Hi Cem, thank you very much for taking your time for this interview. First of all, congratulations on winning the 2017 F1 Esports Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps race! What have the past few days been like for you? Does winning such an important tournament feel “real” to you yet?
Thank you very much. Winning the race at Spa in front my new boss Fernando Alonso felt amazing, I managed to get the first win in my first race under FA Racing G2 Logitech G. Being able to climb up through the positions in the last race and get top5 overall in the championship in the inaugural F1 Esports Series. I’m looking forward to more Championships like this in the future and more success!
You’ve mentioned before that you always wanted to be a race driver. So at what point did you decide to make the switch to the esports equivalent and why?
Yes, and my goal is actually still the same. I would like to be the first ever Turkish Formula 1 Driver. I have been involved in motorsports for over 10 years now, tested Formula 4 and Formula 3 cars. But for me to be able to compete in a season, I needed big sponsors. At that time, because of the financial situations in Turkey, these sponsors backed out. But I had this heat for motorsports inside me and I wanted to continue driving. And that’s when I started Sim Racing in 2013. I practiced on a daily basis, tried to get better every day and 4 years later, here I am. Still, have a lot to learn, more experience to gain. I’m looking forward to continuing on this road full of adventures!
Have you received support from your parents in making this decision?
Without my parents, I would have never been able to achieve what I have and be where I am. They have been the most supportive people in the world, even in the hardest times, they kept their heads straight. Never gave up. They believed in me more than even myself sometimes. They motivated me to continue and never stop. And together, we are always chasing the dream.
What did it feel like when you first got to meet Fernando Alonso
and realize that he’ll be your boss from now on?
Fernando Alonso has always been my idol in Formula 1. Since I was little kid, I looked up to him and always wanted to be like him. Now having the chance to work with him and have his full support is truly amazing, even hard to believe sometimes!
Formula 1 is a sport of endurance of the mind. What would you
recommend other players to be on their best mental game on match days?
In motorsports, you will never know what can happen until they wave the chequered flag. My best suggestion would be to never give up in the race and never stop fighting. Crashes happen, but it can happen to anyone, therefore as soon as something happens, you need to just put that incident behind you and drive as best as you possibly can. Stop thinking about what happened and focus on what will happen and what can happen if you continue doing your best. Everybody can makes mistakes and get involved in crashes.
Are there any other esports you follow besides F1?
Yes, since I have been a part of G2 Esports, I started following games like CS:GO and Rocket League. It is super fun to support your fellow teammates in the important championships and get excited for them!
Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to the fans?
I’d say they are my supporters rather than fans, they helped me out to be where I am and to get to this points. I can’t thank them enough really, when I was watching the broadcast VOD the other night after the race, I saw so many people cheering for me on the chat from different countries around the world. It felt unreal and put a big smile on my face, I have to admit! Thank you, everyone, for being here and thank you for your support! I can assure you there is more to come!