Filipino-Swiss race car champion Marlon Stockinger is a step closer to achieving his dream of becoming the first Pinoy Formula One driver.
During the press conference held last March 1 at the Manila Peninsula, the 21-year-old member of the new Lotus Formula 1 Junior team reveals that he will be participating at the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 World Series.
“It’s considered higher than GP3. It’s also quite close to F1; I mean, a lot of Red Bull drivers have progressed straight to F1 from there. It’s considered, if not last step, close to F1,” says Marlon.
“I think recently in Barcelona, we’re six seconds slower behind Formula 1 so it’s quite fast,” he added.
Marlon will also be driving a single-seat race car with the latest aerodynamic and technical advances, which is similar to its brother, the Formula 1 race car.
“We have pit stops, we have 45 minute races, and as well as the car which is quite similar to F1,” he said.
ONE-STEP CLOSER. Marlon will be training with six other drivers for the junior rank of one of the legendary Formula 1 teams – the Lotus F1 team. The Lotus Formula 1 Junior racing team will undergo in-depth and highly specialized training for their driving skills, physical fitness, health, and other elements which will help them perform their very best.
“Basically they give us all the tools that F1 drivers have in terms of fitness training.
“They do asses your whole anatomy [and] your physical fitness, everything, and they give personalized programs for [me],” he shared.
On May 4 and 5, the whole Lotus F1 Junior team— Marco Sorensen from Denmark, Alex Fontana from Switzerland, Oscar Tunjo from Colombia, Esteban Ocon from France, Alexander Albon from Thailand, and Dorian Boccolacci from France— will be visiting the country as part of the Lotus F1 Roadshow.
“Lotus F1 Team is coming with two S1 cars, a double-seater car, several stirrers, with a team of 35 mechanics.
“We just wanted to celebrate speed and motor sport in our country, and achieve top novel,” Marlon said.
With his recent achievements as a race car driver, does he feel any pressure as he tries to be the first Filipino Formula 1 driver?
“Siyempre naman, [mas] mataas yung pressure, mataas yung expectations nung F1 Lotus team sa akin nung pinadala yung resulst pero tinging ko parang it’s a good pressure naman at kailangan talagang mag-deliver [good performance],” said the race car champion.
“Siyempre gusto ko manalo kahit isang race pero ang mas importante talaga is to learn as much as I can in finishing the points.”
LONE RANGER. At the age of 16, Marlon started living by himself to pursue his dream.
“Sometimes, there have been moments in my career where you think about stopping simply because you’re on the road by yourself all the time.
“I have to leave home, it’s not like yung ibang bansa.
“I was born here in the Philippines, minsan I have to leave my family, my friends, my whole social networks.
“I’d say those moments were some lows but thankfully I achieved some highs.”
Marlon assured his fans that he will do his best to give pride to the Filipinos.
“I always think of all the support and all the recognition we’ve been getting for the Philippines and from my family and everyone,” Marlon said.
“I’m really close now at the end, we’re just in that last little bit so to give up now before even touching F1, I can even smell it, the tour is as big as it has ever been now.
“I will always keep going, I will always keep pushing, I’m gonna keep fighting for the win.”