Red Bull Air Race 2017: Q&A with Mika Brageot
Mika Brageot (FRA) burst onto the Red Bull Air Race scene in 2014 when he first flew in the Challenger Cup, taking a win in only his third race.
He went on to win the Challenger Cup in 2015, and in 2016 went into a special Master Mentoring Programme with Red Bull Air Race supremo Nigel Lamb.
The youngest aerobatics pilot ever to represent France on the international aerobatics competition circuit, he first sat in a cockpit aged 12 when his grandfather took him to a local airfield for a lesson. An aerobatic pilot since 2004, this season has been Brageot’s first full year in the Master Class at the Red Bull Air Race.
Mika, how has your season been?
My year has been a great year. We started in Abu Dhabi with a brand new design and a complete new team. It was a good first start, we came up with a good first performance, and our first points in the Championship. Then we went all through the stops of the season, earning more and more points all the way. We ended up here in Indianapolis with 15 points in 10th positions. We want a great finish.
What have you learned?
Basically, it's completely different because last year I was in a mentoring programme, which was training. Now I am in the race and everything has changed, because your mindset is not the same and you have to take all the details into account. Add in the pressure of the clock, because it's a competition, so all together it makes a big difference. But at the end of the day it is our job and we are used to that – and it's a sport and a competition and we like it.
Your plane has a very distinctive look…
Basically we wanted to take our aviation history into the project. It's a racing aircraft, but we wanted to keep the aviation spirit, so we went for the old school and vintage design. It took a look of hard work with a paintbrush! It looks old, but it's a very modern aircraft made of carbon fibre.
Photo © Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool