In what has been a really fun day guest wise, Sport Grill’s latest interview is with GP3 title contender and Renault’s Young Driver Academy member, Great Britain’s Jack Aitken.
- Who was your childhood racing as you aspired to become a racing driver?
Aitken: I guess Schumacher, but to be honest I never idolised anybody, I have a huge amount of respect for what he achieved.
- The early part of your career saw you have quite an impressive partnership with Fortec Motorsports. What was it like progressing up the motorsport ladder with Fortec Motorsports as demonstrated by strong results in Dunlop Intersteps Challenge and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC?
Aitken: It was an interesting experience, I spent a lot of time with the same guys and we got really close, but by the end I was definitely ready to move on to another team. You can only grow so much with one team, even though we achieved a lot of success like you say!
- 2014 saw you handle three series whilst completing your A Level studies as plenty of races took place during the British exam season. How tough did you find managing your studies whilst chasing your racing dreams during that period because for most 18/19 year olds, its difficult to manage other passions around A Levels?
Aitken: It was really, really tough! I wouldn’t recommend it, because they both detract from the other, and you could see that as when I finished my exams my race results immediately shot up.
- 2015 saw you depart Fortec Motorsports for Koiranen Racing, where you dominated every series that you entered with Koiranen and Team Pelfrey for the Pro Mazada Winterfest. How surprised were you by what you achieved that year with three titles?
Aitken: I was surprised when I looked back at the end of the year, but when I was doing it I kind of expected that level, as we’d been quick in testing and I was coming together as a driver after leaving school properly.
- Last year saw you compete in GP3 with Arden whilst partially featuring three other racing series. What was the biggest learning curve from a season where you slowly grew into a strong race weekend contender after abandoning the other series?
Aitken: Definitely learning how to handle the Pirelli tyres, I had quite an aggressive driving style to begin with and Arden were really good with teaching me. In the end we had 6 or 7 podiums in a row!
- You’re now a major contender in this year’s GP3 championship against your ART teammate and fellow British compatriot, George Russell. How excited are you to be fighting a fellow Brit for the title in same car with just two rounds left of the season?
Aitken: I’m excited to fight for a title always, though things this year haven’t fallen our way as much as I’d like. But we’re showing great pace, race craft and generally fighting hard every time we go out there, so all I can do is keep pushing for the last two rounds.
- Finally, what are your ambitions for the future now that you’re on Renault’s young driver programme?
Aitken: Obviously, F1 is every young driver’s ambition, and I’m no different. Renault offer a huge opportunity in this sense and have been very helpful so far, and I’m definitely still growing as a driver, so I hope to repay them one day soon!