This time the Paddock magazine moves on up with Vicky Piria, a talented racer, driver instructor and brand ambassador from Italy.
What was your very first experience of motor racing?
My first experience in motor racing was when I was more or less eight years old. My younger brother just started karting in a track nearby home and I instantly turned very competitive. So I gradually started racing and a year after we participated in our first motorsport event together.
How did you finance your early years?
My karting years were really nothing serious to be honest, I just really enjoyed taking part in small races close to home or close to where my grandmother lived. My family could support it. Obviously stepping into motor racing when I was 15 turned everything upside down and I was lucky to find some small sponsors and other kinds of help from family and friends.
One of the biggest challenges for every driver is to attract sponsorship. What is your recipe for success?
I must say that there really is no recipe. Many extremely talented drivers aren’t racing for the sheer lack of sponsorship. I sincerely believe that a sponsorship should be a truly commercial investment for a company, which means creating business opportunities for the sponsors outside the racing environment and making the driver a solid ambassador, organising various events and creating new possibilities for both parties. It takes a lot of patience and hard work, the right people and much luck.
You mustn’t be too hard on yourself, but that may be necessary to compete at the highest level.
How do you deal with the competition on the track?
The competition is something that I really love about this sport, it is what brought me to this world in the first place. Although probably the most tenacious competitor is your own self: I always aim to improve my driving skills, my decision-making during the race, my technical knowledge and the communication with engineers and mechanics. You mustn’t be too hard on yourself, but that may be necessary to compete at the highest level.
What are your most important career highlights?
From winning my first championship in 2006 in karting to a podium in Paul Ricard in the European F3 Open, all of these results are very important to me. However, my performances in Spa Francorchamps in GP3 and F3 just like in Monte Carlo are the most significant at this point, even though I have had many top five finishes in the last years.