A passionate contender in the Red Bull Air Race since 2004, Nicolas Ivanoff has five career race victories to his credit, and his win at the 2016 opener in Abu Dhabi set the pace for an exciting season. Ivanoff has sometimes been an enigma, flying with supreme confidence at certain races while off his game at others, but Red Bull Air Race fans around the world have long admired his elegant style in the sky and exceptional ability to handle technical tracks. Fellow competitors always keep him in their sights. Ivanoff takes an artistic approach to piloting a raceplane, comparing it to "painting in the sky," and his personal sensibilities are equally as refined. The quintessential Frenchman is invariably the best-dressed pilot both in and out of the cockpit, and his sophisticated tastes are balanced by a genuine joie de vivre that makes his hangar one of the liveliest.
A Corsican of Russian and Greek heritage, Ivanoff was a longtime instructor at the famous "Corse Voltige" flying school. He became an aerobatic pilot in the early 1990s, and as a member of his country's aerobatics team from 1997 to 2005 he was on the French team that won the 2000 World Aerobatic Championships in Toulouse. He also clinched second place in the French National Unlimited Aerobatics Championship in 2004. Fascinated by technology and attentive to minute detail, Ivanoff possesses an enviable mix of style and substance. He and the rest of Team Hamilton-Ivanoff – team coordinator and manager Jean-Paul Kieffer, technician Tom Fitzgerald, tactician Sébastien Demont and assistant/social specialist Cédric Templier – consistently pursue innovation and excellence. While Ivanoff wasn't able to replicate his season-opening triumph as 2016 continued, he finished in the top five overall. "We managed to finish fifth in the points despite the disadvantage of missing a race," the pilot notes. "So we're putting every effort into building our technology and our team, so that in 2017 we can get as close as possible to being on or near the overall podium, earning race podiums along the way."