With the 2023 Formula 3 campaign in full swing, Franco Colapinto’s eager to put himself right in the mix for glory off the back of his second-place finish in the Barcelona Feature Race.
Enjoying his downtime away from the track, we caught up with the MP Motorsport driver to talk all things home life and how he continues to broaden his horizons when he heads back to Argentina.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was born there and then when I was 14, I went to Italy to race in karts, so that was the first time that I’d moved by myself to live somewhere else. But all my childhood was in Buenos Aires with my friends and a lot of my family live there still. I was the one moving out when I was quite young, which was an experience because I suddenly had to start cooking for myself, washing my clothes and I didn’t know Italian.
“It was really tricky, but I think that was one of the years where I grew the most. I had to grow really quickly because of the situation I was in, but I think it was definitely a very nice experience. Now it’s great when I go back to Argentina to see all my friends and family, it’s much nicer because you miss them so much and you appreciate them a lot more.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO SOMEONE?
“Argentina is an amazing country, not only Buenos Aires. There’s so much stuff around and it’s so much bigger than what everyone think it is. It has a bit of everything – you have the beach, then you go to the south and you have glaciers and snow, which are really cool. Then you go to the north and you have so many mountains and waterfalls. It’s a mix of everything that you can find all over the world, you can find all of it in Argentina just from one side to the other. I think a lot of people don’t appreciate that because even the people living in Argentina don’t know so much about their country and it’s difficult for people outside of Argentina to know how much stuff you can do there and how beautiful it is.
“When I started to actually travel a bit more around Argentina and know a bit more about my country, I found it to be one of the best countries I’ve been to. Of course, I love my country and I love being at home. I really enjoy those weeks with my family and friends, and it’s always really nice to go back for Christmas and New Year, spend some quality time with them to recharge the batteries to prepare well for the next season. I just leave everything out of my mind and get ready for the year.”
WHAT LANGUAGES ARE SPOKEN THERE?
“Mostly people speak Spanish.”
WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE?
“Almost every summer I’m in Argentina, but I’m not there in the winter because it’s the other way around in Europe. Basically, I’m constantly living in the summer and I’m not really there for the cold moments of the year because I don’t like the cold too much. So, when here is really cold, I go to Argentina and I’m in the summer heat with 38/39˚C and it’s super warm there. Then when I come back to Europe in January or February it’s really cold, but I’m super tanned and everyone’s like ‘where have you been?’ The temperature and weather are very similar to Spain, it doesn’t rain too much and it’s very enjoyable to do sports outside.”
WHERE SHOULD TOURISTS VISIT?
“I would recommend they visit Patagonia; I think it’s one of the best places in Argentina. I’ve visited there when I was a kid and then I wanted to go back again. It’s amazing! There’s so much stuff to do, the nature is amazing and I enjoyed it a lot. Since then, I’ve more or less understood how nice and how rich Argentina is in terms of its natural habitat.
“It’s amazing for people to see the environment, to have really nice views and enjoy having what the world brings to us and not only big cities like we have a lot of in Europe. It’s really cheap for Europeans to go there, so it’s a great place to visit for a few weeks. I would love to spend a little bit more time there. When I’m travelling all year, I really want to stay at home in Buenos Aires, rest and stay with all my family, not be moving too much or travelling again because I’ve been doing that all year. I normally stay in Buenos Aires, but I would love to have more time to go to Patagonia and do stuff like that.”
FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO FOR FOOD?
“I love going to really nice restaurants, there are really good cooks in Argentina. Everyone knows that the meat is amazing, but they also have really good and well-prepared foods apart from that and I always enjoy eating there a lot. They have little things that are different to Europe and when you’ve not been eating that for a year, you want to go eat those things a lot. So, normally when I go home in the summer, I always come back weighing a few kilos more.
“The food is amazing! There are some foods that originated there, like empanadas and I think there are some foods that are really typical in Argentina that are slowly coming to Europe. I hope they come soon because they have great food there. It’s pretty similar to Europe in some ways, but they also have their own little details and I really enjoy going there and eating with your family what your grandma or mum has been making since you were a kid. It’s always great to have a weekend with them eating the traditional foods that you had when you were growing up.”
MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHERE CAN WE GO KARTING?
“I haven’t gone go-karting in so long in Argentina, but there are a few track which I did race on there. The Argentinian Championship did a few races around the country that was really cool. There are some nice karting tracks like in Buenos Aires, but there are not as many as in Europe, which are much better – that’s the reality. There is a good level of drivers in Argentina and it’s really competitive. In Europe it’s on another level, but it was a good first step as I started there and then I went to Europe.”