Renault World Series title winner Bertrand Baguette admits that his 'childhood dream will come true' when he joins the Renault F1 team for a day of testing at Jerez next month.
The Belgian driver will be at the wheel of the R29 on the opening day of the three-day test as a reward for his title-winning season in 2009 and will follow in the footsteps of Robert Kubica, Alx Danielsson, Alvaro Parente and Giedo Van der Garde - all of whom tested for Renault on the back of their championship victories.
“This will be a great first for me,” Baguette said. “It's all my childhood dreams come true and, at the same time, it's every racing driver's ultimate goal. It's thanks to Renault that I was able to get into single-seater racing, by winning a programme set up by Renault in Belgium to discover up-and-coming young talent from karting. Since then, I've driven every Renault single-seater, from Formula Renault 1.6 to Formula Renault 3.5 via Formula Renault 2.0. Driving the Renault F1 R29 kind of completes the set as far as I'm concerned!
“The first few laps in Formula 1 must be really unbelievable, with a lighter, more powerful car that has just phenomenal cornering speeds. I'll have everything to learn, not just the car itself, but also a new environment, lots of new parameters, a different way of working. The only thing I will be familiar with will be the Jerez circuit!"
Baguette is currently preparing for the test day with a special physical training course and will also visit the Renault F1 Team at Enstone for a full briefing on the testing programme.
“The most important thing for me is not really driving the fastest possible lap,” he said. “The aim of this day will be to work hard with the team and to carry out the test programme that Renault F1 Team is going to define seriously and professionally. Rather than my outright speed, it will be my ability to analyse the car's handling and my communication with the members of the team that will be gauged. I can't wait.
"I'm going to have to take things one step at a time and be cautious. It's a terrific opportunity to be able to take part in testing with a team as prestigious as the Renault F1 Team."