During the last seasons, A1GP is a growing championship in motorsports. This 'World Cup of Motorsports' consists out of different countries that are competing against each other. One of the new countries in A1GP is Monaco. Clivio Piccione will be the driver of this team and he is also involved in the team. RacingInside.com spoke to Clivio Piccione about A1GP and his career in motorsports.
Hello Clivio, some of our visitors will be familiar with the name of Clivio Piccione. Unfortunately, some of them have never heard of you. Could you give a brief introduction about yourself?
Sure, it is no problem to give a brief introduction. I am Clivio Piccione. I am 24 years old. I am born in Monaco and have lived there all my life. I started racing in karting, like most racing drivers do, when I was 13 years old and having enjoyed quite a lot of success moving on to reach GP2 Series level.
Some race drivers are getting involved in racing through friends or family. How did you get involved in racing? Did your parents support you from the early beginning?
I got involved in racing just because the fact that at one day my family decided to go karting on a Sunday afternoon and I just felt in love with the racing adrenaline. And by the way, I broke the lap record on that very same day. Yes, I am very lucky to have parents who have supported me from the beginning and I wouldn’t be where I am now without them!
Did you started your career, like many other drivers, in karting or have you been into the cars straight away? Do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
Yes I started the first 4 years of my career in karting, and I think for most racing drivers this is the most logical first step in their career.
You have raced in different formula cars throughout the years. You have driven in Formula Ford, Formula 3, World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2. What are the main differences between those cars? Which car, do you think, is the most exciting to drive?
The main difference between all the cars I have raced is mainly the speed they achieve! Clearly the most exciting is the fastest, so up to now the GP2 car was the best car I have driven. But I’m really looking forward to jump into the new A1GP car.
This year you are involved in a whole new adventure. You are going to run Team Monaco in A1GP. Could you tell us something about those plans? Are you going to drive the car yourself?
I am very proud to be racing for my country under the red and white flag of Monaco. This has been a project which I am thrilled has come to fruition and thanks to my co-seatholder Hubertus Bahlsen. I am only the second person in A1GP to be in the unique position of being seatholder and driver, which is a double challenge.
If you take a look ahead, what do you think that the future will bring to you? Being successful in A1GP will possibly be one of your targets, but do you have any other targets that have to be accomplished?
I think that probably all race drivers strive to drive in Formula 1, the fastest and most exciting cars in racing, but my main step now is to achieve a lot of success in A1GP and we will see what the future brings.
Every race driver has good and bad moments during his career. What is your best moment in racing, until now? What is the moment you would like to forget as soon as possible?
My best moment in racing until now is winning my first GP2 race in 2005 (voted most exiting race of that season).
My worst is losing the world karting championship by 0.016 seconds in 2000.
The life of a race driver is tough physically and mentally. Do you have a special training programme to stay fit and to gain strength?
I train several hours everyday with my trainer to build up and maintain stamina and strength. I also have a good diet and healthy lifestyle which also helps.
If you could change lives for a day with another race driver, who would it be?
I don’t want to change with any one driver, but one person I always admired was Ayrton Senna, his races were always exciting!
From the outside, being a race driver looks like a real dream. But there are also negative points, of course. If you could take people a look at the ‘inside’ of racing, what do you think is the most negative point of being a race driver?
I wouldn’t change my life for anything, there are little things which can be negative, but nothing can take away the feeling you get once you sit in the car and go for it!
What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
Follow your dreams! If you persevere have determination, you will win!