Quick-fire Q & A with Alex Peroni

Indy Lights
May 13, 2021

Carlin’s Alex Peroni hasn’t just moved championships this season, the 21-year-old Tasmanian native has also moved to a new country, having set up base in Florida to be near Carlin’s Delray Beach workshop.

Here, the Blundstone-backed driver talks about the challenges of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series, the draw of INDYCAR and living stateside…

How does the Indy Lights car differ from the FIA Formula 3 car you raced last season?

I think the biggest thing is the downforce to be honest. There’s a lot more and you have to really trust it and believe in it; I learned that in Barber with it being a fast circuit.  Also, the turbo the way it comes in, even though it’s got an anti-lag, you still feel the peak of the power and that will be harder to manage in the wet.  The majority of things are similar though, so it wasn’t too difficult transferring over.

How are you finding the Cooper Tires compared to what you’ve raced on in Europe?

They’re a lot easier!  I think you don’t have to worry about them quite so much, everything you do with the Pirelli’s has to be perfect, otherwise you mess them up – that’s the way they’re designed to be. Here they’re a lot harder so you can be quite a bit more ragged.  All the drivers can push, which means you can be doing your best times at the end of the race, the whole race you’re doing quali laps essentially, I like that.  For me as a driver it’s good to have had that experience of managing a tyre as I did in the last two seasons and then to have the freedom here to push and be on the limit all race.  That’s a good skill set to have.

How do you find the Indy Lights / INDYCAR events different from the events you competed at before?

Yeah, they’re very different, it’s crazy! Obviously because of COVID we’re not seeing circuits at their full capacity yet, but the fan access here is incredible.  In Barber after our race we watched the INDYCAR race from turn two, moved to turn six, then wanted to see another corner and went to turn ten. It’s amazing the amount of access you have.  Meeting the INDYCAR drivers as well, they’re so chilled and so accessible, that’s amazing.

Watching INDYCAR, seeing the Indy cars up close and being part of the Road to Indy which feeds drivers into the series as part of its scholarship programme, is the desire there now to get to INDYCAR?  

Yep sure, 100%.  That’s the goal.  The Indy Car is a really cool car and the sport is so big out here.  Being able to see them live and how professional it all is has been really good, so that’s the goal, we’ll see!  First of all got to do a good job this year, but that’s certainly the aim to have a go in one of those Indy cars.

How are you finding living in the US?

It’s a bit different that’s for sure! I feel like we’re also based in a really big personality state as well in Florida! It’s very different, it’s already bloody hot and it’s not even summer yet!  But it’s fun, people are really kind here and I feel like we’ve settled down pretty quickly, I’m enjoying it.