After a tough MSA Formula and MRF Challenge season, Indian Tarun Reddy tells Darshan Chokhani about his "luckless" championship run and how he is ready to bounce back in 2016.
Reddy raced in the MSA Formula for Double R Racing, finishing a modest 15th with a podium under his name but his season was severely hampered with frequent car troubles which saw him retire 11 times in 30 races.
The 18-year-old then competed in the India-based international MRF Challenge series against experienced European F3 campaigners, finishing seventh picking up a podium.
In both the championship, the Indian's bad luck played a bigger role in deciding his results but that hasn't deterred his morale as he gears up for the BRDC F4 season with Fortec this year.
In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Reddy spoke about his upcoming season and reflects back at the MRF Challenge..
Starting with your recently announced plan for 2016, how did the deal with Fortec happen for a BRDC F4 campaign?
"My management got in touch with Fortec to test the new BRDC F4 car. I had a run out with them and straight away I was impressed by the professional working environment within the team.
We had a few more run outs towards the end of winter which went really well and I can see the team will provide all the resources required to go and win this year."
So, what is your realistic aim this year, do you think wins are possible and perhaps even the title?
"I don't want to jinx anything (laughs) but I believe that we will have a strong season."
You have had your share of bad lucks, how eager are you to shrug that off and get going in 2016?
"It's just a matter of time before things click, the pace is there but the luck isn't isn't at the moment. I've been working hard over the winter to prepare myself for this year and If I do my job we will have a good campaign."
As a driver how difficult it is to come back after a difficult year, how frustrating it is and how do you bounce back from it?
"My season in 2015 taught me how to be tough mentally. We faced so many problems technically that eventually I learnt how to get back on my feet and go again.
It's extremely frustrating as nothing is under your control but I look at them as life lessons which you bounce back from."
Talk about the MRF Challenge run, how did it go, you started off well but bad luck haunted you even there?
"Pace wise, I was back where I should be, towards the front. I qualified in the top three for two out of the four weekends but then again some terrible bad luck and reliability issues hampered any chance of me achieving a good result.
It was extremely frustrating to have lost the amount of points I did as they were snatched from me for no fault of my own."
You did have some on-track tangles, notably with Tatiana Calderon and Alessio Picariello, which was a rather close one - what happened?
"The first one at Abu Dhabi was silly, she [Calderon] made a bit of desperate last lap lunge for the lead when there was no space really and tagged me ruining my race.
In the second one, the driver [Picariello] behind me made an extremely dangerous move in a corner where its impossible to overtake with two wheels on the grass, climbed on top of my car and just nicked my helmet.
I was lucky to jump out of the car without a scratch, but I was upset by how these incidents were dealt with as little action was taken which didn't really affect them but robbed me of a victory on more than one occasion."
Among all, which moment you cherish the most at the end of the championship?
"It's hard to choose a moment I enjoyed the most but definitely leading around Abu Dhabi and Chennai for most of the race was a good feeling.
Obviously, the results weren't there to back it up because of what had happened but I proved to myself and people watching of what I am capable of doing when I have the package under me."
What did you learn throughout the season and how was it to be able to perform against the F3 and GP2 drivers?
"It was good that I had the opportunity to keep sharp during winter and race on some important tracks like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
My pace was strong all year against the more experienced drivers which was encouraging. I additionally learnt a few things with tyre management as every circuit we went to, we faced hot track conditions and the tyres would go off quickly."