Upcoming Tasmanian driver Alex Peroni has just signed with Carlin Racing, which will see him make the move from F3 to Indy Lights to conquer the Americas in 2021.
The Inner Sanctum sat down with Peroni to talk about his career to date, as well the move.
Peroni spoke on his love for the sport and why he became a driver.
“I’ve always been passionate about it, I haven’t ever been interested anything else and dad used to drive a little bit, I guess I got it through him,” he said.
He was very passionate in like Formula One. I used to watch that when I was young and yeah ever since I can remember just wanting to be a driver that that was it.
The starting point for most aspiring drivers, is go kart racing and for Peroni, there wasn’t too many standouts when it came to race here in Australia.
“I started when I was seven, racing in Australia.
“I’d say probably some of the state championships in the national championships getting on the podium are highlights,” he said.
To make a career in racing, especially F1, drivers need to move overseas with the best pathway being in Europe.
It was a holiday to Europe which showed Peroni how he could make it.
“At that age I was just kind of along for the ride,” he said.
“Obviously, like always wanted to be a Formula One driver but I never I knew the path where I was or how to get there.
“Basically, I just started through going on the holidays with dad’s side of the family in Italy and while we were there we just did some go karting did well.
“I met some people that got me into a seat in Formula Four and it just kind of took off from there and then at that stage I started realising, oh yeah this, this could be a career for me.”
In 2019, Peroni was involved in a nasty crash in the Formula Three race at the Italian Grand Prix which saw him miss the rest of the 2019 racing season, the road back to racing was hard and took a toll both physically and mentally.
“I was pretty lucky to walk away with relatively minor injuries and a make a full recovery and race this year…I just had to be in a back brace for three months and it was harder mentally not knowing if that was the end of my career and what was going to happen,” Peroni said.
The crash alone would have scared just about anyone off racing for life but for Peroni, all he wanted was to get back into the driver’s seat.
“To be honest all I wanted to do was get back in the car and that that was going to make me feel relatively normal and, and it was actually the best feeling ever,” he said.
Peroni had a strong 2020 campaign; he got three podium finishes, his first this year was the first race of the season at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, his first podium in F3.
He finished the season placing 10th and was awarded the Peter Brock medal, which is awarded to the driver that shows the characteristics of the late Peter Brock.
Peroni joins Australian racing royalty, as previous winners have been Mark Webber and Craig Lowndes.
“I didn’t expect it and to get that call to say that I won it was really cool,” he said.
“It was really cool to be nominated by people in motorsport and to be voted was a nice feeling.
“Bev Brock did a really nice little paragraph about me; I got a lot of a lot of Australians starting to follow me because of that as well so it was it was really cool and nice to get that validation.”
On December 21, Peroni announced he had signed with Carlin Racing and will make the move from F3 to American-based competition Indy lights, which he’s looking forward to.
“We did get offers for F2 two which obviously is the next step on the ladder to Formula One but the money to race I was just kind of out of our reach,” he said.
“We got offered from Carlin to race in F2 which was which was cool because the job that raced with them this year went into Formula One so that was good.
“But they said look if you can’t find this budget, we’ve got this other American program.
“That was more attainable for us and honestly, I think it’s a smart move as well. it’s easier to make a career in America, then trying to get to F1 it’s good for me and the team behind me.”