His son Sebastian is now on the racing ladder within the Italian and German F4 sequence. Juan Pablo spends a variety of his time immediately fascinated with the training of younger drivers and the way the game must adapt to draw youthful followers. He additionally believes that esports performs an important function in the way forward for the game and in bringing the racing neighborhood nearer.
Juan Pablo, let’s begin by trying on the two sequence that you’re most carefully related to Components One and IndyCar. What sort of form do you suppose these sequence are in immediately?
I believe they’re in actually good condition. Components One has been very fascinating since Liberty got here in and there have been a variety of adjustments and actually, if you go to the paddock it is stunning how a lot nicer it’s these days than it was once.
You imply much less political?
It’s simply nicer, individuals are means friendlier. It is a a lot nicer place to be. With IndyCar, I believe Roger (Penske) taking on final yr was actually good, particularly with the pandemic. If Roger hadn’t been there the sequence would have been in main jeopardy. Roger has a giant ardour for IndyCar, the Indy 500, and its traditions. He’ll discover methods to keep up traditions however make the place even higher. The eye to element with Roger is unimaginable.
Photograph by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Photographs
Components One is making some large rule adjustments to carry the sector nearer collectively, issues that might by no means have been imagined throughout your time, like that the again of the sector groups getting extra time for aero growth in comparison with the highest groups and finances caps which had been a dream if you had been racing in Components One. Nevertheless it’s a actuality now. Do you suppose this stuff put Components One heading in the right direction for the long run?
Sure, so long as they’ll management it. I am positive individuals will discover loopholes like at all times, however as time goes on it’s going to get higher. The highest groups actually haven’t any restrict, they do no matter they should do to win. Getting all people nearer collectively goes to be higher for the present. I consider the higher groups will nonetheless win; the blokes with the perfect concepts should you give them half of the time they may in all probability do a fair higher job, that is the issue! It should be fascinating with Liberty Media and F1. You are going to begin realizing that the eye span of individuals will get smaller so you may’t hope individuals sit down and watch one race on TV for 2 hours. Folks like us that love the game, we do it. The youthful generations are going to battle. I believe what F1 is speaking about is dash races and that is the best way ahead.
IndyCar has a barely totally different problem as they weigh up the place they go for the long run as a result of the DNA of IndyCar is any variety of drivers can compete for wins and be contenders, little groups can compete with the larger groups and it is wheel to wheel racing. How would you wish to see them develop the IndyCar product for the long run?
I believe IndyCar is on the precise path. The 2 issues they’re actually speaking about is the hybrid system that I consider is coming they usually’re much more energy. I believe that is a should in IndyCar. One of many most important points of interest of the CART period of IndyCar racing was the quantity of energy. As a result of these days it is a enjoyable automotive to drive, nevertheless it lacks that signature of an IndyCar that if you bought on the fuel it was like – “Oh my God!” – you realize what I imply? So I believe that that can positively assist.
Photograph by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Photographs
Your son Sebastian is now racing in F4 in Italy and Germany. Has bringing a toddler up via the ranks of racing modified your view on the event of younger drivers?
It has opened my eyes to a variety of issues, like why a variety of the youthful guys now battle with understanding what the automotive wants and understanding which path to drive a workforce ahead as a result of they’re introduced up even from karting to listen to: “This can be a setup, that is how it is advisable run the chassis, that is how we run it.” And that is a very unhealthy factor. For the workforce it’s the easiest method, they are saying: “Boy, you are the issue, not the automotive.” However the greatest drawback with that’s you might need a very good expertise that hates the automotive. And should you would modify the automotive for that expertise, he would in all probability beat all people else. However with what you are giving him he’ll by no means succeed. And if you get to the highest ranges; I’ve achieved IndyCar and WEC testing this yr, and also you see it. All people that’s younger will drive no matter they’re given they usually can drive it terribly. However as a workforce to have the ability to go from there to win races if you’re going towards a Penske or a Ganassi or Andretti, it makes it actually troublesome, as a result of they have skilled guys that grew up with the identical principle as me; you’ve bought to make the automotive drive higher. And the those who make the automotive drive higher are the those who win the races.
At present’s youngsters have by no means recognized a world that wasn’t digital. They’ve by no means recognized a world that did not have iPhones. And the best way they go about problem-solving could be very totally different. How does that present itself with racing drivers by way of the best way they clear up issues – if you see how Sebastian’s thoughts works and a few of the different younger drivers that you simply’re serving to?
It is fascinating as a result of they’re so younger, they usually perceive knowledge and telemetry; you present a 10- or 12-year-old a knowledge plot, they perceive it. They know precisely what they’re . And that is unbelievable. You recognize, the primary time I noticed a knowledge plot was 1995, my first time in Europe, I used to be 20 years previous. So time adjustments.
Photograph by: Sutton Photographs
So how do you go about teaching younger drivers the issues which can be essential by way of physics, weight switch, and so forth?
I am a giant believer in simplicity. Simplify issues. There is no want for the background. As you become older, you begin understanding physics. If I inform a 10-year previous, “Do not get out of the fuel like this, since you’re transferring the load to the entrance tires…” They do not care. They only have to know that in the event that they carry an excessive amount of, the factor’s going to snap and you are going to get in bother. For me, movies appear to be a giant assist. As a result of once they’re too younger, and also you present them telemetry, they see the velocity and the whole lot, nevertheless it’s very onerous to narrate the telemetry and the velocity to a sure place on the observe. I’ve achieved it endlessly, so I can spend two minutes telemetry and I will discover the identical issues as if I had been to spend an hour. For them, it is actually essential to narrate what a part of the nook it’s and the way you do it. So we take a look at it so that they perceive it. Then you definitely take a look at the movies and also you say, “Right here is the issue.” In order that makes it rather a lot simpler.
Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Photographs
The opposite factor that exists now that did not exist if you had been coming via the ranks is gaming and esports as a platform in its personal proper, I imply, you may have a complete parallel racing profession in esports, as we see with Lando, with Max Verstappen. You are very lively, Fernando Alonso’s very lively. Nevertheless it’s additionally very enticing as a funnel for brand new expertise in racing and for brand new followers of racing as nicely. So how do you consider esports?
I believe esports open the door for anyone that does not have the means to race as a result of these days if you are going to race correctly, you are going to spend some huge cash. With what you spend for one go-kart race, you’d have in all probability the perfect simulator out there. And from there on, you do not want anything. In a yr you are going to spend about 100 bucks on video games, possibly purchase a pair extra tracks, however that is it. However for a standard household the place the mum or dad works from 9 to 5, they do not have time to take the children to a kart observe or possibly do not consider that racing is a profession, I believe esports is an effective means. While you race you understand how a lot time you need to spend in a simulator, how a lot dedication you have to put in, and the way it actually trains the thoughts to be constant, to be on time, to be heading in the right direction, to do the whole lot that means it must be achieved. One of many key issues with racing is ensuring the whole lot is finished proper and you may repeat it. Going quick in a lap is easy; going quick over 10 laps and doing the identical factor is tougher as a result of your thoughts wanders. You get to the braking level and suppose, “That was straightforward possibly I can attempt a little bit extra” and your thoughts begins enjoying methods on you and that is the place the error comes. While you’re underneath strain you at all times search for the place yow will discover extra. And esports is an effective base to coach all that.
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Photographs
You competed final yr in lots of these incredible digital occasions through the lockdown. What I actually appreciated was the distinctive conditions just like the Le Mans 24 Digital the place you had driver combos you might by no means put collectively in the true world as a result of their groups would not enable it, but additionally the relationships you are capable of have with different drivers and in addition with avid gamers and followers.
The factor that I discovered actually fascinating is you create a very shut relationship with a variety of drivers you by no means met earlier than, and you find yourself in chats with them and speaking to them and then you definately meet them in actual life and also you snort about it – it is actually good. I believe it brings the racing neighborhood rather a lot nearer. Quite a lot of guys like Leclerc or Lando or Max they’re avid gamers large time and a variety of the youthful guys race towards them, they usually begin having relationships with these guys that they’d by no means meet in any other case they usually could also be their heroes. So it makes racing much more approachable for the skin world.