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One on one with Eric Lichtenstein

Following the announcement of his move to GP3 series after an impressive performance in the 2012 British Formula Ford season thus far, Velociudad sat down with Eric Lichtenstein for an exclusive interview. Lichtenstein, a 17 year old talent from the city of Buenos Aires, is the first young talent to have emerged from the Velociudad Driver Management Program (VDM) and a serious prospect for Formula One.

What did you feel when you were told by VDM officials that you were being bumped up to GP3 Series?
I was shocked with the news honestly! I trained very hard for British Formula Ford. GP3 will be a new challenge for me and I am already preparing myself for the physical demands associated with driving the car, which unlike Formula Ford, has back wings and incorporates down force. I am very excited by the opportunity and can assure you that we are on track.

What can you tell us about Sergio Rinland (Head Advisor of Velociudad Driver Management)?
Sergio is a very important person in my professional career. He deals with technical aspects and gives excellent advice. He´s the one who wakes me up early in the morning, the one who pushes me to the gym each day, the one who keeps me focused. His experience in Formula 1 is a major asset which has helped me improve my driving and motorsport knowledge day after day. Sergio is a great guy, definitely a major role model and someone I deeply respect.

What is your opinion about VDM?
Eddie Freedman is a great visionary, he is a businessman who thinks on a long-term basis and this is clearly reflected in Velociudad Driver Management´s structure and mission of. The program basically outlines a long-term career projection with clear mid-term benchmarks and objectives. This being my first year competing in Europe, I feel truly privileged to be part of the program. From the daily physical training, simulator-driving sessions, visits to universities, chats with former drivers, to the english lessons; these are all elements that make you feel valued as a driver. It gives great reassurance, the feeling that you have an entire support system and people working behind you each race. That’s what makes VDM so special and unique.

How do you feel about racing GP3 Series during the 2013-2014 seasons?
Amazing, super excited! GP3 will coincide with eight Formula 1 European calendar dates. I still cannot believe I will be racing in Monaco the same weekend as Kimi, Lewis, and Sebastian! This is the opportunity I have dreamed of all my life, I will make the most of it for sure.

Representing Argentina, what does that mean to you?
It is such a special feeling being on the podium as the flag hangs behind you with the anthem playing in the background. All the memories, my family, my friends, my supporters…It all flashes back. Next year in GP3, the ante will be raised. There is nothing I want more than to continue stepping onto the podium. I must admit it has become somewhat of an obsession!

Juan Emilio de Antón
Comunications Director
Velociudad Speedcity Circuit

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