Ferrari Challenge 2021, interview with Frederik Paulsen
Frederik Paulsen makes his way to the Ferrari World Finals after just one extraordinarily successful year of racing.
What do you do in life and how do you balance that with your racing commitments?
“By day I'm a student at the Monaco International School, studying business administration and management. I fit in my racing around that.”
You won the 2020 Trofeo Pirelli in the Am class. What do you expect from the World Finals?
“It's new to me so I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm hoping for good, clean racing and a strong level of competition. And a lot of fun of course: that's really important as it's the last round of the season and it's important to enjoy it.”
You had some impressive results last year: seven wins from 12 races, and you were on the podium for the rest of the time. How do you achieve results like that?
“The key to it was consistency I believe: not missing any qualifying sessions or races. And I made sure that I was as well prepared as possible, eliminating all the variables and doing as much as I could in advance, which meant I could just turn up and drive. I also did a lot of physical training and mental preparation so that I always knew I had done everything I possibly could to prepare properly from my side before each race.”
How do you train? Do you have a training programme?
“At the moment I don't have a coach or a particular training programme that I follow. I just do a variety of things on my own that work for me: a bit of weights, a bit of cardiovascular training and so on. Sometimes I train or go running with a buddy too, but it's been hard to do things with other people in the recent situation. Mentally I like to do a lot of training too, visualisation, things like that.”
Which type of relationship do you have with your Ferrari?
“It's a new relationship but a very close one! The car has treated me very well and I like to think that I show the same decency back, so it's a kind of mutual love I think. There's a good language between us, the car communicates to me very clearly when I'm going over the limit and also when things are going well.”
How important are tyres in races?
“They're very important and you also have to learn how to manage them. In my first couple of races I tried just to go flat out from start to finish and I soon learned that this wasn't the best way. You have to know the characteristics of the tyres; with these tyres there's a peak early in the race – although that depends on the circuit – and then you have to manage them a bit afterwards to get the most out of them throughout the race distance. I still think I've got a bit to learn about that.”
What's the race you remember with most pleasure and why?
“I think Race 2 at Spa last year. It was the end of a great weekend with some fantastic battles, and I was driving at Spa. It's a really legendary track and so it makes a big impression when you drive there: something special. I really liked Mugello and Imola too.”
How did you begin to compete?
“I started competing from a very young age – but in swimming. That meant the competitive urge was always there, and I always loved watching motorsport, as entertainment. The real passion for driving came much later, when I first tested a Ferrari Challenge car in Barcelona. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do, and that passion has only grown stronger since.”