Max Esterson has stepped up from the BRSCC Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship, finishing third just a few short years after stepping out of virtual racing and into physical cars.
The American took three wins last year, having previously ranked as one of the top five iRacing drivers in the United States before a year of karting in 2019.
He made a positive start to the second round of the season at Silverstone with two strong results; The Checkered Flag spoke to the Red Bull-partnered driver before Race 3.
“Started fourth [in Race 2], finished fourth, so it’s been a good weekend so far,” he said.
“Much better than Oulton Park, I’m just trying to get some points, be consistent and keep improving. It’s been good.
“I don’t think we were far off at Oulton to be honest, we just struggled in Qualifying.
“In the races we were pretty decent, but we’ve had a better Qualifying here [and] that really sets your whole weekend up so it’s super important.”
Esterson finished as runner-up in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch late last year, and dominated the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.
“i’m definitely good in the last sector on the timing, that’s a bit of the track I know well. It’s obviously a lot different but it’s good to be back.”
As Esterson steps into slicks-and-wings racing, so the GB3 Championship introduces the Tatuus MSV-022, bringing around 20 per cent more downforce and 25 more horsepower.
“I’ve never done the [Silverstone] GP circuit, but I did Formula Ford and GB3 at Oulton and [the difference] is almost 20 seconds!”
The Red Bull Racing junior driver had to jet off to attend the inaugural Miami Grand Prix this weekend, but was able to pass on some tips to fellow American and Red Bull-affiliated driver Esterson.
“[Jak] is super quick, he helped us out and obviously our cars are quick. It’s good to have his data and video, it was good to have him with us.”
We asked about the nature of Esterson’s own relationship with Red Bull, announced in April before the season opener in Cheshire. He indicated that while there wasn’t currently any junior programme involvement, that door was “neither open nor closed”.
“It’s just the sponsorship for now, but we’ll have to see for the future.”