Recently-crowned FIA Formula Two champion Andy Soucek is convinced that he will be able to make the step up in 2010 and compete at the pinnacle of the sport.
The Spaniard tested for Williams
on Monday at Jerez – his prize for winning the F2 title - and he impressed too. Indeed he was fastest on the opening day, two tenths clear of his nearest rivals - and while he has been linked to the Campos Meta 1 squad, he added that Lotus F1 Racing or Virgin are the more likely options for 2010.
"We don't have a Plan B right now," he told GPUpdate.net
. "Our only goal is to make it into F1 and I am really positive. My manager is doing a great job in discussing things with the teams and I am confident that I will be on the grid next year.
"I haven't spoken that much with Campos because the team requires a bigger budget than I have available. But obviously it will be with one of the new teams, because they all require budget and I've got the sponsors that are willing to back me.
"That's all due to the Formula Two championship. Joining Formula Two was carefully planned. We scheduled my career with just one target: becoming a F1 driver. I thought: "If I win this championship it will be good, but if I do not win it, I can retire as a racing driver". I have the right people behind backing me up and a lot of confidence that we could do it. Formula Two is a good step before you enter F1."
Soucek's performance earlier this week on day 1 at Jerez meanwhile was hailed by Williams' director of engineering, Patrick Head and Jonathan Palmer, chief executive of MotorSport Vision which runs the FIA Formula Two Championship.
"We were happy with how the day went," said Head. "Andy did a good job. Despite his young age, he's quite experienced and his information about the car and its characteristics are interesting to us.
"I definitely think Andy has a future in F1, and I hope he gets the opportunity. He has all the right attributes for F1, and his intelligence and driving skill will serve him well."
"I'm delighted that Andy topped the timesheets on the first day of the Jerez F1 test," Palmer added. "I was very confident from Andy's dominant F2 championship win that he would do a good job in his Williams
F1 test – and he certainly has.
"He has proved he can be competitive in F1, and that is a great endorsement of the competitiveness of F2 and the equality of the F2 cars.
"I am particularly appreciative of the great opportunity Williams
has given both Andy Soucek and F2. Everyone can now see that the championship prize of a Williams
F1 test drive is of enormous value."