Eyes on the Future: a chat with Maria Ramos
A brillant representative of the new Spanish female wave, Maria Ramos is one of the names that we will likely hear more in the near future. Discover more about the 20-year old girl with racing blood in her veins.
We are happy to continue our karting journey as we discover some of the most interesting and promising karting ladies from around the world.
This time our attention was caught by a young Spanish lady.
One of the most represented countries in major junior championships lately, Spain has emerged as a key training ground for a new generation of young female shining stars.
After the rise of Fernando Alonso and with an inspirational figure like Maria De Villota - a real pioneer and role model for many Spanish ladies - the Iberian championships witnessed an upturn in local female karting talents, some of whom have made a successful switch to racing cars in recent times.
Striking proof of said development is the all-female Formula 3 championship W Series, where three Spanish names appear on the 2020 roster - race winner Marta Garcia and newcomers Belen Garcia and Nerea Martí - a count only second to the five British competitors.
But those profiles are only the top of the iceberg of a movement that also counts national championships, rally and motorbikes athletes, as well as several hopefuls trying to add their names to the list. Among them, we would like to shine a light on Maria Ramos.
Maria is a talented karting driver born on 18th December 2000 in Madrid, a girl with a clear passion for motor racing in her blood and with an equally bright personality.
"I started when I was 3 years old riding a motorcycle, because my father has done it for his entire life." - she told us.
"After a few years, a friend of my father gifted me a kart and since then I've always wanted to keep learning and become better at it."
"I was off the motor world for a few years, but in 2017, Angel Burgueño offered me to drive in a race with his team Birel Art, at the condition that I had to train during the entire summer for it. This is where my passion for motorsport comes from."
For a little girl with such a big dream of becoming a race car driver, the first steps in a go kart are surely an experience expected to be remembered for one's entire life. But, as everything we do for the first time, it can be a little tricky and hilarious at the same time:
"I was about 7 when I first jumped into a kart and I remember that I couldn’t reach even the pedals. A funny story, when I sat down on the kart, I stepped on the accelerator and Josue, the owner of the circuit, had to run after me until I crashed into the fence."
Despite her young age and after starting her actual sporting career only a few years later, in 2019 Maria had the big opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Drivex Formula 4 car; a big step towards a potential professional future.
"Thanks to the Drivex team, Miguel Angel De Castro and Angel Burgueño, I had the opportunity to do a test with a F4 at the circuit of Almeria. It was a beautiful travel, where I learned a lot about Formula 4 and how a team like Drivex works. They where really kind and extremely patient."
"The sensations of the formula car were amazing, and the speed had me a bit frightened at first, but after a few laps around the circuit I got the hang of it and did some really good times for my first time."
Maria grew up with racing in her family's DNA: her father has been around motorsports long enough to become an essential reference point in the eyes of his daughter, providing unconditional support throughout her journey in the sport. And, talking about, inspirational figures, Maria Ramos also looks up to the above-mentioned De Villota.
"My role model in sport has always been my father because he was who got me started in the world of motosport. Maria de Villota has always been my role model regarding both aspects, the personal and professional and she will always be my greatest reference."
"My father has always kept me company in every single race and in some rare occasions, my siblings have as well. My parents have always supported me, always taking safety into account, like all parents. They suffer a lot during races, but they have always supported me in everything I've done, if that made me happy."
Sharing the track with some other promising talents in Spain, Maria looks forward to soon represent her country at the highest level around Europe. And, in humble fashion, she looks up to some of her colleagues:
"I’ve been lucky enough to share the track with a lot of them, they are a clear example of effort and overcoming obstables. Their achievements come thanks to the tremendous amount of effort and work they put into it."
"They are great sportswomen and will get better with time. Also the tournaments are quite tight being the women the ones in the top 5 which is also very important."
In the last years, more and more ladies reached the spotlight in motor racing, proving that the great work that has been done for gender equality is finally giving the first results.
"I started three years ago and since then a lot more women are getting started in karting. Slowly, in Spain we are more women in the world of motorsport and we are demonstrating that we can also go far if we want to. It is greatly important that this becomes normal and that seeing a girl racing doesn’t feel 'weird'".
After her testing experience in a Formula car, Maria's goal will be to improve even further and maybe experimenting a different driving style like in a GT car, without setting limits on what her future career will reserve her.
"I do not rule out making the jump to GT or formulas. I like both and I would love to continue competing in the future. I would love to be able to do a test with a GT, since I have already tested the formulas."
Talking about the everyday teenager-life, we asked Maria to explain what her life looks like outside of recetracks.
"Well, I am studying a double degree in journalism and audiovisual communication, with the aim of being able to do sports journalism in the future and focus it on motorsport."
"I love to make different plans, travel and have fun with my friends and my girlfriend. I think it is also very important to maintain a positive social life, keeping in mind that I am an athlete, trying to make plans that combine both."- said Maria.
"I have practiced many sports throughout my life and it fills me a lot. Drawing also relaxes me a lot when I'm very stressed. I would love to be able to travel much more than I do and discover the world with a backpack."
With the whole world living through difficult and unprecedented times, the world of sports has particularly taken a hard hit, leaving the entire industry with uncertainty about the restart.
Despite this historical crisis, it is still very important to keep the focus on post-pandemic plans, hoping to be able to return as soon as possible to a nearly-normal life.
"This year I made the jump to the KZ-2 category with a new team, MDC Racing. On my agenda was the Spanish championship and the promokart championship. We also had in sight some IAME races."
"At the moment everything is still standing and we have not canceled anything from our schedule, but when everything returns to normal we will organize again I guess."
Finally, we couldn't leave out a conventional but always essential question to look ahead of this time: Maria, what are your main goals for the future?
"My first goal on a personal level is to finish my degree at university and work for an important medium as a journalist. At a professional level, to be able to grow as much as possible and be racing in major championships. But it is very difficult to make long-term plans because you never know what will happen to us in a few years…"
"Maria de Villota has always been my role model regarding both aspects, the personal and professional and she will always be my greatest reference."