Nerea Martí rounds-up her F1 Academy Miami weekend amid being “really excited” for home race in Barcelona

Photo Credit: F1 Academy
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Coming to Miami with a previous knowledge of the track from her time in W Series, Nerea Martí had a rollercoaster of a weekend. Full of fighting for points, trying to improve, and also meeting big names such as Kendall Jenner and her main sponsor Tommy Hilfiger.

Starting strong with two practice sessions, being fourth and third fastest on the timesheets respectively, Martí commented: “FP1 was good because we were improving my driving and also in the car, but we didn’t put everything together. I did a lot of mistakes with my driving because I was trying too hard.

“In FP2, we put everything together. We need to keep working because we have some tenths to find, but it was much better. I stopped running a bit before, so the other drivers did a few more laps, so they improved at the end.”

Focusing on her improvement, the Spanish driver learned some important things during Free Practice 1 and 2, the vital ones being, “the braking and the handling in the car”.

“We had crazy oversteer, I think everyone did because I watched F1TV and I saw everyone fighting with the cars. So, I focused on braking and then having confidence with the walls. At this track, it’s easy to miss the apex and waste a lot of time because the straights are super long and you need to keep the inside and brake as late as possible,” she explained.

On Saturday, Martí had a bit of a disappointing Qualifying, managing to secure only P6 for Race 1 with her fastest lap and then P5 for Race 2 with her second-best time.

However, she didn’t let bad feelings get into her head, as she got the chance to meet with already mentioned celebrities that were there to support the all-female racing series. And, in the case of Mr. Hilfiger, to also support Martí personally thanks to her being sponsored by his brand and driving the Tommy Hilfiger livery.

“After Qualifying, I was a bit sad because we wanted more, but anyways we were there. It was amazing to be with Kendall Jenner and Tommy Hilfiger. I was really excited to meet them, to take some pictures and speak a bit. It’s an amazing opportunity from Tommy Hilfiger.

“Kendall and I were speaking about the drivers and the Tommy Hilfiger car, that is amazing. Also, she told me that she was going to do a hot lap with Lewis Hamilton, so I told her that she’s going to enjoy it.”

Later that day, the 22-year-old took part in Race 1. Having an exciting battle with Ferrari’s Maya Weug and multiple other drivers, she ended up taking the chequered flag in fourth.

“I had crazy pace. It was amazing, but I did a lot of mistakes when overtaking and managing the race. I had enough pace to get P2 and I was P4 at the end, but it was not a good race for me,” she summarized her performance.

As the last day of the Miami Grand Prix came, Race 2 of F1 Academy came with it. Struggling a lot more than in the previous one, Martí finished in P7, falling two places down from her starting position. Later, she explained what happened and the sudden lack of pace:

“I was really motivated because I wanted to improve the things that I had learned [on Saturday], but we didn’t have any pace. We were super slow, like one second slower than in Race 1 and compared to the other drivers, so it was too much.

“I was just trying to manage improving the things that I did wrong [on Saturday] and, in some ways, I was better. I’m happy for this part because I am improving and learning more about my driving, but we didn’t have any pace.

“It was a really, really tough race for me. I was struggling a lot; I was fighting all the time with the car. P7 was the result in the end, but we need to analyze what happened in the second race, try to analyze everything with the team at the workshop and put a solution together for the next round.”

With Round 3 of F1 Academy taking place in late June, Martí and Campos Racing will certainly have enough time to analyze everything and improve even more. With the race weekend being held in Spain, it’ll be a home race for both her and the team.

​​“The next round will be in Barcelona. I’m really excited, it’s a home race for me and the team. I will be super happy to be there in front of all the fans and in front of all the Spanish people, it will be really amazing — I can’t wait to be there.

“I want to be in the front. Of course, I want to be at the top, it’s always the goal and we will work to be there because we didn’t have the pace in the race today. Normally, we have the pace and the speed, so we just need to put everything together to try to win,” concluded Martí.