Dani Clos says he feels ready to make the step into F1 after testing with HRT in Abu Dhabi.
The Spaniard drove on the opening day of the Young Driver Test at Yas Marina in what was his first outing in an F1 machine for some three years after a previous run with Williams.
The 23-year-old has been linked with the team as it attempts to take on more of a Spanish identity and he admitted he felt ready to make the step up from GP2 – although he didn't rule out another campaign in the feeder series if there are no F1 opportunities available.
“It was great to step back into an F1 car; it's been three years since I drove with Williams,” he said. “Obviously things have changed a bit in Formula 1 in these three years but that experience still helped me to not start from scratch. Despite that, it did take me a few laps to settle down and start driving comfortably.
“To have this opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car and do it with a Spanish team is twice as satisfying. Firstly I had to get used to the car quite quickly which wasn't a problem and then acclimatize to the different compounds. Once we got over this obstacle we could focus on doing a proper job and, overall, I'm very happy with how the test went.
“You never stop learning even once you have made it to Formula 1, so I still have a lot to learn. But I do think I'm prepared to take the step. I've got a lot of experience in GP2 and have achieved good results there. But there are many factors that decide whether a driver makes it into F1 or not. It's not impossible and I would love to be involved at some level, if it's not as an official driver then as a test driver, whilst also competing in another category. Continuing in GP2 is more than a valid option and I think that I can also achieve great things there.”
Clos added that he was impressed with HRT after his day working with the team, saying he felt confident that could make progress in 2012.
“Working with them has been a great experience,” he said. “The human and technical group they have is good and next year's project looks very promising. I think they are changing their car, headquarters and a few other things which will make the team more stable and attractive. Without a doubt these changes are for the better.
“From what I have seen they seem very ambitious and they are there to make it.”