AS Motorsport from Slovenia joins F4 CEZ grid for 2024 season

AS Motorsport from Slovenia joins F4 CEZ grid for 2024 season

AS Motorsport, based in Koper, Slovenia, with a workshop in Italy, will be a new addition to the second year of the F4 CEZ championship. We caught up with team owner and manager Andrej Slak for an interview.

Your team has a long history spanning 30 years. However, the team was primarily active in rallying for a significant period. What motivated your decision to enter the world of single-seater racing in 2010?
After a long career in rally sport and the financial crisis in 2009, I decided to quit racing, sold my racing cars and trucks, and took a break. But after 5 months, I bought a Formula Renault 2.0. It was a friend who gave me the idea, and it was a spontaneous decision. I thought about it for maybe 10 minutes.

After spending a few years in Formula Renault, AS Motorsport moved to F4 single-seaters in 2015. During that time, Frederik Vesti was part of your team. Additionally, Kacper Sztuka, a talented racer from Poland, drove for you in F4 Italy in 2022. How important is it for the team to have those kinds of drivers heading into the pinnacle of motorsport?
Having such drivers is crucial, of course. It’s very important. But you need to know that all drivers who come to our team have no name; they are complete rookies with just karting experience. So our job is to teach them from the first step. Some of the drivers don’t even know what a clutch is. But Kacper Sztuka took the right path. He spent the first year doing testing and preparation, then one season with our team. When he was ready, he moved to a top team and realized his ambitions to become a champion. Many parents are in a rush, wanting their children to be champions immediately, and usually, it doesn’t end well. Of course, we keep in contact with our former drivers, and some of them later cooperate with us as coaches or talent scouts.

What factors influenced your decision to participate in F4 CEZ? Furthermore, how many cars do you plan to enter?
The main factor is that the Italian championship has practically become a world championship with budgets that are becoming impossible for many drivers. We will still participate in it, of course, but we are looking for a valid alternative for drivers who want a high-level championship with a reasonable investment. F4 CEZ seems to be a valid alternative. We plan to enter two cars, maybe even a third car for some races.

How large is your team? How many members are currently part of it?
Our team usually consists of seven to eight people, sometimes even more. Our headquarters is close to Venice, Italy, so we have some Italian members and others from Slovenia or other countries. Usually, we have a mix of experienced individuals and talented young engineers and mechanics. For example, our chief mechanic has worked in Formula 1 in the past.

In addition to competing, you also offer F4 testing and coaching. How does the process work when a driver approaches your team?
I would say the opposite; our main goal is a driver academy-racing school, so coaching, testing, and preparing the drivers are most important to us. Competitions come at the end of this process. For various reasons, some drivers don’t even reach the competition phase. But we create a personalized program for each driver. Before we start, we have a meeting with the parents or manager of the driver to understand their goals and wishes.