How did you get into racing?
My brother Tom, who is six years older than me, started racing cars when he was 14 so I decided I would give it a go, too. I was only eight years old at the time so I could only drive Go Karts. I started racing in the Kent Championships and it quickly escalated into the British Championships and European Championships – and it carried on from there.
What’s the best bit of your job?
The best bit is the feeling of delivering as near to a perfect lap as possible – with all the hours of testing and visualising paying off with the perfect balancing act of grip. Usually those laps are done towards the end of the race or day when the sun is setting. That's the icing on the cake!
What’s the worst part? Don’t say interviews…
100% interviews! No, in all seriousness, every sport, particularly motorsport is full of a lot of lows, but the highs make up for it. I’d say the worst part of the job would be crashing, as the mechanics have to spend a lot of time rebuilding something that has taken them ages to build in the first place.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I’d like to think I’ve had a few highlights. All pole positions and race wins are special but one of the main ones would have to be winning my last GP2 race of the season in Singapore, the day after being announced as the Marussia F1 team's reserve driver. I went on to secure the race seat for the following season and achieve my dream of racing in F1. Another big highlight would be leading the 2017 Indianapolis 500, after being a lap down after 30 laps, but unfortunately I just missed out on a win for that one.
Watching cars race at silly speeds and Michael Schumacher winning was nearly as good as my parents' roast dinner
How does life in IndyCar compare to F1?
Having experienced both, the drivers I’ve raced against are world class in both series. Of course, Formula 1 is the pinnacle and always will be, but there are drivers who I race against in IndyCar who I’m sure could have been multiple F1 World Champions haven been given the chance. The drivers in Indy really get on as friends and we all socialise at the tracks having BBQs next to our motorhomes, which you just don’t get in F1.
What do you think of Formula E?
I'm a petrolhead at heart but completely understand the importance of making our planet greener, too. There’s no denying that the racing is entertaining but with half the speed of F1 and no noise it doesn’t get me as excited. There's nothing like feeling the engine noise shake right through you.
Would you go back to Formula 1 if the opportunity arose?
I would always consider going back to Formula 1 if I got the chance as it was my dream since I was a little boy. I would love to have the opportunity to race in a front-running car this time.
Who was your idol growing up?
Michael Schumacher. Firstly, he was in a Ferrari and I question anyone who doesn’t like Ferrari. Secondly, he always won and I question anyone who doesn’t like winning. It was the era when I wasn’t racing and listening to Murray Walker shout GO GO GO on a Sunday afternoon use to be the highlight of my week. Watching cars race at silly speeds and Michael winning was nearly as good as my parents' roast dinner, which we would eat either before or during each race.
I am fortunate to have seen a lot of the world but my two favourite places are Barbados and Rock, in Cornwall
What cars do you own?
Ferrari 599 GTO; Porsche GT3 RS; Porsche 911 50th Anniversary; Twisted Land Rover Defender 90; 1959 Mercedes-Benz 190SL; Mini JCW. The Mini was my first ever car.
What’s your ‘holy grail’ car?
For me there are too many cars in the world to have one holy grail, so out of the classics, it would have to be a Ferrari 250 California and out of the modern era, it would have to be a McLaren F1 GTR.
Where do you like to go on holiday?
I am fortunate to have seen a lot of the world while travelling between races but my two favourite places are Barbados and Rock, in Cornwall. Barbados is my favourite island in the Caribbean. The people are so friendly, chilled, welcoming and funny. The island offers so much and it's stunning. Rock is where I have been going at least three times a year since I was born. The beauty of the North Cornish coastline is unbeatable. The food is outstanding with Nathan Outlaw leading the way with two Michelin stars and many other famous chefs owning restaurants there. I love taking our boat out on a summer's day with no wind and the sea looking like glass and anchoring up just off one of the many hidden coves or beaches that are inaccessible without swimming in.
You’re sponsored by Rapport. What watches do you own – and can you talk us through them?
I love mechanical things, you won’t ever not see me wearing a watch. I love many brands and have a good few but having done the Patek Philippe factory tour a few years ago, they to me are the most iconic watches and I enjoy collecting them. I have a few Pateks, Armin Stroms, Chopard and a Bell & Ross.