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Rising F1 Academy Star: An interview with Chloe Grant

Conducted and Written by Leia Pitrora, Edited by Meghana Sree

Chloe Grant drove in the inaugural F1 Academy season; Image Credit - F1 Academy

An interview with a rising star in motorsport, Chloe Grant, touching on the subjects of her favourite moments in the driver's seat, whilst also addressing the balance of motorsport and daily life in her personal experience.


Addressing the common question of what a motorsport environment is like for a young female driver in the industry and whether or not the pressure gets to her. She shares on the topic of her journey into the sport, and what striked her burning passion for racing which she has carried out through the years.


Chloe elaborates on her personal experience with the sport, such as fears, pressure, any downsides with the sport, but overall emphasising her love for the sport and how she would encourage young females to pursue their passions within the amazing community.


Leia Pitrora: What would you say has been one of your favourite moments of your entire career?


Chloe Grant: Of my entire career, I would think there's no other feeling like winning a championship and getting that first one, those. I definitely think as well, it's also that feeling you get when you make that successful progression, it's obviously a great feeling, I mean, you set goals for yourself, and you hit them. But definitely, I would say, my first time winning my first ever championship.


LP: You're a huge inspiration for many as a female in motorsport, but has that ever put a sense of pressure on you?


CG: Not really, I mean, to me, I don't really think that way. I just, you know, I kind of want to help anyone that I can, and yeah, I don't feel it's a pressure and it's very nice to be in this position.



LP: A lot of people have said to me that it's amazing to get to interview you and that they would love to see your perspective and any advice you give, so thank you. When did you decide to start your journey in motorsport? And was that supported by people you know, such as family and friends?


CG: So, I basically got into the sport because my older sister Lucy, started racing before I did. It was just for fun for her, just a hobby, and then when I was seven, I said, "Oh, can I get a shot?" and Dad said yes. Ever since then, I’ve never stopped. Yeah, my family are my biggest supporters, they're my biggest team, I wouldn't be able to do it without them.



LP: What would you say is the best aspect of being a woman in motorsport? And how does that help you as a driver or in your daily life?


CG: I'll be honest, I kind of just think of myself as a driver. I wouldn't say I think of myself as a woman driver. At the end of the day, as soon as you put your helmets on, it's all down to who can drive the quickest, you know, not your gender. But I think, obviously, the massive benefit right now is being able to be a part of F1 Academy because it's such a help financially, and it's such a big step up. It's such an incredible opportunity.



LP: What has been one of your biggest fears of working in motorsport?


CG: I wouldn't say I really have any fears about working in motorsport. I obviously get nervous when I'm trying out new things, testing new cars, you know, my first race in a new championship, but I wouldn't say I have a biggest fear.

Grant driving at the Austrian event in F1 Academy this year; Image Credit - Adam Pretty/Formula 1/Getty Images

LP: Motorsport is just one of those careers which may cause you to feel upset or disappointed about certain outcomes. So, this may be racing to general life balances. How would you bounce back from these emotions?


CG: It's quite difficult, especially, I mean, in motorsport, you're always gonna have more lows than you're gonna have highs and the lows are really low. So that's the thing that I'm working on at the minute, it's kind of that psychological, mental side of things to try and bounce back quickly and try, "OK, you've made that mistake, forget

about it, move on".


There's not really a certain way of dealing with it, I think everyone has their different ways, and I'm honestly still learning mine. I think at the minute it's just kind of getting help from the ones around me that love me and help and support me, but I'm definitely still learning.



LP: So, what has the most challenging aspect been of your entire career? So that may be from when you're inside the car racing or when you're outside the car through daily life.


CG: I would honestly say the hardest part is, for example, after my crash this year, is dealing with the mental side of that. Well, honestly, the biggest thing about motorsports is financial, it can be what makes you or breaks you as a driver. No matter what position you are, no matter who you are, you can be the best of the best, but if you've not got the money, then money is definitely the worst thing.


But having to deal with, I think possibly after my crash, we were thinking, "Can I continue racing? Can we afford to continue racing after the crash” and having that thought in my head that I had failed was the biggest thing, because failure, actually is my biggest fear, that's my biggest.


Yeah, my biggest worry, biggest fear is failing. So definitely just that, dealing with that psychological thing where you may put more pressure on yourself and make it more negative, but it doesn't have to be.



LP: 2019 was a big year for you regarding building in your motorsport experience. How did you balance any stress with your career during this time?


CG: Well, because I was just Karting, and I was still just, you know, with my dad and with a team at home, it wasn't any big pressure, and I knew exactly what I was doing in Karting. By that time, I knew it inside and out, I loved it every time I did it.


Even if something went wrong, I knew exactly what I had to change. You know, I wasn't learning at all, but then I knew exactly what to do, so it was more enjoyable and there wasn't a lot of stress. Of course, unless, I was stressing out that I wasn't gonna get the right position that I wanted, but because I just kept calm, it all worked out, and that was a good year.



LP: What is something you've learned from working within motorsport, which helps you in your daily life to overcome particular events outside of racing?


CG: I'll be honest, I don't really do anything other than racing. I mean, when I'm not at a track, I’m at college, but it's a motorsport course that I do. So, they're all drivers that I’m in the class with, and apart from that, I'm training, Gym and Sim all the time, so I don't really have any other situations.


LP: That's totally understandable because as we know, Motorsport is really time consuming. So, our final question, What advice would you offer to any young females who are looking to go into the same field as you in the future?


CG: I'd say, I think, I know a lot of girls can be quite scared to start in motorsport, I think, because of the fear that they'll get judged or something like that, but honestly, just go for it, like from my point of view and my perspective sort of being in the sport for 10 years now, it's the nicest group of people that you could ever meet, like everywhere.


The drivers don't care that you're a girl, you just a drive. If you beat them, fair enough. If you don't, you're still learning, and all the mechanics, engineers, teams, everybody is so loving and supporting. I've never, ever seen another sport like it before.


You can be competing against someone else and on the opposite team, yet they're still so nice and everyone is willing to help you and definitely just go for it, because it's the best decision I've ever made. And it's my whole life now.


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