Olly Jarvis has revealed that whilst he would love to be given an opportunity to prove his worth in Formula 1 – insisting 'I definitely believe I'm good enough' – the top flight is 'not the be-all-and-end-all' in motorsport, as the young British star focuses upon home success in the DTM pan-European touring car series at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Jarvis has prior experience of F1, having clinched the prestigious McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year
award back in 2005, as a result of which he was given the opportunity to take to the track at Silverstone in late 2007 in one of the silver machines. That apart, though, the top flight has paid little attention to the man who beat Bruno Senna to the runner-up laurels in the British F3 Championship two years ago, which many feel is a travesty of justice.
“I would love to drive an F1 car, just to prove I'm good enough,” the 25-year-old confessed to Crash.net
. “I definitely believe I'm good enough. Saying that, if I can look back in ten years' time having done ten years of DTM and Le Mans racing maybe, I'd have no regrets. If a chance to move to F1 comes up of course I'd consider it, but it isn't the be-all-and-end-all.”
For a racing driver, those are confident words indeed, and spoken with good reason, for since joining the DTM with Audi at the beginning of last year, Jarvis has repeatedly impressed observers with performances belying the fact that he has never had current state-of-the-art machinery at his disposal. Some excellent qualifying showings in 2008 have been built upon with flawless race day drives this season, yielding the Cambridgeshire-born star a brace of rostrum positions at Hockenheim and Zandvoort, and his breakthrough pole position at the latter to-boot, by the staggering margin of half a second.
“I think speed-wise it's been a great season,” he underlined. “I've definitely proved that I've got the pace, and we've had two really good results up on the podium. Unfortunately I just haven't finished enough races so far – at Oschersleben we had a puncture just two laps from the end, for example – but overall I'd say it's been a strong first half to the year, because when we have finished we've finished strongly.
“Zandvoort was just an amazing weekend! I was the first person in the DTM to put a year-old car on pole in qualifying, and overall it was just a great weekend for both myself and the team. We've been competitive and quick, and that's important being in a year-old car. A lot of people realise that when you qualify in the midfield, sometimes a lot of accidents can happen there, but hopefully people can see the raw pace – and that's definitely been there.
“I've always got an eye on the points table too, but I have to be realistic. My job is just to extract the best out of the 2008 car that I can, and at the end of the year we will see how the championship looks.”
As things stand, Jarvis sits a strong eighth, but he is hoping to gain a position or two this weekend as the DTM arrives at Brands Hatch for the British outing on its 2009 calendar. Admitting that there is a balance to strike when racing on home soil with all the support and added pressures that brings with it, he conceded that he would like nothing more than to stand atop the rostrum for the first time.
“I'm just hoping for a strong qualifying and strong race,” he stated, “and I'm really going to be pushing hard to get a podium – that would really give everyone something to cheer about! It's always great to be back in the UK, especially as I grew up racing here, but there is a flip-side too. It's fantastic to get the home support, but there's a little bit of extra pressure and people wanting more of your time over the weekend. You just have to be very careful to stay focussed.
“It would be a dream come true to win on home turf, and to do so in a year-old car would be something very special too. I just have to bide my time at the moment and keep proving I'm quick enough. Hopefully I can get a new car next year and then my chance will come.”