musings 1

Matty gives his thoughts on the costs of racing and on the breakthrough performances of Max Verstappen

The clocks are going forward, the F1 season is two rounds old already and a host of domestic and junior series are about to get another year under way.

Normally by this time in the year I would have been testing with my team, going to tracks that are on the race calendar learning the lines, collecting data and working with the team to make sure the car is fully prepared for the first race, but not this year.

After years of racing and testing, this is my first year not knowing where I stand in terms of a team or a championship because of budgets, and not being able to test at the moment if very frustrating.

I know I’m not the only driver in this position, but I have to be honest, when I see other drivers that I have known, raced against and in some cases beaten for years gaining more and more experience, while I am at home trying to find sponsorship and the budget to race, I get a little bit jealous.

It acts as a motivating feeling though as there is now a clock ticking. The longer I am out of racing, the harder it will be for me to find sponsorship and to get back into the seat, so if the guys who voluntarily help me and I can’t make things happen for 2015, we really must for 2016.

I am still working very hard on my fitness though, so should I be able to agree partnerships with some organisations and I am ready to go and while I can’t take my equipment to the nearest park or sports centre, I can still prepare physically and mentally and stay positive. And then there is always budget testing on the XBox!

Like most other racing drivers, Formula 1 remains my ultimate dream and this year, it is good to see a former competitor in Max Verstappen in a Toro Rosso every other Sunday.
I am very happy to see him in F1 and he is acting as an inspiration to other drivers around our ages.

I know Max has always been involved with motorsport from a very young age with his dad Jos, an ex-Formula One driver and he has made the most of the opportunities that have come to him, which for me has helped him gain more experience at a younger age.

I have raced with Max quite a few times and he is a very focused and determined lad and knows what he wants. Many people questioned if he would be ready for the step to F1 when his drive was announced but I knew that he would do well.

He became F1’s youngest ever points scorer in Malaysia and I’ve no doubt he will go on to add a few more youngest ever tags to his CV!

Seeing younger drivers I have competed with now moving up into bigger and better championships gives me hope that I can also race and succeed at the higher levels.

With Max having made it, I am even more determined to push harder towards my dream and to secure the right support so I can show I have the abilities to race at this level.

It mightn’t happen this year, but things are starting to move positively so watch this space.

When we do go racing, it will be good to do it with backing of my family, fans and friends. You all give me great support and the belief you show does give me a boost to keep on trying.

I hope for some good news soon and to be back where I belong, in the race seat!