How a 12-year-old is realising his F1 dreams

Max Hayward, originally from Perth, Western Australia, is successfully zooming towards the finish line of success

It took all but one visit to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2015 for four-year-old Max Hayward to lock in his life’s dream.

Enticed by the world of cars and races since he was a toddler, being a professional racer was an evident manifestation of this passion.

Now a Year 7 student at The British International School Abu Dhabi, he’s well on his way to realising that dream. The 12-year-old currently races for ‘Brand Racing’, which operates out of Dubai and competes in the Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) in the MINIMAX category.

“When I was a toddler my favorite thing in the world was cars. I first saw a real race car at the Australian V8 Supercars round at Barbagallo Raceway, Wanneroo Western Australia when I was 3 years old, I thought they looked really fast and really cool and I just knew I wanted to drive them,” said the up and coming racer.

Max got behind the wheel of a rental kart the minute he could, and it was an instant connection.

However, in a world as competitive and demanding as this, it’s not all a breezy ride. In addition to making time for the races themselves, the BIS student also trains at the gym regularly, working hard to ensure he has enough time to do it all!


Max Hayward Student Of British International School Abu Dhabi


He shared, “Schoolwork is very important to me and to be able to keep fit, play with my friends and practice I have to be really organised so I can spend enough time on each activity. I work really hard to balance each activity so I am ready to race. My friends and teachers have been really understanding and supportive so that helps too.”

That aside, the pre-teen confides his greatest obstacle on the track; managing his emotions.

“The biggest challenge is to manage your emotions during a race when things go wrong or things get tough. I need to forget about it and move on because once something has gone wrong it cannot be changed. I have to stay positive and only look forward. Thankfully my family and Brand Racing help me stay positive even when things go really wrong.”

His father, Greg Hayward, on the other hand, comes with a more practical approach.

“Operating on a small budget is very challenging when competing against other racers with very large budgets. The only way to overcome this is to prioritise spending and to seek sponsorship,” he said.

All roads, or tracks, in this case, seem to be leading Max towards a future as an F1 driver. It’s a long journey ahead, but with a ‘Never stop believing!’ attitude, this name is one you’re going to want to remember!


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Image source Greg Hayward


Editor’s Choice

Caroline D’Almeida

A little bit of India, a little more of the UAE, and a lot of shawarma perhaps best captures Caroline’s anatomy. An avid believer in value for money, her hobbies include putting the ‘elite lifestyle’ to the test. And finding cheaper dupes for it all. A Sharjah girl new to the capital, she hopes to discover the pulse of the emirate.
Yalla - Abu Dhabi Life Magazine Edition 29
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