Zane Maloney has had an up and down rookie year so far in FIA Formula 2 but the Rodin Carlin driver says that it has been a valuable learning experience so far.
One round has had a huge impact already on his career, and he discusses more important moments and reflects on his arrival in F2 ahead of Monaco.
SIGNING WITH ADD MANAGEMENT
“The first moment I would say that really changed the path of my career would be when I got with ADD Management. I was having a really bad year in Euroformula for certain reasons. Some things from my side, well, a lot of things from my side. When I went and got with ADD Management, they really put me in the right direction the next season when I did Formula Regional, we really made a big step up. I was just focusing on my driving, focusing on what I can do better. They really helped me out.
“It was a very good thing to have that winter break. When I look back on my career, I can't imagine having ADD management from the beginning. Firstly, my dad was making all the decisions in terms of where I go and when I go to certain places. He did a very good job, as good a job as a dad can do coming from Barbados and not really knowing anything about the motorsport world overseas. So he did a great job but ADD Management knew the world inside and out.
“For sure, they would have done a better job, but the main thing was in terms of how to approach a weekend, how to going quicker throughout sessions and not really the driving side because from back then until now, I wouldn't say I'm a much quicker driver, but now I'm a much more let's say complete driver. I'm still getting more complete throughout my career, but I'm a lot more complete because of them and how they really guided me throughout the years.
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS CRASH, 2022
“Of course, the actual crash didn't change anything in my head, but it changed my mindset a little bit about how I should go about the weekends and how I should go about the races. After, I just started making a lot less stupid mistakes and fewer erratic moves. I improved a lot my mindset and I'm still continuing to try to improve that mindset. After that we won three races so I think it helped quite a lot to change that mindset.
“Those results came because of the mentality change. Like, for example, when I was when I was, battling Caio Collet and Oliver Goethe, probably on Saturday, I would have done something a bit more stupid and not wanting to give up the position on wanting to gain it straight away. Whereas on Sunday, I was a lot calmer, waited a couple more corners and then was able to win the race. So, I think the Saturday crash allowed me to win on Sunday and make better decisions on the track.
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"In general, in this format, it's not all about getting that move in that one corner because the races are so long, the tyres go off and there’s pitstops in F2 so there's many opportunities to gain back that place. Of course, you don't want to lose a place in a race but yes, the mentality change meant I became more aware. I don't mind losing a place if I know that it's the best decision in that one in that moment.”
“The biggest moment so far was probably Jeddah. learning a lot. That we can, even though we were really slow really struggling. I probably learned the most that weekend just on how put together a lap in Qualifying, how to race properly, how to manage these F2 tyres. That was a real learning weekend - no points, no top 15 but I learned a lot and it helped me bounce back in Australia. I'm quite confident that we can continue moving forward and I'm sure there will be many big moments this year that I learn a lot. Hopefully, those big learning moments are not because of something bad, hopefully it's something good. So that's the plan.
“I've learned more and more. The best thing is to have a good weekend and still learn the same amount from it. But I do think really do think that the bad weekends do make you learn a lot. We sat down after Jeddah, and we really focused on what we need to change to make this season better. It's easy to get caught up with the bad result and not know how to go quicker, not know how to get better and the team did a really good job with all of us seeing what we could have done better that weekend from my side and from their side.
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"Together, we really put that into Australia. Like I said, it's easy to leave Jeddah, everyone thinks that they did a good job but then I’m thinking the team didn't do a good job., they think I didn't do a good job and then you go nowhere. So that's what I've mainly learned. We really sat down and picked apart each lap of each session, because you can see a lot from that and you don't have enough time to do that during the weekend.
“I'm sure that there's gonna be tough weekends to come, I hope not, but I'm sure there'll be tough weekends. Hopefully those tough weekends - the main thing in racing is you can’t win every race, it’s about trying to make the tough weekends still a top five result, let's say. That’s what every team and driver is trying to do but I think we're in a good shape going forward.”