Rising Stars Profile Vol. 5 – Esmee Kosterman & Astrid Almlöf

FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars profile series:
Vol. 1 – Jessica Edgar & Maya Weug
Vol. 2 – Milla Sjöstrand & Doriane Pin
Vol. 3 – Ella Stevens & Kinga Wójcik
Vol. 4 – Mariana Machado & Toni Kayla Naudé

In June, The FIA and its Women in Motorsport Commission announced the launch of “FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars” program, where 20 young female drivers will participate in a selection program. The best out of the program could be awarded a one-year contract to join the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) programme for an FIA Formula 4 season in 2021.

This week, we continue with the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars profile series, and give you Esmee Kosterman & Astrid Almlöf.

Esmee Kosterman

Esmee Kosterman is 15 years old from the Netherlands. In 2018, Esmee represented the Netherlands in the FIA CIK Karting Academy Trophy. In the 2020 season, Esmee is competing in the Rookie4shift class of the Dutch Campionship (NK 4-stroke) with Kart Academy.

© Photos provided by Esmee Kosterman

Paddock Sorority (PS): Can you tell us about your first exposure to motorsport and how you started karting? Do you remember your first experience in a go-kart?

Esmee Kosterman (EK): My brother was already karting and I always went to watch him. At one point I asked my father if he could buy a kart for me, because I wanted to drive too. I found that speed interesting. I was 9 when I started karting. I really liked my first experience in the kart and especially liked the speed. I loved it!

PS: What made you decide you want a career as a professional driver? Currently what’s your career goal as a driver?

EK: I realized that my passion was racing and speed. I am actually good at racing. I do not give up easily and I’m really going for it.

My goal is to become a female racing driver and try to get as high as possible. I would like to finish as a female driver in Formula 1.

PS: Is there a racing idol for you? How have they impacted you and your racing?

EK: My male racing idol is Max Verstappen and my female racing idiol is Beitske Visser.

PS: What has been your best memory in your career so far?

EK: My best memory was that I started from pole position a few times in the Rotax 2stroke Junior Class last year, and I finished 3rd in the season among the rookies. Another one of my best memory is racing at the FIA Academy Trophy. I was chosen to participate as the first girl from the Netherlands. At that time, I was one of the three girls among all the boys who participated.

PS: How are you juggling school work, training, and racing?

EK: When I have a race I’ll skip some classes, but I make sure I have done my homework or I do my homework on the track. I train every weekend and during the holidays.

PS: How are you preparing for the shoot-out in October?

EK: I’m preparing myself by doing a lot of sports and training in the simulator. I also have kart races to build my racecraft. Only my English language is not so good yet, so I try to improve it too.

Astrid Almlöf

Astrid Almlöf is 14 years old from Sweden. Astrid started karting in 2013, and came in 3rd in 2016 Göteborgs Stora Pris in the Micro class. In the 2020 season, Astrid is competing in the Junior 125 class in the Swedish Championships with Morin Racing Academy.

Paddock Sorority (PS): Can you tell us about your first exposure to motorsport and how you started karting? How was your first experience in a go-kart (if you still remember it)?

Astrid Almlöf (AA): I grew up in a motorsports family where motocross has been the big interest. We still go see motocross from time to time. My big brother began karting and soon after my dad wanted me to start as well. I wanted to ride horses, but then my dad and I agreed to try karting for a year. If I still wanted to ride horses after that year, I could do that. I quickly fell in love with go-kart and did not want to stop. My first experience with go-kart ended with two crashes with a cadetti kart, but dad made it so the kart would not go too fast while I was still learning. Then I started to like karting and was going faster and faster.

Astrid in a Cadetti kart in 2013 © Liselott Almlöf

PS: What made you decide you want a career as a professional driver? Currently what’s your career goal as a driver?

AA: When I had been driving go-kart for some months, me and dad made a deal that if I completed the whole Rörken track (the circuit in Uppsala) in under a minute, I would be allowed to participate in my first race in Mora. I fought a long time but I eventually succeeded. It made me understand that go-kart was not just about steering and punching the accelerator. You need to fight and press your abilities to become a better driver. I think this is what made me stay with the sport. You can’t only think that the race will turn out well without fighting for it. In 2015 I won my first heat, to know that I was the best in that heat made me so happy.

My career goal is to work with motorsport as a professional driver in a Formula series .

PS: Who have you learned the most from regarding racing?

AA: In my nine years as a karting driver, I’ve been with three teams: Carlsson Racing, KH Racing and now I’m part of Morin Racing Academy. I have learnt a lot from all teams, but the one I have learnt the most from is my dad who has been with me through the bad times and the good…

Astrid with dad

PS: How are your family supporting you in your career?

AA: My family is very supportive and is always watching me when I’m racing. I know that my family always has my back, although it’s often me and my dad on the road. I know that my brother is home and hoping that I succeed.

PS: What has been your best memory in your career so far?

AA: One of my best memories from my career has to be when I came in at third place in “Göteborgs Stora Pris”, 2016 in Micro category. We in the top three fought the whole time, and I felt like we shared the victory that day.

Astrid with Göteborgs Stora Pris trophy © Liselott Almlöf

PS: What has been the biggest challenge or difficulty you have to overcome to be where you are today?

AA: The biggest difficulty i’ve been met with was in my first years in “big kart”. A lot of things were new to me and I hit a roadblock when it came to developing as a driver. We decided therefore to switch team after three years with the same team, and that was the right decision. It was not because the previous team was bad, but because I could no longer develop as a driver as quickly as I wanted to. I got a fresh start on the new team.

© Liselott Almlöf

PS: What is a typical day like for you with school work and training?

AA: A usual day for me is to wake up early in the morning and go to the gym. Then I go to school. When I come home, I usually do school work if it’s not a karting practice day. If it is, I will go to the track.

PS: How are you preparing for the shoot-out in October?

AA: I am doing a lot when it comes to preparing for the shoot-out this October. For example, I am doing a lot of physical exercise, driving in an F4-simulator and doing some media training as well. I get a lot of help from ASN so I am preparing myself in the best possible way.

© Mattias Persson

Next week, we give you Natalia Gładysz from Poland and Tyler Robinson from South Africa.


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