Taking time to relax during the winter break, Martí gives us the rundown on his first racing memories, his heroes and the greatest achievement of his motorsport journey so far.
NAME: Josep María Martí
DATE OF BIRTH: 13/06/2005
NATIONALITY: Spanish 2022 TEAM: Campos Racing
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I was born in Barcelona, but I actually grew up in a small town nearby. That’s where we moved to when I was born and that was where I grew up until I was like 10/11 years old and then I moved here to Barcelona.
“My experience growing up there was very good, I can’t complain. I like food, so the food’s good here. You can go to any part of the region and if you want to have something, you can find something that’s good. That’s the good thing about Spain is that there’s no bad places.”
FIRST RACING MEMORY
“Fernando Alonso’s second World Championship when I was like two years old or his first win at Ferrari. For me, the first time I went karting when I was four-and-a-half, I was already a little bit competitive – I'd cut half the track to try and catch my sister in her more powerful kart. I hate losing so much!”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RACING STYLE?
“I’d say I’m sort of on the mental side rather than just like go at it and overtake. I think my moves through very thoroughly in the races, I want to be the most efficient. For example, Saucy was behind me in Race 2 in Barcelona and was quite a bit quicker than me, so as soon as he got DRS he came alongside me.
“I knew he was going to come alongside me on the straight, so I just lifted off the gas and let him through to try and catch the guys ahead and it worked out because I had the DRS. I just stayed with him, and we caught the guys in front so that was good. Maybe Barcelona wasn’t the best place to do it because it’s really hard to overtake, but had I done it in Bahrain it probably would have been a better outcome because you have so many more chances at overtaking.”
WHO IS YOUR RACING HERO?
“Fernando Alonso’s my main racing hero for the fact he’s won two Championships and that’s the guy I grew up with. In recent years, I’ve really come to like George Russell as well and how he’s able to do what Alonso did in his Ferrari years, where he had a car that was maybe able to finish sixth or fifth and he would always bring the car with no mistakes during the race and a good Qualifying near or on to the podium. I think that is what makes the difference between drivers.”
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“My biggest achievement to date was probably the Vice Championship in Formula Regional Asia, even though I didn’t win a race. It was quite interesting because I’d never jumped into the Formula Regional car before the first Practice in Abu Dhabi, so I was going into it like ‘right, we’ll see where we go’.
“From the get-go I felt really confident and comfortable with the car. I was second in my first-ever Practice against all these guys, it was surprising even for me when I got out of the car. I think the car suited me very well where I was able to do things with the car, maybe go quicker and to be able to extract more from it. It was a good season in that way of seeing I was capable of doing what I wanted to do with the car and then that obviously gets results. I got 10 top five finishes, and I finished fourth like seven times – I hated it (laughs).
“I was happy with the result, but at the same time I was like I could have done better. There were so many things, especially Qualifying – it's always been one of my weak points and it took a hit because Arthur Leclerc was really, really good at Qualifying. He would always start in the top five even if he had a bad session and sometimes I struggled.”
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A RACING DRIVER?
“Driving – being able to compete against the very best and measure yourself to that. When you win, the excitement and feel of reward you get for being able to be at that level.”
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM RACING?
“I’m a music guy, I love music! Even during a race weekend, when I’m at the hotel I always try to have music on in the background, just something that’s very light to chill to and bring everything down a bit. Even at home, I always have music on. The other thing would be sim racing, I’ve done the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, so I don’t stop racing either.”
FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR?
“My favourite track/place combination is Silverstone, but in terms of layout, the one I’ve enjoyed most is Silverstone. It’s a really flowing track in comparison to some other tracks which have corners and sections which could not be there and it would feel better. Then there are some tracks which miss that, for example the Red Bull Ring. It’s a very straightforward track for me, there’s just two hairpins and three fast corners, so it misses something else like a chicane.
“Silverstone has all of that – like chicanes, it has low speed corners, it has high speed, it has mid-speed and slow speed corners. It has a bit of everything and that’s interesting.”