MotorsportM8 readers should keep an eye on a young Italian racing driver called Francesco Sabella.

Sabella has rocked the karting establishment and it this year about to embark on his first season of open-wheel racing in his quest to make it all the way to the top in Formula 1.

In our latest ‘Ones to Watch’ interview series, we spoke exclusively with Sabella about his career to-date and his future career goals. If you’d like to be profiled on our website, please get in touch with us by clicking here.

2011 Karting: Easykart International Grand Final 60cc, 3rd overall Karting: Trofeo Nazionale Easykart 60cc – 15th overall
2012 Karting: Trofeo Nazionale Easykart 60cc – 1st overall
Karting: Easykart International Grand Finals 60cc, 5th overall
2016 Karting: International Finals, 7th overall
2017 Karting: Italian ROK Trophy, 2nd overall Karting: World Junior International ROK Finals, 3rd overall

What was the support of your family during the formative years of your racing career?

My parents helped me a lot, especially at the beginning. I started racing very early; I first drove a go-kart at just 3 years of age. My dad was a big influence, taking me twice a week on the track. My mother always helped me a lot with my schooling – because of the amount of racing I was doing I often missed school and so she was like a sort of second teacher for myself.

Who were your first motorsport heroes? What was significant about their achievements or character that you admired?

I really admire Ayrton Senna. I liked the determination with which he faced the races, but above all his very determined character and his ability to concentrate before the race. Today I currently like Lewis Hamilton, I think he’s the strongest driver today. I like his driving style, it’s very aggressive.

What key lessons have helped you as you move up the motorsport ladder?

I learned many lessons especially in difficult times, for example during a race where I qualified or finished lower than expected. I learned to keep concentration, be calm and think a lot. In terms of my driving I learned a lot by doing so much practice, and committing myself to the maximum.

Franceso Sabella

Being a young karter means racing in all conditions – here is Sabella showing the true definition of ‘wet weather’ driving!

What targets are you setting for yourself in 2018? 

As a goal, I always have to improve and obviously to win. I will give my best to win the Formula 4 South East Asian championship which will start in July 2018, in order to be able to graduate quickly into Formula 3.

Social media is an important way to build a fan base. How do you approach your interaction with fans? 

I use social media a lot, especially Instagram, on which I have almost 10 thousand fans. I always try to answer to all those who write to me and, although I am not yet a Formula 1 driver, I already have one who follows me and supports me. I am very happy about this and I thank them, it makes me ambitious.

Francesco Sabella

After considerable success in karting, Sabella will graduate open-wheelers and contest the South East Asian Formula 4 Championship.

What are your future career goals?

Like all my opponents the goal for the future is to become a Formula 1 driver. Above all I hope to do something important for this sport that I’m in love with since I was child.

How can fans and corporate sponsors get behind you and provide further support for your career?

My manager is very attentive to our partners and sponsors, for whom we guarantee maximum commitment. My fans, as well as on social media, will be able to follow me on my website, which is currently undergoing redevelopment and will relaunch soon. I plan to publish all my results in real time, as well as share the videos and all the photos from my racing.

Images via Francesco Sabella

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Site co-founder. Social Media guru. All-round trouble-maker.