Did your friends think it was strange that you were such a fan of Formula 1, so much so that you were willing to uproot your life for it? 

Yeah, I don’t think they had any idea what it was, to be honest. But nowadays, ever since Netflix’s *Drive to Survive—*which seems to have a very American audience—I’m getting tons of questions from my friends back home about the sport. I’ve noticed a huge shift, and that’s been really positive for Formula 1 in general.

You may even be in Drive to Survive next year as one of the stars of the show. 

Yeah, I hope so!

Previous Americans who have attempted to reach Formula 1 have had mixed feelings about relocating to Europe, particularly living in London. How have you enjoyed your time there?

I wasn’t the biggest fan of it when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s grown on me.

I don’t know about outside the city, but in London, the food’s really good. The weather? Yeah, that’s a struggle, especially in the winter months—the ones we’re heading into now, sadly—since it’s not always the nicest. You just have to stick it out and deal with it. 

You’re the first American in Formula 1 since 2015, and now the sport finally has a big U.S. fanbase watching. Do you feel any added pressure as the lone American on the grid?

Obviously, I want to represent and make America proud. But at the same time, that’s all done in preparation. If you prepare well, then you’ve done everything you can to perform to the best of your abilities. I have high expectations, and I put enough pressure on myself that I don’t really feel much of the external pressure. 

I’ve had the stars and stripes on my helmet forever, so I plan on just being myself, enjoying it, and taking it one step at a time. 

Williams is a storied team, but they’ve struggled in recent years. What are your realistic expectations for next season? 

I haven’t completely given it thought, since this is still very fresh, but I expect to be competitive. And at the end of the day, the best person to compare yourself to is your teammate. 

I’d say, right now, the goal is to prepare the best I can, mentally and physically, and put the work in during the offseason. That’s the process, and we’ll be working on that every day until the first race of the season. 

We’ve got three races in the U.S. next year in Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas. Do you already have those circled on your calendar? 

Yeah, that Miami track is right near the house where I grew up, so that’s pretty cool. And Vegas will be absolutely insane as well. 

There will likely be a lot of Americans rooting for you at those races, and even more will be getting to know you as the season goes along. What’s your message to your new fans? 

Just that I’ll be leaving no stone unturned. You’ll be getting the best of me next year. 

Gregory Leporati

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