Interviewed by Tom Evans, Edited by Harshi Vashee
First of all, who are you and in what series do you race?
I am Matias Zagazeta, I come from Peru and I race in the British F4 Championship.
When did you start to take an interest in Motorsport, and who were your favourite drivers?
I have been interested in Motorsport or cars in general since I can remember, watching it on the TV. I remember watching Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, they were my favourite drivers.
Why did you choose your driver number?
I chose number 8 as my number mainly because I was 8 years old when I started racing and my birthday is the 8th of September. It was also the number of my favourite all time driver, Ayrton Senna.
You started karting in 2011, being your first season in the sport were there any major obstacles for you to overcome?
My first Karting season in 2011 was full of learning as I started racing in Peru with a small grid of cars. Then, I started to race internationally first around South America then, the United States and finally coming to Europe in 2017.
When you started competing in the European IAME karting championship, what was the hardest, but most rewarding thing about moving to the UK?
Coming to live in the UK by myself in 2020 was very hard because I was away from my family, friends and home and here it is a very different culture so it took me some time to get used to it and adapt. This however helped me be a lot more responsible and take care of myself.
You took the step up to British F4 in 2020. Was adapting to single seater cars difficult or easier than you expected?
For me personally, I found it very very hard to get used to single seaters. Coming from karting, I had a difficult first season where I just couldn’t adapt to the car and didn’t have confidence in it which was the biggest problem.
But also in 2020 you competed in some major Esports competitions. Do you think Esports is a good alternative to actual racing for great drivers on a lower budget?
Yes, before the season, British F4 organized some IRACING races and I joined just to stay sharp and have some fun during the difficult times. I didn’t have the best simulator compared to the other drivers but I had good fun! I think Esports has proven to find a lot of talented people and I think it’s also a good alternative for drivers.
In 2021, you’ve had a brilliant British F4 season. With 4 wins so far, you’ve had a brilliant fight for the championship with Matthew Rees. With one round to go, do you think you can claim the title?
This season has been fantastic, still learning a lot but the most important thing was that we managed to find the confidence with the car. It’s going to be an interesting last round as there’s 4 drivers still in contention so we will turn up and do our best, like we have been doing all season and this is no different. Hopefully by the end of the weekend when we look at the results, we are champions but, we will stay focused and do what we have to do to perform at our best.
And finally what are your hopes/ambitions for the future?
In the short term hopefully to be the British F4 champion after this weekend and in the long term, to become a Formula 1 world champion. Many drivers say they want to get to Formula 1, but why not push it a bit more?