As a racing driver, you need a lot of dedication, talent, patience and discipline. Patience is an important ingredient to achieve perfection in racing.  Every racing driver has a close connection with his race car. This means that a racing driver can assess almost every situation of his vehicle.

You have only been racing for a few years. How did you get into racing?
I have always had a passion for speed, and when I started to experience driving on track, doing the Ferrari “Corso Pilota” driving courses, I realised that it was a total game changer compared to even the highest performance road driving. A few years of track driving, and I found the desire to be out there growing, so racing was the next logical step.

Which race was the most important for you?
With Yas Marina being my home track, my first win there will always be a special memory. The fact that it was in 2013, quite early on in my race career, just adds to that. My race win in 2018 in Fuji, when I won overall, managing to stay ahead of the Pirelli drivers who were in a higher category, was a very proud win. Also worth mentioning finishing 3rd with my team drivers at Gulf 12 hrs in Abu Dhabi .

What advice would you give to young racers?
I think I can only advise gentleman drivers; those who look to racing as a hobby and passion, rather than a source of income. And to them, I would say do it the right way, train a lot, practice, spend the time in the simulator, and have a coach if you can. There’s also nothing wrong with climbing up the power bands gradually, 700 horsepower on day 1 might not be necessary.

How much longer will you want to race?
I think the answer to this is the same for everyone who races, as long as I possibly can.

Who are your role models in racing and who inspired you the most?

James Hunt and Ayrton Senna come to mind. Hunt because of his determination, and because he managed to become a world champion despite the odds being against him. He did all that whilst enjoying a very flamboyant lifestyle off-track, and definitely enjoyed his life. Senna was a driver’s driver, and his pace was so blistering, it’s still a joy to watch videos of him racing today. It’s possible no other driver has managed to extract so much raw pace from a car like he was able.


What changes did you experience in the Corona pandemic?
Everything, more or less. It was am exceptionally difficult couple of years, and I think we all realised what really matters in our lives. Racing, for me, took a bit of a backseat, as work was challenging, and trying to help fight the pandemic in my community took priority. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel in 2023, when I’ll be driving something new, which I am very excited about.


Ferrari is your passion. What makes Ferrari so special?
As a brand, I don’t think any other manufacturer rivals it in terms of the racing pedigree, and the history of the brand on track. From Formula 1 to Le Mans, and even hillclimb thanks to a couple of really committed drivers, Ferrari means success in almost every racing discipline. Combined with the lifestyle element and community the brand offers, and for a gentleman racer, there is no other brand that can give you what Ferrari can. It helps that their are are so fast too.


How often do you go to the track to stay in shape?
During the season, which runs from October to April here in Dubai, at least twice a month. I also do karting because it’s so physically challenging and good for stamina.


You have achieved many things in your life. Do you still have goals you want to achieve?
Don’t we all? I think we never stop trying to grow and do more. Perhaps the types of goals we have change though. With age, things like family, or helping the community, take priority over things that are important earlier on in life.


Your love of racing is great. How does your family deal with it?
They have always been supportive, and have been there for me a lot as I’ve raced over the years. My daughter has been supporting me trackside for most of her life. She’s 10 now, and was actually born just as I started my career.


As a racing driver and father, you are also an entrepreneur. What does a day in your life look like?
When I’m not racing, I go to the office most days. I also started a foundation, which is taking a lot of my time, but I don’t think about that at all, because I can see the power of the work that’s being done, and how much it helps people.


As a Ferrari collector, you have many Ferraris. Which Ferrari is the most beautiful model for you?
Ferrari has been going from strength to strength as a brand in recent years. When I first saw LaFerrari, I really thought they had reached a zenith. However, they released the Daytona SP3, which is simply stunning, and I think one of the purest expressions of beauty we can expect to see with a naturally aspirated car in this current era.


Thank you very much for the open and personal interview with you and also for your time.

Thank you.