Chatting with Hitech’s Oli Oakes
Oliver ‘Oli’ Oakes today owns and runs one of the most successful race teams in Europe – and must be on any logical short-list of F1 team owners of the future. More than that, though, Oli is a former World Kart Champion and Red Bull Junior F3 driver, which means that there are not many drivers of this generation that he doesn’t know, or hasn’t raced against. He loves motor racing and winning and thinking ahead in the classic way of successful entrepreneurs – but, unusually, he’s also passionate about rewarding unsung but genuinely talented drivers. Hiring Luca Ghiotto to head-up Hitech’s new F2 team this year is a classic example of this; running Harrison Scott in a couple of Asian F3 races is another.
And so it’s always a pleasure – a laugh – to hang out with Oli, particularly if there’s an F1 practice session taking place on screen in the background and he is able to interrupt the flow of conversation with sudden comments like, “Gasly’s P3! This is big!” or “I know that engineer on screen now; he used to race Cadet Karts the year after me…”
Please enjoy, then, these three videos I shot recently with Oli. Chatting to him on-line via Skype isn’t quite the same as sitting with him in the F3/F2 hospitality area, but I hope they capture a little bit of the flavour of how it can be.