From his racing heroes, to favourite dishes to cook and how he spends his time away from racing, here is all you need to know about the Championship leader.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST RACING MEMORY?
“That would be my first time I jumped in the go kart. It was a fully blue kart, and it was at a karting track in Brazil. I remember when I was six, I was very, very small and the go kart was very small as well and I remember going out of the pitlane. I can even remember how it felt, the smell, the sensations also. It's a bit weird, but I can remember basically everything from the moment that I sat in the go kart to when I went out of the pitlane, but then I don't remember much after first corner.
“I remember I didn’t sleep much the night before. I’d asked my father about a week before if I could start racing because my brother was already racing himself. So we got in contact with the team that my brother was racing for already and we asked them if they had a little go kart so I could try for the very first time. Before I’d only done the indoor karts so the very slow ones, so this was the first proper time I went karting and that was at Aldeia da Serra.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RACING STYLE?
“I think when I need to be aggressive, I can be very much aggressive. I can play the game that the others are playing as well. So if I see that the guy is very aggressive, I can be the same. I have no problems on doing that. But at the same time, I know that if I'm fighting for something bigger, like I'm doing now, I know how to play the smart guy as well. I don't take no risks for sure. Not being not aggressive, but I mean, not crashing for no reason. If there is no need let's say, I would say I am quite aggressive.”
WHO IS YOUR RACING HERO?
“Ayrton Senna. As I say to everyone when they ask me this question, I never saw him driving but he’s my idol from all the history that I've heard from my parents and what he did for Brazil, not just being the driver that he was, but from what he did for Brazil. The country was going through a very tough momentum when he was in Formula 1. We were going through very poor moments in Brazil, and a lot of bad things were happening in the country, and he was winning races and winning World Championships. I think he made everyone much, much happier on Sundays. Also watching his races back, he had a unique driving style. I can say that he was one of the best if not the best of all time. He's my idol because of what he did for the country.
Nowadays, the drivers that I liked the most will be Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso for the way that they drive and how aggressive they are. You can see that they want more every time. Max - he's winning the race by 20 seconds, and he wants to do the pitstop to set the fastest lap. That's the type of thing that I like to see, this ‘I want more and more and more.’ You see that in all three of the drivers I mentioned.”
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
“I would say something in karting that made me very proud at the time, because I didn’t have much time racing in Europe, and I was third in the World and European Championships, second in 2018, which was a very good year. I’ve had some good results like being in the top five in other Championships but that’s not something I am super happy with. But 2018 when I finished P3 in karts is.
“Maybe the best race I’ve done in cars was in 2020 at Monza when I started P22, made a mistake at the start and fell to last and 30th and then I came back to finish P2 in the race. It was a mega race, it was dry and I made a lot of moves. It was very fun and at the same, I needed to be very aggressive yet careful in order to not crash and to get the positions back.”
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A RACING DRIVER?
“Driving these amazing cars.”
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM RACING?
“I do racing on the sim. On the sim, you’re still racing but you’re also having a lot of fun and learning new stuff. So I would say sim racing is my second passion. It doesn’t help everyone, but I can guarantee that for myself, it helps a lot. We see other drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Fernando, they don’t drive in the sim as much but they are still performing very well. It doesn’t mean that if you don’t do it, you’re not going to be good, but I know that for myself, even with the people that I drive with when I’m in the sim, I can still learn a lot from them. They’re professional sim drivers and they’re the best in the world on the games and they have a very big natural talent. So they have different techniques than me and I can take some good things and bad things to learn from them, so I would say that it’s helpful for me.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRET TALENTS?
“Oh man this is a difficult one. Someone asked me like a month ago and I had to think about it for a few minutes. I mean my whole life is racing either in real life or on the sim, so it’s difficult to say but I do like to cook. I’m not super talented at it but I do enjoy it a lot. When I have friend and family close to me, I enjoy spending time doing dinners or lunches with them. We usually cook typical Brazilian food, so it’s basically rice, beans with steak usually.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR?
“I would say Monaco is my favourite. It’s my favourite racetrack because it’s very difficult. We didn’t race there this year but Imola is one of my favourite tracks of all time. I love old-school layouts like the way that the track is laid out and that if you do any mistakes, you can very easily end up in the wall. So you really need to have the bravery to reach the limit and not go over it. I like these types of racetracks to be honest. There’s a lot of history there.”