Sophia Floersch: a woman on a mission.
We spoke with the German superstar during her Italian vacation, as she visited the DTM paddock in Misano.
Yes, among the female racing drivers in Misano this past week there was Sophia Floersch. And no, she hasn't joined the W-Series grid (she won't do that anytime soon, in case you're wondering).
She came by to see the DTM races and then extended her Italian holiday, before flying to Hungaroring, where she'll be testing this weekend in preparation for the upcoming round of the Formula Regional European Championship.
The last time she was here, she was racing in the European Formula 3 championship. Since then, she has made headlines all over the world for her now infamous crash in the streets of Macau.
Now fans constantly stop her for pictures and autographs, and righfully so, as the story of her recovery will certainly go down in the history of great sports parables. But I don't think Sophia Floersch can be reduced to the story of her accident. She is a talented, determined young woman with a clear aim in mind, and while the road to her dream is still long and winding, I can see in her eyes the hunger that defines successful people.
“I love DTM, it's super cool, the cars are crazy cool and also the level of the drivers is really high”
Racers: Tell us a little bit more about Formula Regional and how you came up with this deal.
Sophia: Yeah, I'm doing the Formula Regional Italy now, I was actually planning to do the Formula 3 together with DTM but this one got cancelled, so we had to do something else. In the search for a plan B, the Formula Regional came up and it was a kind of a short decision because one week later we had the first race. But it's going ok, you know, it's gonna be a step year again, to just learn and prepare for next year.
R: How do you rate your first two races so far?
S: Well, the first race in Paul Ricard actually was a little bit of a struggle there, because we got the car five days earlier and we had no idea about the car, and also me. So we struggled a little bit but then Vallelunga got really better, I got a P5 finish and a P3 start but it was raining so much in Italy so they had to cancel the race. Next one is Budapest, so I think it's gonna be quite good.
R: Did you find a big difference between the F3 Dallara and the new Tatuus one?
S: Yeah, there's a really big difference between those two cars, you really have to drive them completely different. The car now is like 80 kilos heavier, so the whole driving style changes. But it's a cool car, and I think especially with the Pirelli tyres it's a great "school" for the International F3.
R: Given your partnership with HWA, have you already a program in mind with them, maybe Formula E?
S: I'm really happy to have HWA as a partner since one year and we're doing a lot of things together. Next year I hopefully go to the International [F3] with them and then we'll see. Formula E is really interesting as well, I've been in the simulator already twice. Yeah, a lot of work coming up!
R: You're here watching DTM, what do you think about it?
S: I love DTM, it's super cool, the cars are crazy cool and also the level of the drivers is really high, so it's for sure something that interests me and to follow as well.
We will see, you know, there's so many possibilities you can do, for sure Formula E and DTM as well, we just have to see what is going to be possible and what makes sense.
R: I have to ask you this question, even though I know your opinion on W-Series, do you think there are also positive sides from this first season?
S: I think that for girls that don't have any other chances it's ok, you know? Better to do the series than to stay at home. But for me it wouldn't have made sense, and that's the reason why I don't do it.
R: I think it was actually pretty brave from you to turn this down, you know, it was basically a free ride.
S: Yeah, but for me it wouldn't have made sense…
R: We met here last year for your Formula 3 race. How is your life changed in this last year?
S: Oh! It's one year! Well, I finished the series last year in F3 and I think it went quite good, we were quite fast in the end, and now I'm doing the F.Regional, it hasn't really changed a lot! Living my dream.
Well, of course because of the crash I had, the media attention is a lot bigger now.
R: Do you find it more difficult to race under the spotlight now?
S: No, I had pressure before, I have pressure now. But I have a goal that I want to achieve and that always brings pressure.
R: Finally, where does Sophia Floersch sees herself in five years time?
S: Wow, hopefully, in five years time I have my Formula 1 contract! Let's see how it goes, but yeah, five years is a long time!
“I had pressure before, I have pressure now. But I have a goal that I want to achieve.”
Ph credits: Racers-Behindthehelmet.com