Tina Hausmann has had the need for speed since a family trip to a car dealership ignited her passion for racing. "We were looking for a new car and at one dealership they had a race kart," reveals Tina's father, Yannick. "Tina was seven years old at the time and it just had this magnetic attraction for her. She got in it and she was dreaming and driving. A woman there, who was a racing driver herself, said she'd like to work with Tina. She said you don't see that kind of thing every day, and that was it."
The road since has seen Tina progress through the junior ranks, first in karting and then working with former European Touring Car Championship driver Marco Antonelli, father of kart sensation Kimi, in Formula 4 and Euro 4 in Italy. Now, the 17-year-old Swiss is ready to take the next step – representing Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in the ultra-competitive, all-female F1 Academy series for PREMA Racing in 2024. It's a big challenge but as Tina says, "I'm not afraid of anything."
1 | Where were you born and is it still home for you?
I was born in Zurich, Switzerland and yes, I feel at home there. Home is my favourite place to be but after spending a day at the AMR Technology Campus it could be my new favourite!
2 | You visited the Campus ahead of your announcement as the team's F1 Academy driver. How was it?
Everybody's smiling and it's just a happy place. People are so welcoming and friendly, and it already really feels like a family to me, even though it's my first day. I had a tour of the facility, which is amazing. After that, we went to the sim. I did some laps around Monza, which went well.
3 | You've just finished your rookie F4 season. When did you choose to pursue motorsport as a career?
I started karting when I was seven, just as a hobby and for fun, but when I was 13, something switched and I was like, 'OK, I want to do this competitively. I want to go in this direction.' And when I turned 16, it was my first time in F4. It was a huge step, but I enjoyed it.
4 | What changed? What was the catalyst for your career choice?
I can't point to one thing, I think it was just seeing more role models in the sport, such as Jessica Hawkins for example. That helped me to see there is a future for me. Sometimes you can't point out what it is. It's just going with the flow. You develop, you evolve and you see that's what you want to do.
5 | Jessica has just been announced as Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team Head of Racing for F1 Academy. Have you spent much time with her, and has she given you any tips?
Jessica has already given me a lot of tips – a lot of advice to help me on my journey. She's had to overcome so many challenges in her career and I can learn so much from her. I'm excited to work closely together and see what we can achieve.
6 | Are you still studying at school?
I've got two more years at school and then I'll have the qualifications needed to go to University where I'd like to do something in social media. I'm really interested in that, branding and things like that.
7 | Who's your favourite racing driver?
Difficult question! I think from each racing driver I can pick out something I really like about them, but I can't pick out one driver. I like different aspects of different drivers. There's so much that comes together to make a good racing driver and it's possible to learn something from each of them.
8 | Have you got a particular performance so far in your racing career that you're most proud of?
Winning the women's titles in Italian F4 and the Euro 4 Championships this season.
9 | What's it like making a key overtaking move or crossing the line for a big result?
Indescribable. I can't find words for this feeling. So much adrenaline, so much happiness, but you're so focused, you're already thinking about the next steps and your next move. It's everything in one moment.
10 | How will your F4 experience prepare you for F1 Academy?
It's interesting because the car in F4 is very similar to F1 Academy and if you do a second season in the same category, it always helps. What will be difficult is that a lot of the tracks I'll be racing on are new for me – there will be a lot to learn.
11 | What will you do to prepare for F1 Academy next season and all those new circuits?
I'm racing with PREMA and they're an incredibly experienced team. I'll be looking to bed in as quickly as possible with the team and do plenty of simulator work to learn the circuits and hit the ground running.
12 | Do you have any pre-race rituals?
Just before getting in the car, I clap my hands three times. I really don't know what that's for. I did it once and I had a good session, so I've been doing it since. I also always get in from the left side of the car. It just feels natural to do that.
13 | Do you play any other sports?
I played football for seven years and then I had to decide between professional football or motorsport and, of course, I chose motorsport! I'm still very passionate about football, though.
14 | What's your favourite piece of clothing?
Anything with green in it! The first time I saw my Aston Martin race suit, I was like 'OK, now it's becoming reality.'
15 | Tell us about your helmet design?
Helmets and race suits are so special. Your car is branded and designed by others and the only thing you can design is your helmet. It's super important to me. We'll do a new design for next year, maybe with a lot of green in it. And I want some pink too!
16 | What was the last song you listened to?
'Adventure of a Lifetime' by Coldplay – it's quite appropriate given the journey I'm on and the incredible opportunity to team up with the Team. I like all sorts of music, but what I'm into at the moment is rave, like techno music.
17 | If you could ask the restaurant at the AMR Technology Campus to make you one meal, what would it be?
Sushi. I love it. I even named my cat Sushi.
18 | Do you have any other pets?
I also have a dog called Okira. It's an Elo, but not many people have heard of this breed.
19 | Last TV show you binge-watched?
I like Modern Family. Also, I like Der Denver Clan, which is what Dynasty is called in German. A lot of people don't know that one. It's really cool. It's on Netflix.
20 | Are you afraid of anything?
I'm not afraid of anything. I think you only grow from experiences and situations that you're not used to and I therefore only see being afraid as a learning opportunity.
21 | Ultimately, what do you want to achieve in motorsport?
To be the best version of myself. To improve and to grow, to learn and to meet a lot of new people, make new friends, and just have a good time. I would love to make it to F1 but at the moment, I'm just focusing on improving and learning.
Aston Martin F1 Team announces Tina Hausmann as its F1 Academy driverRead Now
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