Jack Aitken is certainly looking to have a stable F1 career in future, but the British-Korean racer is not ruling out other forms like Formula E.
With his Korean heritage, Aitken became the first-ever F1 racer from the country, even though officially he raced under the British license. He used both the flags on his overalls, though, to showcase his dual background when he made his debut in Bahrain.
Aitken has had long junior career to make it to the top and now wishes to have a stable professional career, with all eyes on F1. But he is not limiting himself to just one, knowing the limitations the grid has, which is why he is open to other forms like Formula E.
Having raced in F2 for multiple seasons, it is unlikely that Aitken continues in the feeder series. His future, for now, remains to be sorted. While Williams announced Roy Nissany in the test role, it remains to be seen if the British-Korean racer will continue on, as well.
With Formula E looking at a race in Seoul in the future, Aitken will be happy to be part of the grid if possible. “We’re seeing the rise of electric car racing at the moment, which is becoming very popular,” he said to Korea JoongAng Daily in an interview.
“Formula E is exciting. The support from manufacturers is huge and the racing is pretty spectacular, so that would be an amazing opportunity if I could race in Seoul. To drive in Korea would be a great experience and feels like something I should have done by now.
“I’ve driven on every continent in the world that has a circuit, and to not have Korea on that list just seems wrong,” summed up Aitken, who recalled his step into motor racing, which started late with go-karting in a birthday party.
He continued with go-karting in a bet with his father, where he had to score well in school. Eventually, Aitken took on it seriously and started delivering results but the financial aspect was always a big ask. “You start from the basic principle that its quite an expensive sport.
“So you have to be able to bring budget to the lower-level team, and they will take that money and run the car and provide the service of mechanics and enter you into races, giving you the knowledge that they’ve got on how to improve and set up the car better.
“When you reach the level just below Formula 1, the tables start to turn, and teams will either offer you reduced prices if you’re a good driver, because if you can give them good results it makes them more attractive to other drivers who will bring them money.
“Or you can get sponsors because there’s more TV the higher you go. It’s just the way it is. You’ve got these very advanced bits of machinery, these cars, and the infrastructure around it — you need a circuit to go racing, and circuits are expensive to build, the consumables, the race tires, the fuel, driving the cars from circuit to circuit in big transporters.
“It’s a very expensive sport compared to others, and it’s always been that way,” summed up Aitken, as he then expanded about his road to the top, which had to go through several junior ladders. He also talked about his time at Renault and switch to Williams.
Even though he got to test with Renault, his breakthrough happened with Williams albeit in special circumstances in Bahrain. Aitken recollected the whirlwind weekend, where his small incident in the grand prix, created a chain of events to help Sergio Perez win.
While the fans witnessed a historic event, Aitken was left frustrated with that small mistake. From mental side, the 25-year-old thinks racing prepare you for it, as for a lot of your career, one is at the losing end more often than not – if race win is the ultimate thing.
“I was pretty frustrated immediately after the race with the spin and damaging the car,” said Aitken. “Luckily I was still able to finish, but in the heat of the moment I was really disappointed in myself for making the mistake.
“After I had a night to sleep on it and I look back on the weekend there are a lot of things to be really proud of. I got up to speed pretty quickly and got comfortable with the car and was able to really push it. In racing, as for most sports, you will lose more times than you win, and the losing is going to hurt more than the winning is going to feel good.
“So you have to come to terms with the fact that you’re going to struggle more than you’re going to be happy about stuff. You have to be comfortable with that and accept that you’re going to learn from that, and the struggle will make you dig deeper and harder each time,” summed up Aitken.
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