After scoring his maiden Formula 3 victory in the opening Sprint Race of the season, we wondered – who inspired and encouraged Josep María Martí on his journey to the top step.
We caught up with the Campos Racing driver to find out, delving into how having his family behind him and having the support he needed to develop his racecraft from a young age set him up on the path to success.
“My parents make a lot of sacrifices for me and my dad, he works a lot every day and does everything for me and my sisters. So, the way he gives himself to us is great and it’s just something that I personally appreciate a lot from him, and it brings me great joy to be his son.
“He’s a great influence in my life. He’s helped me build a lot of discipline to be a better person and to obviously be the person who I am today. In that way, he’s really helped me to become a very disciplined person and from my point of view, I try to respect everyone as much as I would like to be respected and that’s all thanks to him.
“The support is everything to me and my parents have supported me all the time since I was a kid. They haven’t had any doubts in bringing me somewhere to do an extra test, no matter the cost. Obviously, they haven't brought back anything or haven't ever told me off for something I've done in racing, so that support always gives me an extra push. For example, my dad barely comes to the races. He comes on the weekends only most of the time and doesn’t come to most of the tests because he’s at home working, so for me, when he comes, it’s that extra boost having my dad around. It’s a great confidence boost and it’s just really nice to have everyone around at the same time.
“My dad has a saying that everything comes with the process and to get anything, you have to follow the process. I think that’s something that’s really, really key at the beginning. I didn’t really give it any importance, but over time I’ve seen that it’s really important to follow not just an order that you feel comfortable with, but a process that you know it’s going to get you there. Maybe it’ll take you longer, maybe it will take you a shorter time, but it’s always going to be reliable.
“The process is really easy – do everything right and the results will come. As time goes by, I’ve acknowledged how important that is and to put as much effort in as you can, to not hold back on anything, to ask for that extra five minutes and to do that extra lap in the sim to give yourself that extra 1% and spend half an hour more looking at data. It’s always about those small things that bring out that extra performance.
“My mum was the one that actually got me into motorsport. When I was really, really young my dad wasn’t actually very interested in racing, but my mum was. She loved Formula 1 and everything for a long time, so I would watch races with her, and I eventually grew the same passion. She’s a very loving person and she gives herself to her kids – my sisters and I.
“She’s travelled the world with me since I was 13-14 years old, so for the last four years and she’s obviously been by my side the whole time. She’s also helped me build that character and the person that I am today is thanks to her. It’s thanks to both of my parents that I’ve had the chance to do what I’m doing, to do what I love and to have that passion without having any sense of remorse or sense of bad feeling.
“Obviously I haven’t seen any of my races from the outside, so I haven’t been present myself seeing her while I do what I do, so it’s still a bit of a mystery to me. I know she doesn’t watch the starts; she watches them from a distance. She’s really supportive and in that sense, I don’t know how she takes it. I’m sure she’s nervous at the same time, as much as I am. I know she screams a lot; they’ve told me about that! When I started karting, we would never have thought, at least myself, that we’d be in the position where I am now and to be here, it’s thanks to them.”
“It has to be my coach Genís Marcó. He was Fernando Alonso’s coach back in the day and he picked me up at a very young age. I did the 2017 Catalonian Championship and because of some strange coincidence my dad had a contact that he knows quite well that also knew Genís. One day, I’m pretty sure it was December 2017, they got together for breakfast, and we decided to work together, and he’s been a part of my life ever since.
“At the beginning when we started to get to know each other, for me it was really, really weird in that sense to have Fernando’s coach with me, but as time grew, he’s become part of my family and part of my life. He’s become a piece of me, or I’ve become pieces of him you could say, so he’s been a great influence for me, and I’ve grown very fond of him.
“I actually started racing quite late in comparison to most of the other drivers. My first international race was at aged 13, which was at junior level and quite late, so I barely had any karting experience beforehand. Obviously, I had to learn really quickly and in the span of three years, I grew from being a regional level driver to being a world class karting driver and I finished fourth in the 2019 Karting World Championships after starting second.
“That was the span of progression I had and then at that speed, it was all thanks to him. He shaped me mostly into the driver that I am, and all my knowledge comes from him. He has this approach that I need to know what goes into the car and I need to know how to express it and what I need. It’s really important and that’s something that someone else might not teach you. In my case, I’ve been lucky to have someone who’s taught me not just driving, but everything that comes with it. He’s been a great influence in my life, and he still is and will be hopefully for a long time.”