As a three-time Touring Car champion, it is easy to assume that a pilot can drive any race car at the highest level, but changing category is not as easy as anyone would think. With this in mind, Vivien Keszthelyi embarked on the biggest challenge of her life to date, and she surpassed all expectations in the Formula 3. With her last race this year, she put an end to an extremely intense period in which she proved that Hungarian women can have a place in the world’s elite as well. proved that Hungarian women can have a place in the world’s elite as well.
The 18-year-old Hungarian talent began her first Formula car season in the F3 Asian Championship Winter Series in January, and after a short preparation period, she was ranked among the world’s top 20 women racing drivers as the official test and reserve driver of the W Series. She competed in five races, and just like in the Eastern continent, she scored points in Europe as well. In the last race at Brands Hatch, Vivien finished 14th out of twenty pilots, and thanks to the global media coverage of the championship, she placed Hungary on the world map of motorsports in the Formula category.
“I am extremely happy, and I would like to thank the W Series for this tremendous opportunity, as – regarding Formula racing – I was one of the least experienced pilots in the field. The goal was to qualify to the championship and get as many experience as possible. As a feature of the series, I had different engineers, mechanics and cars each weekend, which meant constantly changing setting and conditions. This turned out to be an ideal opportunity for me to focus on the challenges along with gaining continuous experience as I had not sat in a similar category car in the previous years. There were several reasons for this. As a competitor in Hungary, continuing professional training and experience in the international Formula 3 category is hardly available financially due to extremely high costs. The introduction of Halo was also an extremely important aspect, as I promised my parents that I would not try Formula racing until such a risk was involved. Although it is still dangerous, from this year life-threatening risks may have been eliminated just like in Formula 1″ – said the xoungest competitor of the W Series’ field of pilots.
Vivien has had many challenges over the years, but according to her, the conscious planning of the change of category started at the end of last year’s successful season:
“Although the basics are essential, a formula car requires a completely different driving technique than a touring car, so due to its features I had to start from the beginning. I applied for this series to gain as much experience in the Formula category as possible. Conscious, logical decisions have led me to this point, so I started preparing after the previous season. Due to the lack of experience in Formula eacing, there was a huge gap behind the international field, but the Audi Sport Racing Academy provided me with extremely professional training in previous years, which helped me to take a stand among the best in the world in this category. “
There will be no stopping for the young pilot after the exhausting season as she will be back to work after a short rest in order to be ready for the new challenges in 2020:
“I just got a two-week break with a little work to do, which will be enough to recharge,” – said Vivien with a smile on her face, while she also went on to talk about the season ahead. “We will begin the preparations for next year after the holiday, as the work does not end with the last race. This time we will do the pre-season preparations consciously as well, as this is the only way we can achieve success in the end.”