Newly-crowned A1GP Champion Adam Carroll has challenged Formula 1 teams to take a punt on his services in 2010, by insisting: I can fight for the world championship!
Carroll secured Team Ireland the World Cup of Motorsport crown in fine style on 'home' turf at Brands Hatch last weekend, storming to a double pole position around the Kent circuit in qualifying and a brace of dominant victories on race day that overturned defending champions' Switzerland's prior four-point advantage in the nations' title chase to ultimately prevail by 17 points.
Having amply showcased his credentials in both A1GP and GP2 – with five triumphs from 66 starts in F1's feeder series from 2005 to 2008 – as well as through stints in the pan-European DTM touring car championship, British F3 and the F3 Euroseries, there remains one key arena in which the 26-year-old has yet to be given the opportunity to prove himself.
A test driver for BAR-Honda in the top flight back in 2005, Carroll has revealed that he has recently been approached by two teams with regard to a possible graduation to the grand prix scene in 2010, when with the FIA's new optional budget cap in place, it is hoped there will be as many as 26 cars on the starting grid. The most likely destination for the Portadown ace would appear to be Lola, run by fellow Irishman Martin Birrane – and failing that, there is always, he acknowledges, the American option...
“You have to sit back and look at the fact that (IndyCar Series front-runners) Andretti Green are in this championship (A1GP) with Team USA,” he told GPWeek
. “My plan was to win this and hopefully go and sit at a table with guys like them. They know me now, I've met them and every weekend they've watched me drive. If opportunities in America open up, that would be very good.
“In F1, again, I know people do rate me. I've proven that any doubts they have ever had, they don't need to have. I knew they didn't, but you still have to go and prove yourself in life – I can qualify, I can race, I can overtake and I can win. I believe I am a strong enough package that, given the right opportunity, I can fight for the world championship in Formula 1.
“I've beaten most of the guys on their way there, and hopefully they would say the same about me if asked the question. I know my situation is not like theirs'. It's been different, and it's made me into the person and driver I am today – but I'm ready to do the job.”