He was a stand-out driver in 2022 so why not get to know Franco Colapinto a little bit better during the break from racing.
The Van Amersfoort Racing driver gives you the lowdown on his racing career, style, heroes and what he likes to get up to away from the race track.
NAME: Franco Colapinto DATE OF BIRTH: 27/05/2003 NATIONALITY: Argentine 2022 TEAM: Van Amersfoort Racing
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I grew up in Argentina in Buenos Aires. I was 14 years-old when I moved to Europe, I was racing go-karts. I spent all of my time since then doing Formula racing around Europe for different teams. It’s completely changed my life since 2017 when I was living with my family and then lived alone. First in Italy, then to Spain, then started to build up my life here, experience and things like that.”
EARLIEST RACING MEMORY?
“I would say it was when I started racing in F4, my first race weekend, I won the last race. It was my first actual Formula race. One of my first times in a single-seater, it was quite special. It was really cool, a very nice experience, one of the nicest moments I’ve had since I’ve been racing cars.”
“I’d say I’m quite aggressive, in a good way of course. I like pushing the limit with the car, with the track limits, going for more always, that’s my instinct – to extract everything from the car and from the weekend, maximise myself to try and get the best result possible. Sometimes it’s too much but that’s my way of driving.”
BIGGEST RACING INFLUENCE
“Juan Manuel Fangio. Even though he raced a long, long time ago in Formula 1, he won four world titles. He’s one of the references in Argentina, he started our history in racing and made motorsport a lot stronger in the country. He’s one of the guys I look at as a reference, trying to learn the history and he’s one of my influences. He’s still loved here, one of the only drivers from here to get to Formula 1, that was already a big task and then to win so many times, he’s one of the biggest guys for up-and-coming drivers in South America.”
BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT
"One of the things I’m quite proud of is doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans at 17 years-old. Having that opportunity to maybe win the 24 Hours is something I’m really proud to be a part of last season. It came after a lot of work from all of the people around me, I’m really grateful for that, it was a big learning experience for me. That’s one of my biggest experiences and biggest years in motorsport, so I’m really happy to have that when drivers don’t usually get that at that age."
BEST PART OF BEING A RACING DRIVER
"The best part is, in my case, doing what I love since I was a kid. I’ve loved doing this always, since driving a go-kart to a bigger engine in cars now. I still love that and it makes me very happy every time I do it and I think that’s the key, to enjoy what you do. That’s one of the only jobs I’d enjoy doing, I’m really grateful to do what I love."
FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F3 CALENDAR
“I would say Imola. It’s a really cool track, I won there this year and it’s one of the best tracks for every driver to be on the limit. It’s so difficult, you have so many high-speed corners, some chicanes that are really really nice to drive. There’s gravel everywhere so it’s a tough track to extract everything out of the car because you have to be 100% focused all of the time. Everything’s so so tight so that makes it tricky for the drivers, it’s one of the nicest tracks to drive for us.”
WHAT DO YOU DO AWAY FROM RACING TO RELAX?
“I do a lot of cycling, I love doing that. To do extra to get a little bit of that feeling of speed back. When you’re going downhill and trying to push those corners – not too much because I can’t fall off the bike at speed! You’re getting the feeling and sensations that you’re missing when you’re away from racing for a bit. It’s a really nice sport, there is some risk which I like, it’s something I like to do when I have some free time and it helps keep me fit.”