simulators, and if so do you feel they can assist you as a driver on the circuits?
“Yes, I have. I sometimes use the simulator at Arden. I think it definitely helps because it gives you a rough idea of how the track is (if you have never been to that track). It’s also good for memorising breaking points and turning points.”
What’s the key to driving both fast and consistently around any circuit?
“You have to keep focused on what you are doing and not worry too much about anything else.”
Goals in racing? Ambitions? Where next beyond 2015?
“I want to progress in single seater racing, my dream is Formula 1, so this coming season is the first step. The goal for 2016 is the rookie championship but I know it’s going to be difficult because I will miss 2 out of the 10 meetings (I cannot compete until I become 15), so it’s going to be tough but I will do my best.”
Finally, we’re asking all Q&A participants to pose a question for the next culprit(!). What question would you most like us to ask?
“What do you miss the most when you are racing away from home? I miss my family, friends sometimes.”
(Q&A Session with Hayden-Media)
Supplied by Ayrton Simmons.