Max Mayer, karting driver, currently also competing in the Ligier European Series, is in a great moment of form
Max Mayer has told us how he lived last season and what he expects from this year, where as well as competing in karting, he will also compete in the Ligier European Series.
Looking to the future, one of his main objectives is to be able to compete in the World Endurance Championship.
QUESTION: WHO IS MAX MAYER?
Max Mayer: I am quite an aggressive driver, but I also have a lot of mental capacity. I have worked hard to achieve things and to reach my goal, which is to compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and to be a professional driver for a Hypercar team.
Q: WHO INTRODUCED YOU TO THIS WORLD?
MM: I started with my father when I was four years old. I drove my first kart when I was five years old, a TopKart. I remember when I saw it for the first time, I was very impressed. Then when I was seven years old I started racing in national races, and from there I progressed, competing in Europeans, doing world championships in karting, and now I am where I am thanks to that, and to Kokoro, which is a driver programme that has helped me to go from karting to cars.
Q: HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THIS WORLD?
MM: My start in karting was a lot of fun. I remember doing the regionals and the nationals, where I won the Valencian Championship three times in a row. From then on I competed in bigger championships. In my first year of mini I was third, and in junior we started very well, but it was a bit difficult. I am very happy with my karting career.
Q: HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE THE PANDEMIC?
MM: The pandemic was when I joined Kokoro. In that programme I also work a lot with the simulator, which helps me to prepare much better for each race, and we can also practice different techniques. We didn’t touch the kart for about six months, which made us lose a lot of control over the kart.
Q: IS IT COMPLICATED TO COMPETE IN DIFFERENT COMPETITIONS DURING THE SAME YEAR?
MM: I don’t think so, because in karting we always compete with the same drivers. It is more complicated when you move up from X30 to OK, which is an engine that has no clutch. Also, you are with factory teams and other drivers, but it’s easy to adapt.
Q: DO YOU THINK A LOT ABOUT THE RACES BEFORE YOU GO RACING?
MM: I wouldn’t say no, because if you do you put a lot of pressure on yourself and get nervous. I don’t think about that. I used to eat my head a bit, but now I just flow without thinking.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH ALL YOUR RIVALS?
MM: I have a lot of friends in karting, but that’s off the track. When you are racing, it’s a different world. When you are inside the kart, the attitude changes, but I have never had a problem with that.
Q: WHO IS YOUR RIVAL ON THE TRACK?
MM: I want to beat them all. When I do my best, but it’s not enough, it makes me a bit angry. I’m always there to try to beat them.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEAM?
MM: I have been with my karting team, Marlon Kart, for 11 years in total. They have always been like a family to me, they have always supported me. It’s a very close relationship.
Q: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO HAVE COMPETED IN KARTING FOR SO MANY YEARS?
MM: There comes a point when you get a bit bored with the automatics. If you compete for so many years in the same discipline you can get a bit overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you move on to KZ, which is what I’ve done, it’s a different world. It’s the most fun there is in karting.
Q: HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO COMPETE IN THE LIGIER EUROPEAN SERIES?
MM: It is very interesting. I see myself doing well in the championship, the main goal is to win it. I think we can do very well, although they are all very fast drivers.
Q: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO COMPETE IN THE FORMULA 4 SPANISH CHAMPIONSHIP?
MM: I won a scholarship for Formula 4 thanks to Formula Campeones. I am very happy, I am very happy. It has been an incredible year, where I have learned a lot of things. It has also been difficult, as our team is smaller, we don’t have as many drivers as Campos Racing for example. It was a positive year, even if we were not where we wanted to be.
Q: HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR START OF THE SEASON?
MM: I have looked very good in pre-season testing and I am ready for the first race in Barcelona. It won’t be easy, we will see our real performance on Friday.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR RACE TIME ROUTINE?
MM: I am in a motorsport training centre where we are eight drivers from all over Spain. We train for two hours in the morning, then we have lessons and in the afternoon we do two hours in the kart, although we also have a gym so we can prepare ourselves well.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR PREVIOUS SEASON?
MM: It was difficult because we didn’t have the same telemetry as the others. However, I am happy, as I have been able to improve my mental capacity. If something doesn’t work, I can adapt very well, and if something doesn’t work, I can fix it.
Q: HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR FUTURE? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
MM: Being in the Ligier European Series, my goal is to make it to the WEC. I see myself very well for the next few years, where I can be in a very competitive world. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona….