Home Featured Consistency key for relaxed Rafael Camara as he admits “I miss Kimi”

Consistency key for relaxed Rafael Camara as he admits “I miss Kimi”

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

For “a very happy” Rafael Camara, the opening Formula Regional Europe round at Hockenheim was “almost the perfect weekend.”

It was quite a week for the Ferrari junior – turning 19, taking a pole, a win and a second place and with it the points lead as the series heads to Spa-Francorchamps, his “favourite track.”

“We’ll take that, good points for the championship, and we keep working hard to keep doing it like that,” he told Formula Scout after race two in Germany.

Camara appeared totally at ease all weekend, despite the expectations to perform in his second year.

While there has never been doubt about his pure speed, he hasn’t always been able to deliver consistently, particularly in races.

“Yeah, the speed is clearly there,” he agreed. “I just need to focus on what I’m doing and then working hard to be consistent.”

“We always had the pace to be fast, we got quite a lot of pole positions and race wins,” but with too many “bad weekends” where things didn’t “go my way.”

His career so far has been spent slightly in the shadow of Prema team-mate Andrea Kimi Antonelli, although while Antonelli had the upper hand in terms of results and championships, the pace differential, particularly in qualifying, was minimal.

Now, for the first time since they began racing karts in Europe, the two are no longer racing in the same category. Camara is only positive about the years spent together, being able to learn from and push each other.

“[Antonelli] was very good for me because when we started, he was already very quick, so I think I managed to improve myself, to be faster.

“He is a very nice guy, so to work with him is always nice. We always had a good relationship but also on the track we always respected each other, fighting every time.

“So, yes, I miss him and hopefully we find [ourselves] together in Formula 1!” he smiled.

Despite Antonelli being catapulted straight to Formula 2 and already being linked to an F1 race seat, Camara takes a long-term view about returning to FREC, reasoning that another year at this level will help him develop the most.

“I think I’m [still] young racing in single-seaters. Probably I started quite late, so I don’t have this much [experience]. Even testing started for me quite late compared to others.

“But in the end, you need to be ready to deliver what every F1 team is looking for from you and maybe just be more mature.”

He acknowledges the pressure of being one of the few returning drivers, but “in the end, it’s how you manage that. I think this year I’m quite relaxed with myself and being with Prema. I’ve always been with the same team, [which] is like a big family,” he said.

“I just need to focus on myself, working well with my engineer, where we have a really good relationship. I’m doing what I love to do, so just to enjoy the year!”