Interview with Fabrizio Donoso, the only american in Formula 1 virtual

Like Sergio Pérez, Fabrizio Donoso is the only american in Formula 1. Like the mexican, the chilean runs for the team Force India. But, unlike “Czech”, the 19-year-old who lives in Switzerland is a pilot virtual and was runner-up in the first season of the promising F1 Esports Series.

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Fabrizio Donoso

Like any teenager, Fabrizio was amused by their amigosjugando FIFA or Call of Duty, without the title of career he named it too much attention. That all changed in November of 2014, when he witnessed on television the definition of the pinnacle of world motorsport at the Yas Marina circuit, where Lewis Hamilton won his second crown.

It soon became the official video game, which filled the palate and in the that began to make increasingly better times. It was as well as changed the joystick for a steering wheel and pedals. Convinced that I could do more, she contacted the French team Race Clutch, under whose eaves perfected aspects such as the piloting technique and the telemetry of the vehicles of the race.

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As it has been doing for years, Donoso bought the F1 2017 without knowing that there would be a global tournament. At the end of the season, there were two challenges in Monza and Suzuka, in each of which took part remotely between 15,000 and 20,000 fans. Being a high school student, was among the 40 faster, so that he was invited to a qualifier and face-to-face in London. As one of the top 20, went on to the grand final, which took place in Abu Dhabi.

The definition is ran to three runs, clipped to 25 percent of its actual distance: Canada, Spa-Francorchamps and Abu Dhabi. With a fourth and a second place, the south american reached the final as a leader. Started sixth and got to the point towards the end of the test. However, a mistake cost him the win, which was in the hands of the british Brendon Leigh.

For 2018, the competition will be strengthened. Scheduled not one, but three dates, all of them in the Gfinity Arena in London. Each one consists of three races, except the third, four, that was held from the 16th of November. In the “draft” prior, representatives of all the teams real –except Ferrari – chose their pilots. Force India relied on the wrists of Donoso.

You have made good times in qualifying and the race in the first two events of the season, but have not gotten anything better than a fifth position and you’re place 12th in the general table. How do you expect to finish the season?

The team knows that I have the talent to win races. I have been asked more quietly, perhaps not to risk so much. I’m working to not repeat some mistakes of beginners. In the ranking of the constructors, Force India (58) is at a point of the third, which is Red Bull (59), and we are confident in achieving them. Personally, I hope to make a good seal and to be among the best five.

How flows the relationship with your team?

It is very good, so much that they invited us to their headquarters in London, where we even met the pilots “Checo” Pérez and Esteban Ocon. We agreed to go on together competing in 2019, although there are still no definitions about the format of the tournament. I hope to be many years here.

How is the day-to-day of a pilot of simracing?

At home, I have an equipment similar to the equipment, with pedals, steering wheel, a PC and the F1 2018, to practice about five hours a day. The team gives us a work plan, starting by having a healthy lifestyle, eat well and keep a good physical state. We must also train in the game and to send information to have feedback. When the date approaches, first I do speed, I focus on the setting of the car and, when I reach the optimal time, I focalizo on the track. Online game, always competing with other people, compiled data, and shipping. In the week prior to the races, we train together about 10 hours a day with the other pilots of the team, Marcel Kiefer (Germany) and Mads Soerensen (Norway).

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What is lost in the simulator compared to the actual races?

I have had the occasion to see the F1 from the bleachers and also be in the pits. There, the noise of the engines is heard very genuine and much higher than for television. The smell of fuel and tires is really a pleasure.

The future of motoring

And the F1 virtual, in what aspects it outperforms the true?

Fans will always want to see real racing, but the F1 is extremely expensive, everything is very expensive. In 50 more years, maybe there is not all of that money or the planet can’t afford to have races like the one we know today. Esports are the future of motor racing, the races are amazing, sometimes a lot better than the real, and the level of competition is very high and even.

It is precisely the high budgets that requires the series prevents the arrival of pilots such as you. Have you thought to combine your work virtual racing on the track?

Go to a category of medium or low cost is a viable option. Since I’m 19 years old, the same age as Max Verstappen when he won his first grand prix. Today, it is not realistic to want to be an F1 driver, even though if one day I have the opportunity, I would love to try. What I do know is that one day a pilot of esports will jump to F1.

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What you would change or improve aspects of the championship in which you participate?

Change your format, I’d like the races to be more extensive, at least 50 percent of its actual distance, and not 25 percent that we currently have.


What do you recall of the process of adopting the conventional control at the steering wheel and pedals?

The adaptation took me a long time and at first was very slow. With the command (control) normal, only you use three fingers per hand, while the experience with the wheel is very realistic. You have pallets to raise or lower gears, more information, and you can feel the force in the curves. The same thing happens with the progressive acceleration and the brake is hard.

So it is difficult to obtain a good performance with the joystick?

Never get optimal results with the control. It is impossible, because you get very fast to a limit that you cannot exceed. In contrast, the steering wheel, which is more precise, you are guaranteed to have better times.

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Do you play in your free time, other titles on PC, console or phone?

No, the truth is that I almost didn’t call attention to themselves. I am completely focused on Force India. I know some like Assetto Corsa, that seems to me pretty good, like the sagas Grid or Dirt, Codemasters, but I’ve only approached them from so recreational, not competitive.

The critics of video games tend to link them with violence. Do you think that a game of race may encourage reckless conduct on board of a vehicle?

Although the games and simulators are becoming more and more real as the years pass, I think every player understands that a virtual scene is quite different from the reality. In addition, I believe that the experience in the computer or a console can give you a good basis to understand how it behaves, a car on the street.

Another factor of permanent controversy is the risk of becoming addicted. What would you advise to those who play more of the account?

To care for the physical, I recommend developing a weekly planning, that includes a physical activity and a good diet. In regards to mental health, to work over time and learn to know your own limits.

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