Dino is a 20-year-old Anglo-Italian racing driver (British parents, Italian ancestry). He started karting at the age of 7, and spent another 7 years racing around in various classes. He moved on to competing in series such as Formula Renault, Formula 3, Formula 2 and he’s now moved up the ranks to drive for Marussia in GP3. A route in which he hopes will take him to his goal of driving in Formula 1. Dino was the 2008 Ginetta Junior Champion, and then in 2011 he became the Formula Renault BARC champion.
Q1: What do you think your chances of getting into Formula 1 are? (@hullcityfan789)
The goal has always been Formula 1 and I am working hard to get there, and I’ll keep pushing until I do.
Q2: What category has been the hardest to compete in so far? (@BrionyF1)
Formula 2 was probably the hardest, the cars were heavy and not as responsive as the Formula Renault and with a lack of winter testing it was a race in itself to get to grips with the car and understand it.
Q3: You did Formula Renault, do you think GP3 (via GP2) is a better way to reach Formula 1? (@Formula1Extra)
I wouldn’t say it’s a better way; every series you race in is a step on the ladder. With how Formula 1 and how its feeder series are structured GP3 followed by GP2 is definitely the right route to take and Formula Renault enabled me to work to this point.
Q4: When did you first know that you wanted a career in motor racing? (4_NorrisF1)
When I was six I stepped into a go-kart for the first time and ever since driving then, I had my sights set on Formula 1!
Q5: Is there a specific team you would like to drive for if you reached your goal of driving in Formula 1? (@kate_hewi)
Well, being Anglo-Italian with a name like Dino, Ferrari is obviously jumping out! However, I’m not focused too much on this and I haven’t got a massive preference. The main thing for me is to focus on how I get there, what steps I have to take and how to take these steps effectively.
Q6: How hard is it to adapt to different cars for the first time? (I.e. swapping from Formula Renault to GP3) (@calum643)
This year’s GP3 car is quite similar to the Formula Renault that I raced, however it was a big change going from Formula Renault to Formula 2, the Formula Renault was light compared to the heavy Formula 2 car. The power was also a huge difference. It takes time in the seat to get used to it, and this unfortunately takes money – money which I didn’t have last year. However, now with my backing, I am able to understand and develop myself with the car prior to racing it.
Q7: Who would make a good team-mate? (@hullcityfan789)
I’ve raced against a lot of good drivers and many would make great team mates, however if I was to choose one driver I would have loved to have had Michael Schumacher as a team mate. I would have loved to have seen the master at work during his prime!
Q8: Do you have any pre race rituals or superstitions? (@LiamRedford)
When getting changed before a race I tend to listen to music to get me going and to get me in the right mind-set and from there until the lights change I’m very much in my own world, visualising the track and concentrating on doing the best job I can.
Q9: What was your reaction when a car was right in front of you in the spray at Spa, and you only just avoided a collision? (@HLG_F1)
The video shows my reaction pretty clearly, but as it all happened so quick it wasn’t so much as reacting but more responding to the situation; making a instinctive decision that came from racing all my life. In that sort of situation there is also a certain degree of luck and luck was fortunately on my side.
Q10: Do you have any racing icons? Or anyone you aspire to be like? (@kate_hewi)
Michael Schumacher for me was the driver I used to look up to. I loved his will to win and his passion.
Q11: How hard is it to become a racer? And what does it feel like to finally sit in a racing car for the first time? (@vamossnico)
It takes a lot of work to become a racing driver, it’s not just about sitting in a car and driving there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into it. I’m not like many racing drivers who have money in their family that allows them to race, I’ve had to work very hard on creating dialogues with sponsors, building up my media presence and also maintaining a healthy lifestyle that enables my body to endure the forces that racing makes it susceptible to. This year I was very fortunate that all this culminated together at the right time and I was able to sit in the GP3 car at the first test without the worry of having to think about where the money was coming from for the next test!
Q12: With the folding of F2, how difficult is it to find a new series to compete in regarding tracks, cars, teams etc? (@F1Britalian22)
The folding of the Formula 2 series came as a bit of a shock, however I knew that I wanted to race in GP3 because of the development structure towards Formula 1, and from there it was about getting the sponsorship in place that would allow me to choose the team and I am very proud to be racing for Marussia Manor this season.
Q13: How have you prepare for GP3 over winter? Compared to F2 and Formula Renault? (@JackLeslieF1)
I’ve always maintained a healthy lifestyle that allows me to be in a good physical state to race in, every year is a development on the previous, it’s about pushing my mind and body further so that my racing skills develop and keep me fighting for wins.
Q14: Do you have any favourite drivers in Formula 1 or GP2? (@LeanneTokely)
I like to see an underdog do well…
Q15: Who do you reckon will be World Drivers Champion and World Constructors Champions this year?
Red Bull would be the obvious choice, they’ve had three amazing seasons winning both titles and with Adrian Newey, Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel it would almost be silly to bet against them. However with Formula 1 you never know what going to happen and there are a lot of quick drivers in there.
Thanks again for taking part, and good luck this season! (All pictures courtesy of GP3 Media Services)