Britain’s Alex Brundle rejoins the FIA Formula Two Championship for 2011, after taking a break from the series last year to compete in British Formula 3. The official F2 website spoke with the 20-year-old to get his views on the 2011 campaign and the year ahead…
F2 has obviously undertaken some radical changes for 2011 – do you think the changes have made F2 stronger or more attractive to drivers than it was in 2010?
The new tracks really caught my attention, not just from a driving point of view but also as venues to bring sponsors along, with good spectator viewing.
I am focused on the performance I can give, so as long as the track time is the same for everyone it isn’t a big issue for me.
The price tag is significant. It means that you can approach sponsors with sensible numbers on the tip of your tongue which is an asset to the championship.
You’re joining F2 after a year away in which you contested British Formula 3. What was the rationale behind returning to F2?
There were many reasons for the decision; a combination of reduced cost and great tracks enticed us to go testing with a view to competing in 2011. Obviously the good performance in those tests was a factor we took into account, but those test times still need to be translated into race results.
Our main sponsors GAC (www.gac.com) are also involved with Williams F1 so the idea of Formula 2 and the connection with Williams, who designed and built the current car, also appealed to them, so F2 worked for everyone involved.
Do you feel F2 is a valid next step from F3? Can you apply the lessons you have learned in F3 in the equal-machinery environment of Formula Two?
I don’t think I’m in the position to say what other drivers should do, but I’ve taken a lot away from my experiences so far, my driving technique and physical fitness have made a big step forward over the last year, I hope that showed in testing.
I didn’t have the budget for a top F3 team this year but Formula 2 appealed to me and my sponsors. F2 has increasing credibility in light of the performances of the previous champions in their F1 tests and I am glad I am involved this year.
As for yourself, what do you think you can expect from this season? Do you feel you have changed as a driver, and if so how do you hope that will benefit you?
I have an analytical mindset which I never had before, I have learned that to be at the front, you don’t need to know any magic; application of knowledge and analysis and concentrating on consistent improvement led to good results over the winter.
The only expectations I have are of myself. There are too many variables involved in everything else to predict performance. I will give it everything, each and every lap and see what the rewards are at the end of the season.
What do you hope to achieve from this season? Is F2 a stepping stone for you, or a chance for you to prove your credentials?
I want to be a professional racing driver so I think it’s fair to say that F2 serves as both. I want to demonstrate I can do well enough in a high level ‘single seater’ championship to merit a professional drive.
I’m not going to put a number on it, we all know we have to do well, but that pressure is part of being a junior racing driver.
You’re still young, and have thus far had to balance racing with school or university commitments…now that your education has an end in sight, will it be a positive to only have to focus on racing rather than balancing it with studying?
A huge amount, I’m in the third year now which is quite intense. I have been doing motorsport like an extra module, which isn’t the right way. Any successful sports man will tell me (and a few have), that to be successful motorsport has to consume your life. I would love that to be the case but trying to think about bump rubber curves and the ‘varying notions of market efficiency’ at the same time is never going to happen.
Luckily the course is all over by June and at that point I can race with the security that I have a job behind me if things don’t go as planned, I think there is something to be said for that.
Lastly, you obviously ran well in winter testing. How important was that – in terms of your overall performance and your feel for the championship – in deciding to return to F2?
Yeah, great for confidence. I am under no illusions as to how tough this year will be but if I maximise every outing from day one of test one, to the final tour of Barcelona next autumn I am confident that I can give a very strong performance.
courtesy of www.formulatwo.com