Edoardo Mortara may have earned a place in racing's history books by becoming the first driver to win the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix for a second time, but he is not expecting the feat to unlock doors into Formula 1.
The Italian achieved something that no one else has managed to do since Macau became an F3 event in 1983 as he took his second successive triumph in Sunday's street race. Yet although the list of former Macau winners includes F1 stars like Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, and David Coulthard, Mortara is well aware of just how much money talks in terms of moving up to grand prix racing.
While he still has ambitions to make it into F1, he knows that he cannot afford to just sit back in the hope that something happens. Instead, he is fully focused on securing a race drive in a competitive category next year – and is due to test an Audi DTM car this winter.
"I am not a person who dreams; I am someone pretty realistic," said Mortara after his Macau GP success. "It [winning] didn't bring me anything the first time, so I don't think it is going to bring me something by winning it a second time. But, at the same time, I would love to be called [by an F1 team], even just to step into the car – not even driving it!
"But, the Formula 1 world is becoming different from what it was because of money. You definitely need a lot of money, which I don't have. So you need people who believe in you, support you and invest in you. And this is not the case for me – and that is fine."
Asked if it was frustrating that despite his success – which included clinching the F3 Euro Series crown this year – he had not yet had any opportunity in F1, he said: "It is. But I have learned to live with it. It was frustrating at the beginning, because when I stepped up in GP2 I already had these kinds of problems and I knew it was going to be difficult. But that is fine. Life is like this, and life is unfair. But in life, there are things that are much, much worse than my case.
"At the end, it is not right to think that is unfair for me. It is a lot more unfair for a lot of people. I am a lucky guy at the end, even if I had a really tough season, but I am back in the game and hopefully I can have a seat. And if I am staying at home next year, at least I have proven what I am capable of and that is really important."
Mortara reckons a move into the DTM next season would be good for his career, but he is not counting on anything ahead of his test.
"I would like to find a professional series to continue racing," he said. "I have an opportunity to test a car with Audi, either at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. It is going to be soon, and then they will decide if I am good in it and then we will see."
"I know a lot of people want to go to DTM. F1 is becoming so much more difficult to get in because of the money, so everybody is trying to find alternatives. And DTM is getting as difficult as F1 to get into."