Jonas Ried is driving for PHM Racing in his first season in ADAC Formula 4. In an interview, the 17-year-old from Ehingen looks back on his year so far, and discusses his career plans and the relationship with his father. Christian Ried is a racing driver himself on the GT scene.
Jonas, fifth place at the Hockenheimring was your best result of the season so far. How would you sum up your time in ADAC Formula 4 after the first three race weekends?
Apart from the DNF in race three, I was very happy with the opening round at Spa-Francorchamps. I particularly enjoyed the weekend at the Hockenheimring, as that was my home event and my family was there to support me. As I was getting ready for my business administration exam, which is important for my school-leaving qualifications, I was not able to prepare ideally for Zandvoort, as it meant I missed both free practice sessions. Nevertheless, we mastered everything in the end. I am excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.
Your dad, Christian Ried, is a successful racer himself and drives in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. Does it help to have somebody you can talk to in the family?
Definitely. When dad is at the racetrack, he has good advice for me. Another big advantage I have is that, through him, I have many different perspectives into what goes on in a racing team, and not just a driver’s viewpoint. That is obviously a great help and means I can better understand many processes within the team.
To what extend would you like to follow in your father’s footsteps one day?
My dad does not put any pressure on me. However, I would like to make a name for myself and go in a different direction, which is why I have opted for Formula racing. This is how I am trying to step out of his shadows. Despite this, I still want to represent the name Ried as well as possible on the motorsport scene.
What is next for you?
I find the IndyCar series in the USA very interesting. The relationship with the fans in America is different to in Europe. You are much closer to them there. I have chatted to many acquaintances about the series, and it is all a bit old-school, which I really like. I like the atmosphere at the racetrack and the whole sideshow – for example, the big trucks in the paddock. Plus, the standard of the drivers is incredibly high.
With PHM Racing, you are part of a team that team owner Paul Müller from Berlin only formed in the winter. How is the atmosphere in the team and between the drivers?
A good chemistry is extremely important to me, and you have to be able to trust each other. Us drivers and the rest of the team get on pretty well. PHM Racing has only existed for just over half a year, and the conditions provided for us drivers are mega. Nikita, Taylor, Valentin and I are also good friends off the track. However, we try to block that out at the circuit. Nevertheless, we always help each other in the run-up to the race, and after it. We have a cool relationship.