Formula Four Championship winner Zane Maloney has one goal in mind and that is to write his name on history’s page as the Caribbean’s first-ever top-rated formula one driver.
The 16-year-old Barbadian was always destined to become a gifted race car driver considering his grandfather Doug Maloney, father Sean and uncles Mark and Stuart were all outstanding racers in Barbados and the Caribbean.
Based in Farnham, England with his karting family – where he began his career overseas – Maloney said it required discipline, mental strength and a good family support system to travel this far on the road to success.
He also revealed that an encounter with six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton a few years ago in Barbados increased his appetite for success.
“For me in the Caribbean, most people might have fewer chances to get somewhere because it is not as big in the Caribbean. Most of the sports aren’t as known as in other countries, but for me in some ways it makes me think that I have more of an opportunity. If I was to be the first one to do it then it would be a lot bigger and feel a lot better than to be in England and do it because there are so many that did it [in England] so I want to be the first to ever do these things in the Caribbean,” Maloney said.
“So, my drive is to get to formula one because all my family has put in so much effort, all my sponsors and the reward, I feel it fit to get to formula one and do well. So, for me to give them back a reward is not in money, it is not winning British formula four, it is not anything else but getting to the pinnacle of motorsport because they help me to get that dream really. Obviously, for myself, I love it and for my mom and dad, brother and family I love it, but especially for the sponsors…”
He added: “In my opinion, he [Lewis] is the best to ever do the sport and I have looked up to him my whole life and he has shown me what I personally need to do to get where he is. So, I guess we have things in common as racing drivers; no fear, discipline, and some things I can see in him that I want to be better than.”
The path to reaching great heights is never easy and Maloney explained that being dedicated was among several reasons that have allowed him to navigate the road to success.
The recipient of the Junior Male Athlete of the Year and President’s Award at the recently held Barbados Olympic Association awards ceremony, Maloney, who has now been promoted to formula three said when he started racing at 12-years old it was just a hobby.
Fast forward four years and the teenaged driver says he has the drive to keep pushing for the top thanks to the motivation of family.
“It is quite funny because within the family we can all drive really good. My cousin Joshua and my brother Kaleem, cousin Justin, we are all in it, so it’s like ten people and whenever we go for family trips or events, it is always to a racetrack. It is never to Disney world or anything, it is always to a racetrack with us having fun, trying to beat each other and that is all we care about, so it ends up being a competition. It is great because it gets the fun side out in everyone. It is not serious, but it is serious at the same time and it is a great family relationship I have with everyone,” he said.
Karting is where Maloney was discovered and though it is not yet a household sport in Barbados, the talented driver intends on doing his part to ensure further development of the sport locally.
“I find Barbados karting is getting bigger, it is still quite small if you look at cricket [and] football but it [karting] is building. I am sure it will be a sport to be in soon hopefully,” he said.
Maloney said he was always willing to share his knowledge with up and coming drivers.
“When I return home, I try to go Bushy Park to talk with the kids or race with them and show them, so they can see where they want to be in a few years because that is what I did. Hamilton [Lewis] came down for an event and I ended up being on track with him and watching him drive. That is where I said I want to be in the next few years [and] I am starting to get there, and I just want another kid to feel the same,” Maloney said.