Aged 9, Jack received a go-kart from his father, a gift that took him away from his previous love, football. “Racing was inevitable; it is a part of the family”, Jack is the third generation of driver in his family.
Jack’s dad travels to all his races with him and the rest of his family follow him around the UK; “it can too expensive, otherwise.” The presence of Jack’s family can help to relieve the pressure that a home race can often bring. “Donnington is, geographically, my home race and it is the home of Motorsport.” Jack shared his win with his family, “it is more special this way however, I will admit there is a time and a place for it”, he adds.
I wondered whether his inherited driving ability caused him to be competitive off the track. “I’m awful!” he confessed. He laughed as he reminisced the times that he momentarily lost his cool – “whether I am playing FIFA with my cousin or squash with my trainer, I am exactly that, awful!”
I wanted to know more about Jack’s time off the track, curious as to how he unwinds following a race weekend. “Clay pigeon shooting is a hobby of mine but I also have the standard driver tweets of my time at gym and playing badminton or squash”. Much like any driver I have ever spoken to, he was reluctant to reveal the side of him that relaxes away from racing. Or so I thought. “Then it is just popcorn and I’m done!” He laughed again.
Jack also revealed an extreme side to his off time. He referenced his poor weekend in Valencia and how he felt a lack of control over his performance, a nightmare for any driver. “I confined myself against the world and stayed in my flat. I had no relationships, just alone time to myself in my flat and at the gym.”
I was shocked by his honesty.
Jack’s frankness extended further on the topic of childhood heroes. I wondered if there was anybody, besides his family, that had inspired him during his racing career. The standard answer from young drivers at this point, at least in my experience, is Senna or Prost. Such is the way with Jack Harvey; he gave me a different, and much more complex answer.
“No driver is perfect so I cannot pinpoint one driver. Instead I cherry-pick the best attributes of a number of drivers and strive to follow that”. By this point, I was on the verge of becoming speechless. My jaw hit the floor as he continued to defy my impression of young racers. “To be honest Katie, I am trying to be me!”
He does have some general sports heroes though, “Michael Phelps for his ability to cope with pressure and Sir Chris Hoy for his physical strength.”
Jack then became animated when we began discussing a driver’s journey to Formula 1 and the topic of pay drivers in Motorsport.
“People who say Max Chilton does not deserve to be in Formula 1 because he has money, are wrong. He is a GP2 race winner! It undermines the hard work and effort put in.”
That side is tough but Jack admitted that the insecurity of racing did not worry him. “I do get help from the Racing Steps Foundation and my family can pay for my trainer. It is not necessarily a problem.”
What is important? His stable family life which has provided support and kept his aspiration levels up. “Once you’ve done it, it is tough but they help.”
I cannot express enough the refreshing take that Jack had on his racing career. His answers were mature and not like anything I had ever heard before; Jack’s belief in himself was abundantly clear as the interview ended.
I asked just one more thing from Jack, his advice to young aspiring drivers. “Believe in yourself and accept that improvements must be made!”, no driver can reach excellence without this.
“As cheesy as it sounds, stay true to yourself”. He laughed one final time.
I would like to thank Jack for his time and wish him the best of luck with the remainder of the GP3 season and beyond.