The biggest Spanish star in motorsports will be Fernando Alonso at the moment. Besides Fernando Alonso, there are some other very talented guys from Spain. One of those young and talented guys is Dani Clos, which will be driving the GP2 Series in 2009 with the Spanish team of Racing Engineering. Clos is also a driver which is part of the development program of Williams F1. RacingInside.com spoke to Dani Clos in an exclusive interview about his future goals and his expectations for 2009.
Dani, you are a talented Spanish driver and most of our visitors will know who you are. But could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors that do not know you?
Well, I am Dani Clos. I am 20 years old and I am Spanish. I started my racing-career in 1998, when I was only 7 years old. Since then I have raced the rest of my life from go-karts till GP2 Series, which I will drive in 2009.
How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a racedriver yourself? Did your parents always support you?
It was a casualty in my life. One day, at a typical friend’s lunch from my parents, someone said at the table: “Why don’t we do some go-karting between friends, just to have fun.” And they went there also with the sons and daughters just for a little play.
Then my dad and a friend bought a go-kart and one day, I saw a little child who was driving a racing kart. I liked it so much that we bought one for me. I started with a club championship, then Catalan Championship, then Spanish Championship and later on: Italian Championship, European Championship, Margutti Trophy and World Championship. That brought me to racing cars, which I do now with single seaters.
You have started your career, like many other drivers, in karting. Did you enjoy your period in karting and do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
Definitely, karting is an essential period that any racing driver needs to go through. All the technique, the competition etc. is into karting. It’s like the school of motorsport.
You have raced in different formula cars throughout the years. You have started with Formula Renault 1.6 and also driven Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Now you are going to race the GP2 Series. What are the main differences between those cars? Which car, do you think, is the most exciting to drive?
Well, each category got their own characteristics. But the main difference each time you make a step forward is the power, the quality of the materials of the car, brakes, gearbox etc. Each time the grip is higher and higher and the brakes brake better each time.
The most exciting car I’ve ever driven is the Williams F1, for sure. But technically speaking, the Formula 3 is the one I’ve learned the most at.
In 2009 you will drive the GP2 Series. What are your expectations of the coming season?
I’m realistic, this year I’ll be a rookie. There are some drivers with 3 years of experience on this car. For sure I’ll sacrifice and I’ll work really hard to learn the most to be on the top. It’s a great opportunity and it’s the step to get into the top level.
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?
I would like to forget not any moment, to be honest. Every season, good or bad, is due to some reason. And it is from them that you learn the most. But my best moment is the day that I went to the Williams F1 team and I had the pleasure to know them, be with them and at one point work by driving the car for them.
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?
Honestly, I don’t know. No one can know. But what I know is that I’ll be working the hardest to get to my goal.
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 Michael Schumacher, or maybe Ayrton Senna.
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?
For sure, it’s been really difficult to get into where I am now. I’ve had had external help from sponsors, programs, etc. But the biggest help I’ve ever had is the one of my dad, my manager Emili Pons and Mr. Lalo Soldevila. This are the direct ones who made this 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?
Everything is hard. In physical aspects we need to be athletes. The mind is the hardest thing you need to have. Control the internal and external pressure, the battling with the other drivers and take corners at more than 250 km/h. The results are not only from you, it’s the whole team and the car that needs to be perfect. It’s one of the hardest sports.
What job would you have, if you had to choose an other job?
Something related with sports or management for sports people.
What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
Sacrifice to get into your goals.