As a kid I was always into cars. I grew up around cars because my parents ran a dealership, my dad raced a bit and I used to shout about wanting to be in Formula One. W Series has brought that dream closer, not just for me, but for all of the girls who compete in the series. It’s been a huge thing.
Before getting into W Series I don’t think any of us had any idea that it was going to be this big. It’s been broadcast everywhere, we put on some great races, which has really raised our profiles, and everyone can see how good we are. But 2019 was just the start; only in the future will we see if W Series really can help get a woman into Formula One.
So far it’s been really good. It’s certainly made me a better driver, but W Series has been an enormous benefit outside the car as well. Drivers in the series have been getting all kinds of training, from fitness and mental performance through to how to deal with the media. They help us with everything and no other series does that, but it’s only possible because we’re all in the same team.
We swap cars every race, but the engineers and mechanics stay with their cars, so as drivers we have to learn fast how to deal with different kinds of people. There’s no time to build a relationship and the engineer has no time to work out how you like the car, so I have to be sure myself about what I want and get that information over as quickly and as clearly as possible. I race for BMW in other series with different types of cars and engines and I know that I’ve learnt a lot. I’m now very clear about what I want from any car.
Because in W Series all the drivers are effectively in the same team we’re friends as well as rivals. I’m pretty good at keeping the two things separate. Most of us are. We spend a lot of time together, we travel to and from the track together and we have lots of fun. It would be a long year if we didn’t. But as soon as you put your helmet on and get in the car you don’t care who’s in the other cars, you want to beat everyone. It’s like a switch in your head. You change. Basically you go from being a nice person to a very selfish person.
This year is really big for W Series and me. There are Super Licence points to be won and two races that support Formula One, but all the races are big. I’ve come a long way since I started karting for fun but there’s no pressure. I know where I need to improve and I’m determined to do that. Last year I finished second in the W Series championship and this year I want to do better than that.