Alex Peroni cannot wait to get the FIA Formula 3 Championship season up and running in 2020, with the young Australian eyeing a charge for the title in what will be his sophomore year in the series and with Campos Racing.
Peroni ended 2019 after a horror crash at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza when he hit a sausage kerb at the Parabolica and was launched into the catch fencing. He was lucky to walk away from the crash, but his season was over due to a back injury, which he is thankfully now fully recovered from.
Aside from his crash, his 2019 season was not the easiest for Peroni as he and his team struggled to adapt to the new FIA Formula 3 car, and despite some good performances, overall he felt the year was the worst of his career to date.
“Very challenging!” said Peroni when asked by The Checkered Flag about his rookie FIA Formula 3 season. “We certainly didn’t go as well as we could have and at times, we were just very unlucky.
“We struggled to sort out the new car which turned out to be quite different to the previous year’s GP3. The accident in Monza was just the final straw to a very frustrating season which proved to be the worst in my thirteen years of motorsport.
“There were a lot of emotions happening after the crash. I tried to focus on being grateful for how I came out of it because it clearly could have been a lot worse. Recovery was the worst part it, especially watching Macau on TV but I’m now stronger for it.”
With the championship now set to get underway at the Red Bull Ring at the beginning of July following the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Peroni is excited to get going, and he insists fighting for the championship is his aim.
“Just hoping we can race at the moment!” Peroni said. “But the aim as always is to win, which will be very challenging but I’m up for it.”
Peroni ‘Very Happy’ to be Staying with Campos
Peroni says remaining with Campos Racing was an easy decision having worked well with them throughout 2019, and the ability to remain based close to where the team are located, for an Australian, was also factored into the equation.
“A lot of important changes were made in the team over winter with the aim of improving car performance,” he said. “I loved living in Valencia and I was very comfortable in the Campos environment.
“As an Australian I have to consider a number of factors that people living in and around Europe probably don’t consider like having to move to a place near the team for the year. With the changes made to the team and the great facilities at Campos I was very happy to go back.”
Just prior to the coronavirus outbreak, FIA Formula 3 teams tested at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain in preparation for the start of the season, and Peroni felt the team had made progress during the off-season with the car.
“It was positive,” commented the Australian. “The teams hard work over winter had improved the car and I felt very comfortable in the team which is the main thing.
“There was still a lot of work to do but we will now just have to wait and see where things go.”
“It’ll be business as usual when we’re back“
Peroni admits the break in racing caused by the coronavirus has made him realise just how much he misses racing, but he feels it won’t take long to readapt to the car once more when it does resume.
“The feeling of driving is the biggest one, the sensations you feel in the cockpit just can’t be replicated,” he said, speaking about what he misses about racing. “I also miss the environment of a race weekend.
“Being a driver based in Australia and always struggling for budget I’m used to having many months between driving opportunities, so I reckon it’ll be business as usual when we’re back as far as I’m concerned.”
Despite being Australian, Peroni made the move across to Europe early in his career, and he has never raced competitively in his homeland, something he wants to address sooner rather than later.
“I’ve been lucky enough to race on some of the best circuits in the world, but Bathurst is one I really want to try,” Peroni revealed. “I’m Australian but I’ve never raced cars in Australia! We’ll have to do something about that soon.”
Speaking of his move to Europe, Peroni admits moving to the continent was done to move his career forward, but despite this, he warns other drivers looking to follow in his footsteps that it will be a long and hard road ahead if they want to succeed.
“In order to move forward in most categories in motorsport Europe is the place to do it in,” added Peroni. “It doesn’t mean you have to though as Australia has some very competitive championships.
“Best advice is to be resilient, it’s a long and hard road!”