After a hiatus, we have a Woman of the Week! This week's featured person is German racing driver Carrie Schreiner. She has won several championships in Germany, and currently races a Lamborghini with FFF Racing.
Bridget Schuil: For those who don't know you, please give us a brief synopsis of your career thus far?
Carrie Schreiner: I started karting in 2009, and after that did a few seasons. Every season I got a bit more serious. In 2012, I won two German championships – one big championship, one not so big – and it was clear to us that I wanted to be a professional driver. So the next logical step was three years later, getting into a formula car. In the beginning, it was very tough, because I was in a strong cohort group. My competitors were all very strong, and German Formula 4 was really hard for me. And I had a difficult start but it got better and better. Our target was always to sit in a GT car, and we were wondering whether I should do Formula 3 to learn a bit more, or to go directly to GT. Then we got the offer from Lamborghini, and that was perfect for us. I'm happy that I got the opportunity to drive with them with FFF Racing.
BS What is your first memory of motorsport?
CS I remember going with my dad to many race tracks. My dad was an amateur driver, alongside his business. I was always with him and my mum at race tracks, and sometimes I also drove with them.
BS What challenges have you faced thus far in your career?
CS At the beginning of last season, I had quite a few TV spots, and there were a few people who told me I wasn't good enough to race. I had to fight a bit with that, but no matter how good or bad you are, if you achieve more than the others, there will always be people who don't like what you do. In the beginning, I had some problems with that, but I think now it's okay because it's normal.
BS What do you love about the sport?
CS What I like about motorsport is that it's a direct fight with other people. You have to beat them, overtake them, defend your position. Yeah, I like racing. That's what it is for me.
BS Who has been the most supportive of your career thus far?
CS My parents. I have had my parents with me from the beginning, especially my dad. He does everything for me, supporting my motorsport. Without him, I wouldn't have my sponsors. I have more than half my racing costs paid from sponsors, so my dad did a really good job there. Without him, I wouldn't drive.
BS Do you think you have been treated differently in motorsport because you're a woman?
CS Maybe sometimes. When a boys do something wrong, maybe the team boss is a bit harder on them than me. But I don't think that there is a big difference.
BS How do you deal with it when you're treated differently?
CS I don't know. I have to take it how it is. I'm a girl, and that's not so common in motorsport. I mean, I do the same things as the guys, and I also try to give my best, and do everything for racing. I have to fight like the boys, maybe a bit more because I'm physically not as naturally strong as them. So for sure I have to fight more, but I want to do the sport. I have to take it how it is and make the best of it.
BS We hear you've got some big news. Would you like to tell us about that?
CS I was really happy to make the announcement last year. Like I said, I got a big chance from FFF Racing. It was a bit unexpected that this drive is coming so soon, because the first races are in February already. For me it's really exciting, because I will drive in fantastic places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Shanghai, Fuji. There are a lot of Formula 1 tracks, so it's really, really cool and really exciting. It's a one-year contract, but we aim to do a couple of years. I don't want to drive for one year and then not know what I will do. I don't know if I will stay in Asia, or if I'll go to Europe then completely. I don't know.
BS So you're training hard for the season?
CS Yes, when I'm at home, I train twice a week in the gym to build muscle strength, and maybe four or five times a week running or cycling.
BS Any advice to younger women who want to go into motorsport?
CS They have a reason why they do motorsport and they should never lose sight of that, because there are a lot of people who don't accept that women can be in motorsport. But if you really want something, and if you are ready to fight for something, then it doesn't matter what other people say. You just need to do what you want, what you love, and you can achieve anything.