Maria de Villota: "I think we have not had the results we deserve." Maria, the first part of the season in the Spanish formula 3 Championship brought some ups and downs for you. Qualifying third Albacete, great results in Jarama, but on the...
Maria de Villota: "I think we have not had the results we deserve."
Maria, the first part of the season in the Spanish formula 3 Championship brought some ups and downs for you. Qualifying third Albacete, great results in Jarama, but on the other hand often being involved in accidents caused by others. What is your resume so far?
Yes, the season is having it's ups and downs. Up until today and looking back, I think we have not had the results we deserve. We know that we should be at the top and steal a couple of podium positions, but the level of drivers this year is very high. We are many fighting for the same positions and at all costs.
Do you sometimes think it's harder for a woman to be in racing? What experiences have you made so far?
This year I am having a hard time not believing that something strange is happening every time I am in the leading positions during a race. There is always a driver that seems to upset my possibilities in advancing. I have to admit that I am disgusted by this behavior and I hope that it was only a casual occurrence. The names of these drivers are not worth divulging, they will stay with me, but I will then have to fight harder on the track so they can't catch me.
Given your speed and consistency during the eight races held so far, what are you expecting from the second half of the season?
Valencia has always been a circuit in which I have had good results. The test which we did here during the pre-season was the first time that I really felt at ease with the car thanks to the advice from the team. I know that we can surprise everyone. Papy (my engineer), Billy and Brito (my mechanics) know that we are not far from reaching this goal. We have to keep working like we have and hope that luck will be on our side.
Together with Borja and Steven you tested in Jerez in August. Were you keen in getting back into the car again and how did the test go?
Very much so, after this break...It was a good test, I felt very at ease in the car. I think that at the end of the day, we did a good job. Each test day allows me to advance more in a positive direction.
What have you been doing during the long break between the Estoril and Valencia round of the Spanish Formula 3 Championship?
I have been working at my father's Race Driving School and I have continued with my fitness training program.
Your father, Emilio de Villota, was a race driver as well. How would you compare your driving style to his?
He has a very spectacular driving style. When he has taken me out for a ride on the track, I was surprised at the speed in which he moves his hands, nearly as if it was a reflex. I on the other hand do this much less. I move the steering wheel with more care. From the outside, you cannot appreciate how quick I am. Many people have this perception, although my times are on par with those that are leading. But I think, among other things, I have inherited his wish for doing a good job, for being hardheaded and doing what I want, even though it won't be easy. He has also passed onto me the will to go beyond the norm and not be satisfied with anything. Every time we take a trip together we have endless chats on how we would take a certain corner, how it feels, details, and although some might seem insignificant, they could be the reason we could spend hours chatting about it.
How important has your family been throughout your career?
Just like any daughter or sister...but luckily we are all connected by what passions us, and this unites us very much. It is true that in a sport such as this one, you suffer in many ways, but I think that we have pulled ourselves out of difficult situations quite well. On top of that, when a group or family live such intense situations, the immense satisfaction of doing well also is among us. I think that my parents and brothers, and I also include my relationship with Emilio as a driver, has been exemplary. I am lucky to count on his experience. Since my parents have raced many years and in many places, they don't feel the urge to relive it through me. I am my own driver and a happy daughter that goes along with what she wants to do, but with just the right amount of family support.
You are the only woman in the Spanish Formula 3 Championship. What made you decide to go into racing?
After being Formula Toyota Vice-Champion, it was the logical step. I could not have done it without the help of Mapfre, Hola, RACE and Antonio Iborra who was the first to offer me an F3 drive. I would no be here today without the many people who believed in me, people like Jose Santos, Santiago Porteiro, my trainer Miguel Angel Rodriguez...and obviously Racing Engineering.
How would you describe yourself and your character?
I am a very active person, I cannot sit still for very long. Only in front of the downloaded data from my car time seems to fly. I am a very happy person, but also a passionate one. I am lucky to be without a worry or care in the world. Once in the car, the character that I have inside me comes out, but without going over the top. I take spontaneous decisions that will help me during the race. It's during that same race that an internal strength that I have in me in increased. I love the bonding that exists within a team where everyone depends on everyone else. I could also say that I talk a bit too much.
We know that right next to racing you are also working, but what are your future ambitions? Where could we see you racing next year?
I don't know as of yet. It is true that I have many things in my head, but saying something now would be a bit precipitated. All I know is that my ambitions are very high and my hard headed ways as well.