Carlotta Fedeli: the racing mom
Few days away from the last 2019 TCR Endurance round at Mugello, we discover one of the championship protagonists: we got to meet Carlotta Fedeli during the last round at Imola.
It was the first weekend of September at Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola, one of the most iconic places in Italian motorsport. The fifth out of six rounds of the Italian Endurance DSG TCR went underway, with an Italian woman among the leading players of the championship. Born in Rome on 3rd February 1992, Carlotta Fedeli is one of the elite female racing drivers in Italy: despite her young age, she has already a huge experience in racing, starting from her karting background.
"I started racing with karts at 14 years old and then at 18 I immediately switched to car racing with a Seat Leon, making my debut at Vallelunga. Motorsport for me is everything, I live for it, it's my biggest passion" - Carlotta told us.
The transition from karting to the car is, in fact, one of the biggest challenges for most drivers. It is, after all, the precise moment that can change your life and transform your passion into a real profession. It was a step, though, that didn't scare Carlotta, as her determination and talent quickly proved that she could immediately had her chances to play with the big names of the Italian motor racing arena.
"Obviously there a many differences between karting and cars. In the beginning I found braking a bit difficult, but I have to say that I immediately became more comfortable with cars than with karts."
Until few years ago, women at high level motorsport were still a rarer sight. But Carlotta always had the perseverance to go her own way, ignoring prejudices and showed everyone that passion and hard work can go a long way in bringing down barriers.
"Actually, I've never felt it like a problem to be part of a world mainly dominated by men. They looked at me strangely in the first years, because I was the new one, I was so young. But now it's a normal thing to see me and other girls around here. I'm like everyone else, we as women can race like men. The physical strength does play a part, but we manage to go just as fast".
Among the major goals that Carlotta is reaching as a professional driver, one result emerged in particular as the most positive experienced so far:
"I experienced the most positive moment in my career a few weeks ago, when me and my teammate were first in the championship standings. This is an Italian Championship, so it's very important for me. At the moment we are third, we were a bit unlucky during the last races."
But it's the difficult moments where champions blossom: it's when their instict, determination and the will power to pursue their dreams emerge the most. These are the moments that change the person before the driver, and for Carlotta Fedeli this happened last year.
"The worst moment was when I didn't got to race, last year, because I was pregnant. Obviously I was very happy to not to be racing for this reason, but it was difficult for me to stop my life as a racer for a year."
Life as a mother is undoubtedly a very demanding stage in the life of a woman and it's not always easy to combine it with work, especially when your job forces you to frequently stay away from home.
"It's very difficult, because you sleep very little during the night, and when the day comes you're tired. But fortunately I have my mother and mother-in-law who follow the races and stay with my daughter when I go on track."
Despite the difficulties, having a kid is certainly the most extraordinary event any person can experience. These are moments that stimulate us to go further in life as in sports.
"I've grown mentally, because a daughter changes your vision of many things. Of racing, also. I can say that it also improved me as a driver."
For Carlotta, motorsport is a family passion, that maybe could also be passed on little Adele: by following both her parents footsteps, it wouldn't be strange to see her with an helmet and overall, with a future as racing driver. We asked Carlotta if she woud support this scenario:
"I hope not, at least we diversify!" - she laughs. "I already have my husband racing, it would be too many of us! But if she wishes so, of course."
Not many youth have Carlotta's courage and perseverance in following their dreams, ignoring prejudices; it is to them that the 27-year old driver from Rome provided valuable advices:
"I'd say only think about your passion and don't care about what the others say, because as women we are always under the critics eyes, both if we do well but even more so if we do wrong. Focus on the important things and move forward, your own way."
In motorsport, as in life, we never stop learning. But it's when we're young that a mentor's help is particulary important, to take the right path. Carlotta made her way through the motor racing environment only under her own power:
"I never had an instructor, I always based everything on my personal feeling. If I could go back in time, I would like to have a coach from the beginning, someone that could disclose to me tricks about the cars and tracks. However, experience is everything: the more kilometres you do, the better you become. It's the only way to get where you want to go."
The last Italian TCR DSG Endurance Championship round will be held at Mugello Circuit from 4th to 6th October. Carlotta Fedeli will be fighting for another positive result to end her remarkable racing season.
This interview was made in collaboration with SportDonna.it . You can read the Italian version here.
Ph credits: Racers-Behindthehelmet.com