Alex Sawer, a 16-year-old Vietnamese racing driver, has stepped up to car racing in the F4 Indian Championship. With a background primarily in FIA karting, Sawer made a strong impression during round one at Madras International Circuit, becoming the first Vietnamese driver to podium in an FIA-sanctioned event.

Ahead of the second round of the championship, Asian Motorsport spoke to the Hyderabad Blackbirds driver to find out more.

By Nida Anis

 Sawer feels “excited” for the upcoming rounds of the F4 Championship, adding, “It’s a great chance to get my first taste in this F4 racing and start racing formula cars.”

For the Vietnamese driver, this championship isn’t only about competition: it’s about acquiring valuable experience and track time in a field of seasoned racers. “It’s my first time racing with these guys who are very experienced, so I’m just trying to learn a lot off them at this point.”

After finishing fourth and tenth in the first two races of the 2023 F4 Indian Championship, Sawer drove a strong third race to finish third on-track. He was later promoted to second after a post-race penalty demoted on-track winner Akshay Bohra to seventh place.

Starting out “quite difficult” in Asia

Asian Motorsport asked Sawer about his early racing experiences in Asia. “Starting out, it’s quite difficult,” he admitted. “The amount of people isn’t like the European tracks. In Europe, it’s just dedication. There’s so many people chasing the same goal in Europe and they all go there because it’s basically the hub of motorsports.”

What does the Vietnamese motorsport scene look like? “I don’t think there is really a scene,” Sawer said. “It’s definitely building up, especially with me joining competitions like this, and also my participation in big karting events in Europe. It’s definitely brought a spotlight into motorsports in Vietnam.”

Does Sawer have any plans to go to Europe and race in the future? “Yeah, yeah I do. Especially in formula cars, since I’ve been racing karts as well,” he said, affirming his ambitions to compete at higher levels of motorsport.

Sawer’s strong start as a rookie in the F4 Indian Championship underscores his potential as a rising talent in formula racing, making him a driver to watch as the championship progresses.

The second round of the F4 Indian Championship will take place on the 1st-2nd December 2023. Catch the action on Star Sports in India or on YouTube in the rest of the world.

Header photo credit: F4 Indian Championship

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