Luis Leeds – Sang Pembalap berdarah Indonesia

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Di usianya yang masih muda, Luis Leeds telah menorehkan banyak prestasi di dunia balap. Saat ini Luis berada dalam naungan Red Bull Junior Team driver
dan bertarung dalam ajang lomba British F4 Championships untuk Arden Motorsport. Selamat untuk Luis Leeds karena dia berhasil meraih juara ke-3! Congratulations!!!

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Selain prestasinya, satu hal yang patut kita banggakan dari pemuda yang satu ini adalah fakta bahwa Luis Leeds masih memiliki darah Indonesia. Pemuda kelahiran Melbourne pada 6 Maret 2000 ini terlahir dari seorang ayah berdarah Australia, Dean Leeds dan sang Ibu yang berdarah Indonesia, Eni Maria Leeds.

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Di sela-sela kesibukannya, Luis menyempatkan diri untuk menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan Indomedia,…

People say car racing is one of the most challenging sports. Can you explain why? (it looks pretty easy and fun to some people…)

I love car racing, it is very challenging, especially when you drive on the limit. For sure I can make driving appear to be easy but I practice very frequently and dedicate a lot of time to improve my driving and make it the best it can be. Driving is always fun! As a driver I am constantly under the pressures to perform the best I can every week, on and off the track. Countless hours week in and out contribute to my results on track, this is what makes driving so challenging, there are so many variables in motorsport, when you drive at over 200kph you have to process so much information and understand what is going on all around you, it gets very difficult. As tough as motorsport is I love it!

When did you start to have an interest in racing and what inspires you to go all the way?

I started to have an interest in motorsport during 2010 when Mark Webber was fighting for the F1 world championship. From there I was obsessed with racing and always wanted more! The success, glamour and excitement you feel from driving a Formula 1 would be amazing, every day I dream of driving F1. I have many other motivations such as my family, friends, team and coaches. Living away from my family in England shows how determined I am to get to my goal.

What do you love most about racing…the thrill, the travelling and the interactions between fellow sportmen or the excitement of winning? (Back in school, we were taught that it is not all about winning but about having fun…what do you think of this concept?)

I love everything about motorsport, the thrill and rush you receive of driving cars at over 220 kph makes me feel so alive! I’m still very young, only 16 and I have been lucky enough to visit many places in the world. Winning is a feeling that everybody loves and being a teenager of course I get frustrated when I don’t win a race but you have to always show respect to your competitors. In many sports losing is never fun but in motorsport it is very hard to not have fun.

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What do you do the night before a race? How do you deal with stress and pressure? Do you have a word you tell yourself to keep yourself calm?

Many things run around my mind before a race weekend, there are so many pressures when driving so it gets quite tough. You just have to be tough and deal with it, I have a lot of trust in my team, Arden, so I know the car will always be at its best and it is just down to me to perform.

People say you can never forget your first love…so….describe your first win. How old were you then?

My first win was when I was 13 years old in go karts, it was an amazing moment for me. It was only a small local club race but for me at the time it was much more than that. I spent so much time into learning how to drive trying to beat the best at the club and it was the first day I did.

As a racer, do you or your family ever get worried of getting hurt? What is the one skill you need to master to make a great racer?

My mum worries about me getting hurt all the time! Watching her son take part in a very dangerous sport must be difficult. In order to be a good racer you must get over the fear of crashing, from there you can learn to go faster and faster!

Someone wise once said, “…as a racer, you need to be able to live for the moment…do the best that you can do. If you make it, you make it…”. Any thoughts on that quote?

I think that is extremely accurate about motorsport, you have to maximise every opportunity you have and trust that you have done enough to win. In sport you only have one chance to seize that opportunity you might never have again. This is what makes it so difficult.

In life we are always learning, what was the hardest lesson you have to learn in racing? What do you think is the biggest challenge for anyone who wants a career in motor racing?

In racing you have to make many sacrifices, at just 16 I have had to leave my home and all my family and friends just to try and make a career out of the talent I have. It is very tough and you have to be willing to make the sacrifice. Red Bull have given me an amazing opportunity and I plan to make the most of it. You have to expect the unexpected in motorsport, there are many ups and downs.

At such a young age, you are an inspiration to us all…where do you learn your ‘craft’? What are the basics of car control? (rule of thumb). Can anyone become a racing driver and where do you begin?

Thank you so much! I honestly don’t know where I got my craft from, no one in my family race so I don’t know! I have put in a lot of work in order to get to where I am today and racing requires a lot of commitment. Car control is very tough and you have to be willing to make mistakes in order to learn. Anyone can become a racing driver, it doesn’t matter where you start you just have to commit to a craft and put all you focus into getting to your goal, I believe that applies for anything in life.

How do you prepare for new racings and new tracks? Is it true that the type of car you get can have an impact on your ability to drive? If that is the case, what makes a great racing car?

It is always a fun challenge to learn new tracks and prepare to race there. This year all the circuits are new for me so I have been forced to learn quite quickly. I have had to adapt my driving style for the UK tracks as they are very different to what I have raced on prior to this. The car you drive affects your performance quite significantly, fortunately this year I have been blessed with a great team ARDEN. And we have shared many podiums and wins and I am sure we will get very close to winning the championship! A great racing car requires many things, it is near impossible to get a perfect car but you can always get close, you have to study the tracks you are racing on and understand the type of corners it consists of. So many components are on the car and you require so many things to go right! Sometimes the car can fail you, luckily this year I have been very fortunate.

You have been earmarked as one of our future racing stars…so how do you feel of becoming part of the Red Bull Junior Team?

It is an amazing opportunity that I have to be associated with Red Bull Junior, such a high profile race team! I trust my ability and am sure that if I work hard at my craft I can be in Formula 1. I feel really proud that I am able to represent Australia and Indonesia and hope to be waving both flags proudly in the future on the podium.

Most memorable race and thrills experienced at the tracks?

My most memorable race was last year in Mexico, I was able to compete in front of so many Formula 1 fans. It was a support race for the F1 and the fans were so passionate! Every time I race it is exciting and thrilling. You can carry so much speed in corners and are always pushing on the limit! It is my favourite feeling.

Do you punish yourself if during the race you made a mistake?

Motorsport can be very cruel and if you make a mistake on the track you often can crash or be passed. I don’t punish myself, I learn from what I did and try not to allow it to happen again.

What is your ultimate dream?

I have many dreams, I love everything I do and aim to be a Formula 1 world champion. I know it is possible so every day I chip away and work hard at my dream.

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Who do you think is the greatest driver of all time?

I have many idols and honestly admire many drivers! I couldn’t say that there is one single stand out. I would like to say that one day
I become the greatest driver …one day! Haha! But I would have to say Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo or James Hunt. I couldn’t decide!

Well done Luis, semoga cita-cita nya bisa segera tercapai!!

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