race car

Lewis Appiagyei is on the hunt for his Formula 1 debut

Lewis Appiagyei, born and raised in Camden, is looking to make his big break into motorsport. 

With dreams of becoming a Formula 1 champion, Appiagyei is a young British racing driver who holds multiple lap records in e-sport racing and on international tracks.

His first experience with racing was on his PSP, he said.

It started as a hobby until it turned into a passion.

Appiagyei said: “From then, I started watching f1 in 2007 when Lewis Hamilton first made his debut and even though he didn’t win, seeing how successful he was, was really inspiring for me.”

In 2011, a young Appiagyei stepped on the track for the first time.

He began his career in go-karting at Buckmore Park Kart Circuit in Kent.

He explained: “For the first few years of my career, most of my racing was all in the UK.

“As I started to take it more seriously, I started to compete in international championships.

“One of the main championships I did abroad was the Sodi W Series and that required me to do several rounds in the UK, and abroad.”

From London to Dubai, it was no easy feat racing abroad at just 13 years old.

Appiaygei raced in different climates, conditions, and tracks during the SWS.

He said: “The new climate was a really tough experience, but I managed to win, which is probably one of my greatest moments so far in my career.

“All that also comes with challenges like the fact that the whole family is committing to making the journey to a different country, and not knowing how successful you’ll be.”

This isn’t the only difficulty though, motorsport is a notoriously expensive sport that requires hundreds of thousands of pounds to even make it to racing cars.

Appiagyei said: “I’ve seen many of my fellow motor racing friends fall because of how expensive it is, and if you don’t have the opportunity and the backing to progress, it’s almost impossible.

“As you progress, the money that you need to bring in becomes much, much more, especially when trying to move into cars.”

In 2022, Appiagyei and his Praga Cup UK teammate Ruben Stanislaus featured in a BBC documentary ‘Born to Race’.

The documentary followed the drivers through their jump from karts to cars, and their struggles in getting the financial backing they needed to stay racing professional cars.

Despite the exposure from this documentary, the young racer has still found it to be a struggle to gain a full season’s worth of sponsorship.

He shared: “That all helps with the exposure, but I’m only gonna go so far really, unless there are companies or really rich people that are willing to put their hands in their pockets and help drivers move forward, then it’s almost impossible to progress.

“I feel like it’s more as more of a case of getting opportunities because the kids that are getting ahead to the formulas that you need to be in to progress towards Formula 1, have been picked up by the actual Formula One teams in young driver programmes.”

With Lewis Hamilton still being the first and only black driver on the Formula 1 grid, you’d think that times have changed.

Appiagyei said: “I think there’s definitely been some movement in getting more opportunities for e-sports but seeing how that translates to the road track, there’s nothing really to the scale that drivers like me would need. 

“If a driver like me, wants to get f1, the money you need to progress through the several stages is ridiculous – something definitely to be done about it, but it’s just the case of people at the top making the right decisions.”

Appiagyei believes that he needs to fight through all the different avenues of getting to Formula 1, it involves sim racing or electric boat racing.

An exciting opportunity on the way for the young driver, the E1 series is the world’s first electric boat racing series.

He said: “They first started off as a company that had an online competition, and I managed to win it so it opened up the door for me to be selected on the pilot programme.

“It’s definitely very different to racing on the track, but obviously, there’s some skill sets that transfer over. I’m still learning and hopefully I can be good at that as well.”

The E1 series begins on February 2nd in Jeddah, and Appiagyei will join Didier Drogba’s team as part of the pilot programme.

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles