Interview: British F4 Driver – Ayrton Simmons

Ayrton Simmons is one of the up and coming stars of motorsport. After a successful rookie season in 2016 he is now competing in his first full British F4 season with the TRS Arden team. Already he has marked himself out as one to watch with an emotional first win at Brands Hatch earlier this year. I grabbed a few words with one of the hot future talents of motor racing.

1) Who inspired you to start racing?

I was born in the UK but spent my early years in Madrid so it would have to be Fernando [Alonso] and Lewis [Hamilton]. I raced for the first time at just 5 years old on a circuit where Fernando and Carlos Sainz have also raced.

2) How has your 2017 season gone so far in British F4?

Apart from my first ever win it hasn’t been great but its a long season so fingers crossed for the rest of the year.

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3) What is your favourite circuit?

It would have to be Brands Hatch GP circuit. The circuit layout and the history combined with the high speed corners make it very special.

4) First live F1 race that you went to go and watch?

I went to see a race at Silverstone when I was 3 years old. I don’t remember too much apart from sitting in the DHL Jordan display car, which I loved. Eddie Jordan has since signed the photo!

5) Is Formula 1 the ultimate goal? Or is there a different form of Motorsport you’re aiming for?

F1 would always be my choice but it is so far in the distance and is so so dependent on funding these days. I tend to just focus 100% on each season as it comes.

6) What would you rate as your best drive so far?

Maybe my last race at Oulton where I drove with a broken throttle sensor which only gave me 90% throttle, I climbed from 13th to 6th in half of the race before it was red flagged. Obviously my win at Brands earlier this year as well!

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7) How important do you think series such as the British F4 championship are for younger drivers?

It is massively important. You can drive at such a young age. The Arden team/ YRDA gave me so much preparation and training that I knew I was ready to drive before even having my first test. Ford too, are always there to help with driving data.

8) You claimed an emotional first win in F4 this season at Brands Hatch, what is the goal for the rest of the year?

Just to keep focused, keep training and race like I always do: hard and fair.

9) You had a strong test at Snetterton this week, are you pleased with how it went?

I feel that I am in the best form of my life now after topping the time sheets in the morning session. When a RedBull Junior driver watches the onboard footage and says that its the best lap at Snetterton he has ever seen, you know you are doing well!

10) Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel for the 2017 F1 championship?

I think Lewis will win but it will be very close. Mercedes have the best Power Unit and Ferrari the best chassis. It could easily be decided by DNFs or reliability.

Ayrton will be racing on 10th and 11th June at the next rounds of the British F4 championship at the Croft circuit. I must give a special thanks to Ayrton for taking time out of his GCSE revision to answer my questions!

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