With the off-season currently underway, we've got a chance to catch up with some more of the stars of the 2022 Formula 3 season. Now it's William Alatalo's time to shine.
Find out more about the Jenzer Motorsport driver, as the Finn reveals the stories behind his first racing memories, the enjoyable side of driving and why he's all about 'The Iceman'.
NAME: William Alatalo DATE OF BIRTH: 10/04/2002 NATIONALITY: Finnish 2022 NATIONALITY: Jenzer Motorsport
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I grew up in Finland in my hometown, Ilmajoki. It's a small, small town of around 12,000 people live there and I have grown up there my whole life and still live there. It's in the mid-west part of Finland, 350 kilometres to the north of the capital. So for everybody else, it's basically in the middle of nowhere, but I really like it there. It’s peaceful and really beautiful. I'm not really a big city guy, I'm not a big fan of being living in cities, so it's been quite nice to live in a small town.”
EARLIEST RACING MEMORY?
“Karting in Finland. I remember driving when I was six or seven years-old, but before that I don’t remember much. I remember how the track used to go and how it was difficult for me near the start because it was one of my first times in a kart. I liked it the more I drove and it felt like my thing from the start.”
DRIVING STYLE “I would say in Practice and Qualifying I drive quite hard with the car, fast into the corners. I’m not driving softly into the corners, hard on the brakes and the throttle which is of course hard on the tyres. With the steering wheel, I’m doing a lot with it so I wouldn’t say I’m a smooth driver but it’s a fast way to go around.
"In the races, I defend a lot and try to do risky overtakes from time to time. I’d say I’m better in the race than in Qualifying, I feel better and more confident on race days. On the first laps I usually gain positions, but I’m still quite fair. When a driver is next to me there isn’t going to be a crash and I don’t drive into others. I race hard but still fair.”
BIGGEST RACING INFLUENCE
“I would say Kimi Räikkönen. He’s been driving in F1 since before I was born. I was always watching when I was karting and following motorsport, he was the one I was watching and rooting for. It has to be Kimi. Of course now that Kimi isn’t driving so now it’s Valtteri Bottas, but it’s been Kimi for the past 20 years.”
BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT
“Hopefully it’s yet to come but I’d say there’s been a few but not just one that really stands out. I remember driving in 2018 in my first year in Italian F4 and I won in Monza and I was second in the other race, that was a really good weekend. In 2020, I was the third rookie in the Formula Renault Eurocup Championship, then last year in FRECA, I got a podium in Paul Ricard. Those are my good moments. My first win in the Italian Championship, that was quite special for me.”
BEST PART OF BEING A RACING DRIVER
“It’s the pure enjoyment you get driving around the track. In Practice it feels amazing, tracks like Spa-Francorchamps or new tracks for me like Silverstone and Zandvoort, it just feels amazing when you get to drive the corners, going full throttle through Eau Rouge, you can’t compare it to anything at all. You dance with the car through the whole lap driving on the limit.
“When you get out of the car, normal life is going so slow and nothing’s happening. Everything feels like it’s not moving but when you’re in the car, it’s completely different. It’s the races, the first laps when you can’t make any mistakes and trying to gain positions. It’s tough to describe, you can’t really put it into words, you’re just pushing all the time.”
FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR
“Spa. Many other drivers will say the same. It’s one of those tracks that works well with an F3 car, not too long still and those fast corners feel amazing. Sector 2 at Spa is amazing, so definitely Spa. Silverstone is a close second.”
WHAT DO YOU DO AWAY FROM RACING TO RELAX?
“When I get home to Finland, it’s peaceful there. There’s two days where I don’t really do much, I spend time with my family, go for a walk then go to my grandma’s house and visit her. Spending time with family and then friends in the evening. We’ll go out or something. I don’t like resting at home, I’ll be working out or something because even though it’s physically hard, you’re always thinking about racing.”