Interview conducted by Tom Evans, edited by Harshi Vashee
How did you get into Motorsport in the first place?
I started watching F1 in 2016 when I went to Sepang to watch the race. I fell in love with the noise and atmosphere of the sport and decided to try karting at my local karting track in rental karts. It was going really well so we decided to keep improving by joining YRDA (Young Racing Driver Academy) when we moved to the UK in 2018.
Did you have a Motorsport idol?
My motorsport idol is Sebastian Vettel. I really got into Formula 1 in 2017 and the first driver I saw was him. At that point I didn't know he was a world champion but all I knew was that he was fighting the reigning champions, Mercedes. At that first race in Australia he just kept his head down, didn't say anything and overcut them to take the lead and win the race. I followed him through the 2017 and 2018 seasons and admired his attitude and determination.
You started X30 junior in 2019. Was karting a logical first step for you and your motorsport career?
I think I was always going to start with karting as it is the usual starting point in your motorsport career. It helps with many fundamentals in motorsport such as race craft and mentality.
Was it an easy or difficult experience getting into testing for Fortec?
My transition into cars was quite smooth and I have Fortec to thank for that, they really welcomed me into the team and acknowledged my budget situation. I have stayed with them for quite a while now and they have really helped me build up my pace in cars.
We know that most drivers find karting and car racing a completely different experience, but what are the key factors that make it so different?
I think that the obvious one is the overall speed. The acceleration, top speed and time it takes to stop. But it's also knowing what the car will do with tyre wear, setup changes and the small things like wind. You can carry some of the karting skills into cars as well, like wet lines and mixed conditions.
You've tested British F4 and GB4 for Fortec fairly recently. Are there any key differences in the car?
The GB4 car is much faster than last year's British F4 car. There is more grip with the Pirelli tyres and more power on acceleration and down the straights. I also feel a lot more comfortable with the GB4 car than last year's British F4.
Are you seeking a full time campaign in cars for the near future? And if so, which series?
I'm looking to join GB4 this year as my pace looks really good in these first few tests but it will depend on my budget and what we can do. But I am open to all opportunities that could arise.
And finally, what would you like to come out of your career in Motorsports?
I think almost everyone's goal is the pinnacle of Formula 1, that's the same for me. I grew up watching it and it's my aim for the future.
Thanks so much to Nikolas taking the time to answer these, and we wish him the best for 2022 and beyond!
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