Nerea Martí started karting at the age of 9 when her family opened a kart track in Valencia. Soon she showed potential on track and started racing with the support from Praga España Motorsport. Nerea made history by becoming the first female driver to have won the Valencian championship. In 2019, she moved from karting to Formula 4, finishing on the podium in her debut race in the Spanish F4. Later that year, she was picked as one of the new drivers for W Series 2020 season. Unfortunately, the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. But in 2021, W Series came back bigger and better, and so did Nerea. She finished 3rd in Hungaroring, round 4 of the season, becoming the second rookie to have been on the podium this season.
We had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Nerea after Hungagoring, let’s see what she has to say about her career and the W Series.
Photos © Nerea Martí unless otherwise noted
Paddock Sorority (PS): You managed to get on the podium very quickly in your W Series rookie season, what are the key takeaways for you in the first half of the season?
Nerea Martí (NM): I am very happy with the progression of the season, I am working hard to adapt and be at the level as soon as possible. I am still gaining confidence with the car and learning new circuits where we only have a 30 minute set to learn.
PS: Has there been any challenges moving from an F4 car to an F3 car?
NM: The change from f4 to f3 has been an adaptation process that I am still in. I have been since the end of 2019 without driving formula cars but I really want to continue knowing the car.
PS: In 2019, did you follow the W Series season? How did you prepare for your debut based on what you saw in 2019?
NM: I have been in a high performance center called CETDM (Centro Especializado de Tecnificación Deportiva del Motor) for 3 years. There I have combined training with studies so far. I train 4 hours a day and I also work a lot on the mental part. I have only been able to do 5 tests before starting the W Series season.
PS: Last year, when there wasn’t that much racing in actual cars, how did you keep yourself motivated and kept on training?
NM: Last year even though I wasn’t able to compete in formula cars, I competed in the Spanish Karting championship in KZ category. In that year I learned a lot and I made some pole positions and several podiums.
PS: What made you decide you want to be a professional driver?
NM: I have always loved cars, when I was little my father and my uncle opened a karting track in Valencia, Karting Horta Nord, and that is where my passion for motorsport began. I’ve never tried a racing car before.
PS: Do you remember your first experience in a go-kart? How was it?
NM: My first experience in a competition kart was on a Valencia track with the team that we made with my family in 2015.
PS: From whom did you learn the most about racing and driving?
NM: I have always learned together with my family, especially with my father and since I was selected for “Praga España Motorsport” we have been able to train much more in this world.
PS: What has been your best memory in your career so far? What has been the biggest challenge you overcome?
NM: The most beautiful memory I have had is the first time I got in a formula car, I was able to fulfill one of my dreams and share it with my family.
PS: On the W Series calendar, which circuit do you most look forward to?
NM: I really want to compete in Spa, but I loved Hungaroring.
PS: What’s your plan for the second half of W Series season and season 2022?
NM: The objective this year is to learn, continue to improve and enjoy, and next year to fight for the championship.
This weekend, the W Series comes to Spa-Francorchamps. We wish Nerea good luck at the circuit she looks forward to.