Pepe Marti He is only 18 years old, but he competes with the solidity and conviction of a veteran. After two years of constant progression in F3, with prestigious victories in Barcelona, Monaco and Bahrain, he managed to catch the attention of Helmut Marko and in 2024 he will make the jump to F2 as a Red Bull Academy driver, driving a car from Racing Fields. A week ago, in his first test in the F1 pre-season category, in Abu Dhabi, he finished among the best five.
What expectations do you set for your first season in F2?
I have no expectations going in. I am aware that it is a very difficult championship and although I would obviously like to say a ‘top five’, I know it will be complicated, there is a lot of competition.
How was the first test with the new car?
It was very positive. We ended up drawing quite a few conclusions and I took a step forward in terms of knowledge of the car and the tires. In terms of performance we finished fifth overall but it is also true that it was a test with many ups and downs. The long runs went very well on the last day, especially with respect to Hadjar who already has a year of experience. And after one lap on the second day we were at the top and we did quite well, so I’m happy.
What is the main change compared to the F3?
What changes the most compared to the F3 are the tires and the difference between the 13 and 18 inch wheels is very large, but I think that in terms of aerodynamic load there is not much special, although the car does weigh more and is longer , but… it is still a car with four wheels.
What is this new stage like at Red Bull?
We have been working for a few months now and they have been very positive. I was in Milton Keynes to prepare for the Abu Dhabi test and it was very special to see all the trophies they have there. The truth is that during this time I have already learned a lot. For me it has been a privilege and a pleasure to be able to work with them, with their engineers and with all their resources. For me as a driver, his contribution is very good.
What advice have Helmut Marko and Christian Horner given you?
Advice, none, because they are not my coaches, but the managers of the Red Bull academy and an F1 team. The only thing they have made clear to me is that I am in the best place to grow and advance in my sports career. They have all the necessary means to get to Formula 1 and I know I am in the right place to try to fulfill my dream. Now it’s up to me.
Fernando Alonso represents you and is your mentor through his agency A14 Management. Does it also help you from a sporting point of view?
Fernando is always a call away and it is something that is greatly appreciated. In the face of a test, the simulator, the preparation for next year with a new car and the debut on new circuits, it benefits me a lot to have his help because he has a lot of experience.
What plans do you have until the new season starts?
I will take a vacation these days, I have to rest a little, but then I have a lot of work ahead of me to be as prepared as possible for the start of the championship in 2024, I am going to prepare as best I can, with a lot of physical training and many laps in the simulator , I can’t wait to get back on the track.
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