The Argentinian driver who works as a mechanic to race in the United States dreaming of Formula 1

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While at 33 years old Agostino Canapino shines like rookies In the Indycaranother Argentinian also faces his first motorsport experience in the United States, albeit with the desire to reach the Formula 1. Is called Luciano Martinez, is 20 years old and races in Formula 4 USA. He doesn’t just get in the car, though. “How did I end up as a mechanic? It was my proposition”anticipates clarion preview of the second appointment of the season.

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“We guaranteed (to race) until the third round of the year and part of that was achieved by helping the team before the races. In the US you can’t work, but I got to the first round two months before the race and I was collaborating with the team, playing the role of mechanic in my car, They save by paying a mechanic extra and I save it right out of the budget“, he justifies.

He gained his knowledge of mechanics in 2019, when “procedures began to bring Formula 4 to Argentina”. “The engines and chassis were supplied separately and a lot of the work was assembling the cars; So, I would help as a mechanic and test them. I learned out of passion and wanting to see the category move forward,” he says. While F4 hasn’t thrived in the country, it has provided it with the tools it now uses.

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It was also at that time that he began to study the possibility of going to the United States, for sporting and economic reasons. Firstly, in Argentina the highest category of single seater is the Formula 3 subwaywhere the Canning pilot had been since 2019. “There is no more to climb and the only way to pursue that dream of reaching Formula 1 is internationally“, points out.

Lucho Martínez chose the United States and not there

Lucho Martínez chose the United States and not Europe because “it’s the cheapest”. His dream is to get to F1.

From a monetary point of view, meanwhile, “US is the cheapest” and at the Buell Stables he had “some connections and very good relationships”. This is what opened up the possibility of offering him the services of a mechanic. “I knew that what could bring me costs down was to leverage what I already knew about the mechanical part so that my help would be worth the budget discount,” he points out.

Even the language was not an impediment because “the owner and the engineer of the team are Argentinian”so that he speaks Spanish at home.

Similarly, seven or eight years ago he made the decision to see everything he searches on the Internet or social networks in English. “Although I had a basis, what ended up affirming me and leaving me comfortable with the pronunciations was consume everything in English. Today I have no difficulty managing English there. Although I have an Argentine accent when I speak in English, I make myself understood and I understand everything they can tell me ”, she remarks.

When talent alone is not enough

Watch out for the car.  Lucho Martínez (in muscle suit) observes the team's final work before the first race of the season in F4 US.

Watch out for the car. Lucho Martínez (in muscle suit) observes the team’s final work before the first race of the season in F4 US.

But being a mechanic part time It’s not enough to raise the money to get a seat at F4 US. “We have sold some things that we have accumulated over the years in Argentina to increase the first part of the budget,” he says.

“Now we are looking for the budget for the second semester and the development of what we have planned for the following years. Therefore, the most important thing is to show ourselves strong; to show that we are worth it, that we have potential,” he adds that he returned to the country after his debut in New Orleans. In the two months up to this weekend in Wisconsin, he trained on the simulator and at the Roberto Autodrome Mouras de La Plata with a car with similar characteristics.

From 6 to 9 pm on the Road America circuit, Lucho Martínez will tackle the fourth, fifth and sixth races of the category, which will resume in June and July. Then there will be a stop until October and November, even if for this the Argentine will have to collect the budget that will allow him to continue in the competition.

At 20 and with a future full of expectations, he says he doesn’t rule out continuing his career in the IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) but that his dream is to aim for Europe and the path of another Argentine. “Franco Colapinto’s trajectory is the one I want to havethat’s what we want to follow,” he says, referring to the 19-year-old driver who races in Formula 3 and is a member of the Williams Academy.

“The dream and the goal is Formula 1 and as soon as possible. If it could be tomorrow, it would be tomorrow -he replies-. If we are not given F1, why don’t we pool the budget or are we not allowed, the goal it’s motoring to live. There is always the option of pursuing the route of collecting a salary from motorsport. It would be a second big dream.”

Source: Clarin

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