Jan Rathiesky Interview
3 November 2018
For the first time in many years, 2018 saw F1 return as an IFMAR World Championship class. We interview the winner, and new world champion, Jan Rathiesky from Germany. Jan is also a multiple European, ETS and AOC F1 champion, and a genuinely nice guy.
All Photos: Courtesy of Jan Rathiesky
RCF1: How long have you been racing RC cars and when did you first race F1?
I do this hobby since I was 6 years old. Surprisingly on a high level at the last 5 years or so ;)
I ran F1 a long time ago as a child at my home club very much. I would say in the early 2000's.
That time we ran it much much faster with foam tires (wide).
RCF1: Congratulations on your IFMAR F1 2018 World Championship win. Please tell us about this race meeting from your perspective.
Thanks a lot ;) First of all that meeting was a last minute decision for me because they changed the racing dates. It was planned to race together with 1:12 worlds which I would not be able to attend because my daughter celebrated her 1st school day. However... the racetrack in Welkom is just awesome and I really enjoy my stay. The cars of our team works good from the beginning which means the event was less stress compared to an ETS for example.
The 2018 World Championship track in Welkom, South Africa
RCF1: It is fantastic to see F1 back as a World Championship class. Do you know when F1 was last run at the World Championships?
I don’t know when. I just remember it was on foam tires and it was a childhood dream that I’d be able to start at a world championship.
RCF1: What was your first F1 car?
Corally 6 Cell ;)
RCF1: What do you like most about racing F1?
With foam tires I liked it because it was cheap and very fast back in the days.
My “comeback” was at the ETS series with rubber tires. Back then I very much liked the class because it was so easy to drive. All cars pushed a lot and we all ran just for fun.
However, it is more professional now. Good in one way, bad in the other. I still like the class because it’s way harder than in TC to be competitive. At least for me ;)
RCF1: What is your normal day job?
I work on the brake disc production for Volkswagen.
RCF1: With ETS, AOC and other events you must travel a great deal. What cities have you travelled to in the past year?
Yeah that’s an awesome experience and I can’t thank my sponsors enough to send me, my company to let me go, and my family to support my hobby.
Back to your question... For sure I will miss a lot but those I remember:
Seoul – Korea, Yatabe – Japan, Las Vegas – USA, Orlando – USA, Canberra – Australia, Melbourne – Australia, Bacolod – Philippines, Shanghai – China and may more to just name a few overseas ones.
RCF1: Is it difficult to juggle your work, RC and family commitments?
Yes and no. It is very hard. I work a lot in between my races to make time which I can spend again some weeks later ;) Also my work shift system is very hard to connect with private life. However, my wife supports me a lot in this matter and my kids support it as well. For now ^^
The positive thing is... I enjoy relaxing in the plane and it’s a good energy spot for me. No Internet, no facebook, whats app, email and all those stuff. No work, no family. Just my painful economy seat, good headphones and some movies. Sounds crazy, but I enjoy that a lot.
RCF1: Please explain your driving style and what suggestions would you make to less experienced drivers?
My driving style is very difficult because I always made setups which generate lots of steering on brake. I never run autobrake [dragbrake] and control the entire car on the brake. If you see a video of my car you may notice that my car always slides a bit on braking. But this means I can stay longer on throttle and it’s a bit faster. However, the tires which we have to use now are not made for this driving style because they wear out too fast. So also I have to change my style to a smooth one even if I don’t want to ;)
Suggestions... As long you have time to practice do it as much you can. Change, drive, repeat. Learn to feel the car first before making minimal adjustments, check bearings and all those stuff.
When you start to feel good try to improve your setup. My suggestion: DON'T start with anyone else's basic setup. Try your own way. Change setup step by step. Never more than one change! Write the feeling in a book, on your phone or whatever. Don’t care what others say. Create your own setup theory. Most stuff is very different between each driving style.
RCF1: What do you think the future is for RC F1 racing?
I hope it’s getting more under control. Many companies push this class like there is no tomorrow. When you check the cars they look more fragile and detailed as a 1:12 pancar. They read between the lines and too many things which are faster but very bad for the hobby driver. Also, the tires are too expensive and wear out too fast. If this doesn’t change I see the class will lose a lot of drivers in the future because the costs are getting too high.
However, the class itself is getting very professional which means it’s the correct way to make a worlds. But as I said, it changed from a fun 2nd class to a main professional class.
RCF1: Do you follow a team or driver in full-scale F1 and how do you rate their chances in 2019?
I travel too much to see all races but when I find some time I like it. I’m a Ferrari fan because of their team but as a driver I very much like Verstappen. He doesn’t care about easy driving, always takes risks and tries all he can.
RCF1: Do you have any sponsors or people that have been key to your racing career that you’d like to mention?
100% my father because he teached me everything. Corally and Serpent who supported me in my 1:12 times. Last but not least Xray who pushed me to a professional level.
Jan with his father Kai Asmer
RCF1: If there's anything else you'd like to say that you think our readers might be interested in please feel free.
Well, I could write a lot of stuff here... Never forget... it’s just a hobby! Don't forget to have fun ;)
See you ^^
RCF1: Thanks very much for taking the time for this interview.
You’re welcome. Thanks for supporting the F1 class!
Jan with Martin Hudy, designer of the Xray X1