Q&A With Fernando Rees


 Q) Did/ do you have any aspirations towards F1 ?
 A) Yes, but when I was very young. Coming from Brazil, we don’t know much else about racing because it’s all about F1. But I changed my mind early on, while racing in Europe in F. Renault and Formula 3, as I figured out that the cards for my generation were already marked.

 Q) What do you think about Formula E & is there anything you feel other formulas can learn from it?

A) I like it. It’s interesting, different. I don’t think it belongs to what we know as “racing” – to me it kind of stands on its own, something new. But entertaining for sure, and promising. But being different than anything else, I don’t think it can be used much as an example of success or failure for other small formula categories.

 Q) You will be racing in LeMans in June, can you tell me why it is is so key to make sure you’re always checking your mirrors?
A) Well, you check your mirrors all the time, but during the night it has little use because we can’t really see much. The LMP1 lights are just too bright, it blinds us, and makes our mirrors reflect a completely white light. You can’t judge whether they’re 500 m or 50 m behind. But in general, the mirror raises your space awareness, and in GT cars you must be ready to protect yourself from incoming cars all the time.

 Q) Is it difficult to race at dusk or night doing 160 MPH+?
A) Yeah, it is very difficult. But it’s more difficult when you leave the environment of the garage and go straight to the night. If the night comes while you’re already driving, it’s much easier because your eyes adapt step by step with it. But for sure, it’s not easy, and it’s one of the big challenges of endurance racing.

 Q) In 3 words describe your racing style?

A) Smart, precise, aware.

 Q) Do you have a strict training and preparation programme to assist in endurance racing?
A) Yes, fitness and nutrition plus a special preparation before entering the race car. Everything must work together. Mind and body must be in tune, and in tune with the mindfulness required by racing well.

 Q) Tell me the most special thing to you within racing, that even on the worst day makes you feel fortunate to be able to race at all?
A) To know what an achievement it is just being able to do it at all, especially coming from a family which couldn’t just pay my way up each year, you know? So yeah, to feel fortunate that since I started, back when I was 8, so many kids and guys raced against me and had to stop for this or that reason, while I managed to continue.

 Q) Are there some other sports you’re interested in or participate in?
A) I love running. It gives me a similar feeling as when I’m inside the race car. You know, on your own, getting to experiment and understand your own mind in a level of focus that few other things require.

 Q) You have been invited to a one off race that means something to you, what car would you like, at which circuit and who’s your team mate (past or present is allowed) and why?

A) Very difficult question. It never crossed my mind, to be honest. I would love to drive the Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 some more, in a circuit like Spa-Francorchamps, and I’m quite pleased with the way things work with my current team mates.

Q) You’re going to dinner with up to 4 people who’ve influenced you, who would you bring along?
A) I would like a dinner just with Ayrton Senna to discuss some thoughts about racing – not race cars, but what motivates us to race, why we risk doing it, etc.

Q) What’s are you listening to most on your ipod currently?
A)Smashing Pumpkins.

 Q)  X-Box or Playstation?
A) Playstation.

 Q) What’s your favourite Sim game to play?
A) GT6 and rFactor Pro.

Q) Describe Fernando the man in 3 words?
A) Calm, humble, disciplined.

Q) You are going to Periscope from a place in the world that is most like you, where in the world are we?
A) A calm beach in Northeastern Brazil. Very few people around. Birds and other animals roaming free. Sounds of waves. Sun up in the blue sky – sunrays touching my face.

   Published: 09/05/2015

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