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Ahmed: New Hitech F3 team-mate Palou was “one of my heroes”

by Ida Wood

Photo: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

Enaam Ahmed has described his admiration for his new European F3 team-mate Alex Palou, touting him as one of the best drivers he’s ever gone against and a ‘hero’ of his in karting.

Ahmed dominated BRDC British Formula 3 last year with Carlin, winning 13 times, and will step up to European F3 this year with Hitech GP.

He will be joined at the team by old British F3 rival Ben Hingeley and Japanese F3 frontrunner Alex Palou, who is also a race winner in World Series Formula V8 3.5 and Euroformula Open.

“I think he’s one of the best drivers I’ve ever gone against, so far,” Ahmed said of Palou to Formula Scout.

“I’ve always known about him, because when I was growing up in karting he was one of my heroes.

“He was never on strong equipment in karting. I think he won the European karting championship [2012 WSK Euro Series] on not the best equipment either.

“He was one of the best drivers I’ve ever seen in karting. I remember a race against George Russell in the European championship; he was on a terrible kart, and he won it by one minute in the wet. One minute.

“This guy is really good. His whole career he doesn’t have any money, he’s never been with the best team his whole career, and he’s just gone with the flow.

“So now he’s with a good team, and we really respect each other because we know how good we both were in karting, and now we’ve both got a chance with a decent team to show what we can do.”

Ahmed explains European F3 choice

Ahmed had been linked to a move to the lower-cost Euroformula Open for 2018 but explained that after securing more financial backing, stepping up to the FIA series made more sense.

“The reason [for doing European F3] is if you win Euroformula Open, nobody gives you credit, because the level?s nowhere near as high as European F3,” he said.

“European F3, if you do well, it’s where you prove yourself. That’s the reason why I didn’t do Euroformula Open. There’s so many drivers that do it and do well, and they’re good drivers as well, but they don’t really get recognition, or get anywhere, because it’s not an established championship.

“I got a new sponsor for this year, a big sponsor, who’s now funding me to do my racing.

“We were thinking about using that to do Euroformula Open, but it was better to do European F3. Even he was pushing towards that direction.”