Anthoine Hubert is participating in his second full season of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship in 2015, remaining with the Tech 1 Racing team that gave him his debut in 2014, arriving in the series as the 2013 French F4 Champion.
Talking to The Checkered Flag ahead of the second round of the Eurocup season at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, the Frenchman revealed it was parental influence that saw him become a racing driver.
“When I was 3 years old, my dad bought me a go kart for Christmas,” revealed Hubert. “He was driving rally as an amateur so he wanted to give this passion of Motorsport to me.
“I started competition at seven years of age in minikart and the results went well (I won French Cup in my second year) so we continued and went up in categories. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, I drove at the international level and finished twice in third in the U18 World Championship (2011 & 2012).
“2013 was my first year in single seaters and as I was in the FFSA programs since 2009, I started by F4 at the Auto Sport Academy, which is, in my opinion, a really good championship to start. I won the championship and it allowed me to move to Formula Renault 2.0 with the French team Tech 1 Racing. In 2014, I finished 15th and first rookie in Eurocup. I’m now started my second year in the category.”
The eighteen-year-old revealed he is happy racing for the Tech 1 Racing outfit again in 2015, having initially been put in touch with the team by the FFSA. He knows the team are working towards the same goals as he is, and is looking forward to achieving those goals.
“Tech 1 is one of the best teams in France,” insisted Hubert. “In 2013, when I was in F4, they won Eurocup with Pierre Gasly so my goal was clearly to drive for them in 2014. That’s what happened thanks to the FFSA that put me in relation with Simon and Sarah Abadie.
“We were happy about our collaboration in 2014 so we both made our best to continue together this year and even if it has been difficult financially, we found an agreement for a deal. I want to thanks them for this!
“The team is really motivated and everyone is working together for the same goal: the win! What I like the most in the team is the good atmosphere! It’s good to feel that everybody is behind you and doing its best for you!”
Hubert also revealed to The Checkered Flag that amongst his goals for 2015 are to challenge for podium finishes, race wins and the championship this season, with the Frenchman believing all of these are possible.
“My expectations for 2015 are to be as often as possible on the podium,” said Hubert. “My goal is to be champion in Eurocup and the consistency will be the key for that! It’s my second season in Formula Renault 2.0 so I have to aim for the title and I think that I have the skills and the team to achieve my goal!
“2015 is a very important year for me! I must win to take the 500K € bonus if I want to go in a higher category otherwise it’s going to be difficult as my budget is low. But I think that this pressure has a positive effect on me, it pushes me to give the best all the time!”
Hubert had a strong opening Eurocup weekend of the season, coming away from Motorland Aragon with two podium finishes and a sixth place, which puts him third in the championship. He admitted he had to work with his team to find speed between practice and qualifying, but felt more confident as the weekend went on.
“We were not the fastest [during the] weekend, especially during the free practices, but we worked well to find some speed and in first qualifying session we were already much closer to the first,” said Hubert.
“I started fifth for Race 1 and 2. The first race went well as I came back to third. Second race was a bit more difficult as I finished sixth.”
The second qualifying session at Motorland Aragon saw the Frenchman qualify down in ninth after encountering tricky and changeable conditions on his fastest lap, but despite the majority of the race being run behind the safety car, Hubert took advantage of those crashing ahead of him to finish second behind Dennis Olsen.
“I was a bit unlucky in the second qualifying, the track was drying and I was improving my time in the last lap but the rain was back for the last sector,” revealed Hubert. “That made me start ninth for Race 3 so the goal was to stay on the track and take the points we could take!
“After a good start, I was quite lucky and could gain some positions because the guys in front of me crashed under the safety car. To be honest I didn’t aim for a podium finish. But with what happened in front of me, I took the opportunity and I was delighted to finish second after starting ninth!”
Even before the results from Motorland Aragon, Hubert has been quick this season, and the Frenchman knows just how important consistency will be this year to enable him to challenge for the title.
“Since the first collective test in Le Mans, we’ve always been fast,” said Hubert. “Not always the fastest but always in the top 5. Consistency will be the key for the championship. It won’t be easy but I think we have our chance!”