Italy is the country of fast supercars like Lamborghini and Ferrari, but it also has some very fast race drivers. Some of them are currently racing in Formula 1, while other drivers are currently in a surrounding that is a bit quiet. Fabrizio del Monte is one of those very fast Italian race drivers, which is currently a bit at the background. RacingInside.com spoke to the fast and talented Italian about the past and his future.
Fabrizio, you are a talented Italian driver and some of our visitors will certainly know who you are. But could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors that do not know you?
I am Fabrizio del Monte. I am 30 years old and I am an Italian race driver. I started my racing career in 1994, when I was 14 years old. Since then, I have raced a big part of my life! I have raced from go-karts till Formula 1, as a testdriver in 2006.
How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a racedriver yourself and did your parents always support you?
My father made me a gift, which was a go-kart! That made me discover the one and truly love for me; the racing life.
Then I started at racing level with the Italian Championship and European Championship with the IAME factory team and my teammate Fernando Alonso. After winning the Italian championship in 1996, I received the opportunity to drive a single seater, like the Formula Renault.
Did you start your career, like many other drivers, in karting? Do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
Yes, like I mentioned; I started my racing career in karting. I think karting is essential to permit every driver to groove up in his or her racing life.
You have raced in different cars throughout the years. You drove Formula Renault 2.0, Formula 3, Formula 3000 and even Formula 1. What is the best car you have driven with, and why?
Of course, Formula 1 is the best car I have ever driven. You need to be smart and learn fast to be quick in those cars.
But it was not less fun or good to drive with physically very demanding cars, like Formula 3000 in Europe and ChampCar in USA. Those cars are very hard to drive and are physically very demanding.
Lately, it has been very quiet about your racing career. What are your expectations and plans for the 2012 season?
After Formula 1, I moved to the GT cars and I drove in FIA GT with Ferrari in 2008. After that, I have driven the Italian GT Championship with Porsche.
In 2012 I expect to find some good sponsors, to get back in some international championships and to race the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
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 will definitely be the call of Giancarlo Minardi, after I took my first win in Formula 3000. He invited me to do a test with Minardi Formula 1 in Vallelunga, together with my teammate Heikki Kovalainen. That definitely has been the best day of my life until now.
I don’t remember the worst moment in my career. Every minute I am not racing is a bad moment.
If you take a look at your future, what will the future bring to you then? Are there special targets that have to be accomplished during your career?
To be honest, I don’t know what the future will bring. I just need to work hard, together with my manager, to find the best place for me.
If you could change your life with another racedriver for just one day, who will be the one you are changing with?
I would change with Fernando Alonso, because I think he is a very good race driver.
Although the racedriver is the one that really scores the results, there are always a lot of people on the background that also have a big influence on the results and career of a racedriver (sponsors, mechanics etc.). Is there a special person in your career that you would like to thank, and why is that person special to you?
I have had external help from my sponsors, but I am especially grateful to my family. They are directly the one who made this all happen.
Many people think that the life of a racedriver is all fun and just a dream. But if you take a look to the ‘inside’ of racing, what is the hardest part of being a race driver?
It’s very tough! At the physical aspect, we need to be real athletes. Besides that, you have to control the internal and external pressure, to fight wheel to wheel with other race drivers in the middle of the corners at 200 kilometres per hour. To me, it is one of the hardest sports in the world.
What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
You have to make a lot of sacrifices to get at a high level in motorsport, but it is all worth it.