Paddock Journal is joined as we speak by Irina Sidorkova, who’s a 17-year-old driver from Russia, she is a participant within the SMP Racing program. At such a younger age, Irina Sidorkova is already one of the vital profitable Russian feminine drivers. She acquired behind the wheel of the kart for the primary time on the age of 6, and when she was 9 Irina grew to become the Champion of Estonia in karting.
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The driving force was 15 years previous when she received the nationwide championship SMP Russian Circuit Racing Collection within the class “Nationwide – Junior”, changing into the primary and solely woman who managed to do it. She was additionally a participant in SMP Components 4, Components 4 Spain and F3 Asian Championship. Final yr, Irina Sidorkova formally grew to become the motive force of the W Collection.
Within the 2021 season, W Collection will likely be a Components 1 help race. We met with Irina and mentioned the upcoming season of the ladies’s event, in addition to talked about her profession, came upon which of the feminine drivers conjures up her, and requested who she helps in Components 1.
Whats up, Irina! Inform me how did your curiosity in motorsport start?
Whats up! My curiosity in motorsport started a very long time in the past and fairly unusually. I’ve been gathering vehicles since I used to be a baby, and I at all times requested my dad to deliver me one thing about vehicles when he went someplace for work. Typically, nothing foreshadowed that I’d be a racer. However sooner or later my household and I went to the premiere of the cartoon “Automobiles”, and after watching this cartoon, I stated that I need to do racing. After a while, I noticed the commercial for the go-kart observe on TV, and I persuaded my dad to go there to drive. We arrived, went for a drive, after which the coach got here as much as us and stated that we should always attempt to practice. It was 2009, I used to be 6 years previous. That’s how it began.
In about 10 years, you might have turn out to be one of the vital well-known Russian feminine drivers! How does it really feel to pay attention to this?
I imagine that as a driver, I nonetheless should develop so much. Subsequently, I don’t need to say that somebody could be very well-known, somebody not, however in any case, for me, the principle factor now’s the targets I’ve. I notice that I efficiently carry out them.
In your opinion, how has the sphere of motorsport modified by way of supporting feminine drivers lately?
All the things has modified very a lot for the higher, in fact. Just lately, so much has been carried out for ladies in motorsport, all of the forces are thrown at guaranteeing that as many ladies as attainable come to the race and develop there. For instance, now a lady has entered the Ferrari Driver Academy for the primary time. After which there’s W Collection, which simply does an awesome job of growing girls in motorsport. So in fact, when you evaluate what number of girls have been in motorsport after I got here, and what number of of them at the moment are, their quantity has grown considerably.
There’s an opinion that girls should work twice as a lot in a subject the place males are primarily employed, does this precept work in motorsport?
Sure, it really works. Particularly relating to the gymnasium since girls are naturally weaker than males. And overloads in numerous Components classes are a lot heavier, so on this regard, we’ve got to work a lot tougher within the gymnasium to match.
You’re a sturdy competitor. Did you encounter any negativity from male drivers, or was there nonetheless extra help?
Once I began motorsport firstly, in fact, there was a adverse response. I’d even say that it was extra from individuals from the surface, fairly than from male drivers: “Right here’s a lady driving. What can she do?” And as for the male drivers, there was extra help. If you’ve pushed for a couple of seasons, they know you’re a worthy rival, so I’ve by no means heard something like that from them.
Which feminine driver conjures up you?
I’ve been following Danica Patrick for a really very long time. She’s my idol. Danica has efficiently competed in NASCAR and IndyCar. I’ve at all times watched her races, however now she’s completed her profession. However however, for me, she’s going to at all times stay such an awesome girl, and it occurs that I even generally evaluation the races along with her participation.
Cool! Final yr, you have been formally included within the W Collection championship and have become the youngest driver within the peloton! Are you able to share how the choice course of was?
All of us got here collectively to the observe in Spain, the choice was held in Almeria. There have been various members. We had races, there have been interviews, they talked to us, checked our bodily coaching, and the outcomes of all these checks fashioned the entire image. Then they despatched us a letter saying that we have been included within the W sequence.
What distinction did you’re feeling as compared with Components 4?
I felt a giant distinction then, contemplating that I got here to Almeria instantly after the Components 4 stage, it was additionally in Spain. We glided by automotive from Jerez immediately there. And naturally, after I acquired right into a Components 3 automotive from Components 4 sooner or later later, I used to be very stunned, as a result of the distinction was actually noticeable! Firstly, the automotive was sooner, this is because of the truth that there’s far more aerodynamics – the automotive presses very arduous and this lets you preserve a a lot increased velocity, particularly in high-speed turns. Secondly, there have been different wheels. Plus, it was very uncommon racing with the Halo, though my imaginative and prescient will get used to it rapidly, however, after I simply acquired into the automotive, I didn’t perceive a little bit, I even thought, immediately it could intervene.
You talked about downforce and another technical features. Is it necessary for the motive force to have some technical data, or is it nonetheless a part of the mechanics’ job?
I feel it’s necessary for any driver to grasp what’s occurring with the automotive. As a result of in any case, to go quick the automotive should additionally match. As a rule, all drivers are completely different and driving kinds are completely different too. You want to have the ability to appropriately convey to the engineer or mechanic what precisely you need from the automotive in order that it’s correctly configured.
Fascinating. This yr, all eight races of the W Collection championship will likely be held as a part of the Components 1 weekend, how did you react to this information?
Nicely, how may I react right here [laughs]? That is simply mega information! After all, I used to be very joyful, I instantly ran to indicate all this to my dad and mom and household. They have been joyful as properly. That is simply an enormous step for the sequence.
Which stage wherein nation are you most trying ahead to and why?
All of the levels will likely be attention-grabbing for me as a result of I haven’t raced anyplace there. The one factor I managed to drive in Components 4 in Paul Ricard, it will likely be attention-grabbing to check this observe with one other automotive. Subsequently, every observe will likely be fascinating for me in its personal means, since all of the racetracks are actually well-known. I will likely be joyful to race there, however in fact, I actually need to strive the observe in Mexico: I’ve a number of followers there who would like to see me.
Wow! Do you watch Components 1, have you ever acquired a favorite driver?
Sure, I watch it. Sadly, I can’t watch all of the races in a row now due to my research and coaching, however I attempt to evaluation them. I’ve been rooting for Sebastian Vettel because the starting of my profession in motorsport, I additionally rooted for Daniil Kvyat, and this yr I will likely be for Nikita Mazepin.
Did you might have a chance to satisfy these drivers and discuss to them?
Sadly, I’ve by no means met Vettel. I didn’t have the chance, as a result of I’ve been solely on the Russian Grand Prix, after which not fairly often. Normally, we arrived proper earlier than the race and there was merely no time to search for somebody. However I had his cap and an autographed T-shirt. I used to put on them on a regular basis at completely different races, particularly after I was little and went karting. However I hope that desires ought to come true, so I’ll positively meet him someday!
Okay, again to W Collection, who’s your largest rival this season?
I can’t say precisely who the principle rival is, however I’ll say that we are going to have a really sturdy championship, there will likely be a number of skilled drivers who’ve raced so much, for instance, Beitske Visser. After all, it will likely be very attention-grabbing to struggle with them, however it is going to even be very tough.
Final yr, the season was cancelled however as a substitute, you participated in digital races, the place you took third place and received races 5 occasions, can racing in our on-line world assist to amass some expertise?
Really, I’m not a fan of laptop video games. I haven’t acquired used to it since I used to be a child. However I used to be joyful to take part in W Collection Esports League and take a look at one thing new. I used to be pleasantly stunned after I handed it, and certainly some manoeuvres, relating to combating, overtaking or finding out the observe – it may be utilized in life and it’s helpful. However as for the management of the automotive – it’s tough to say something.
You only recently took half within the F3 Asian Championship, which was held within the United Arab Emirates, inform me about this expertise? Are you able to name this a take a look at earlier than the upcoming W Collection season?
I feel it was very cool by way of expertise. After all, at first, it was very tough to roll in, as a result of for a yr and a half I didn’t drive in formulation, however with the assistance of SMP Racing and my coach, I rapidly managed to do it. I progressed by the locations from stage to stage. However sadly, I needed to miss one race at Yas Marina on account of the truth that I had contact and my hand was barely injured. However regardless of this, later I managed to virtually attain the highest 10, I got here twelfth on the identical observe. I feel this can be a excellent end result. I had an awesome preparation earlier than the W Collection season.
This can be a very attention-grabbing expertise, I want you a speedy restoration! One final query: what are your targets for 2021?
It’s tough to speak about particular locations in the course of the championship as a result of I’ve not but raced there. However I wish to present an excellent end result, get to the highest 5, go to the rostrum a number of occasions. I’m certain that with the help of SMP Racing, I will carry out properly this yr and worthily signify our nation in W Collection.
Thanks, Irina! I want you good luck!