Sergio Canamasas admits that, having had a brief taste of life as an F1 driver, he is keen to make it a more permanent arrangement next time around.
The GP2 pilot is among a growing number of Spanish drivers edging their way up the circuit racing ladder after years of the country being pre-occupied by rallying and motorcycle racing, and the invitation to conduct straight-line testing with the Caterham F1 team gave an unexpected glimpse of what life might be like in the top flight.
Admitting that he, along with the likes of Roberto Mehri, Daniel Juncadella and Carlos Sainz Jr, has benefited from the sort of backing not necessarily available to others in cash-strapped Spain, Canamasas acknowledged that reaching F1 was still little more than a dream.
“There are 22 [F1] drivers in the world and getting there is a challenge,” he told Spanish newspaper Marca
, “The test [at Lurcy-Levis in France] was one of those special days, marked by an 'X' on the calendar.”
Having started in karting while he was still young, Canamasas' career has taken him through the national F3 series and Formula Renault 3.5 before bringing him to GP2 – 'a pretty natural process' he notes – but the step up to F1 power still came as a surprise.
“The change is enormous compared to GP2,” he confirmed, “We have 250bhp more and it shows immediately. There is also a big difference in braking, because of the greater effect of the aerodynamics – and the steering wheel has many more buttons…. It is like the PlayStation!”
Asked who he considered his driving style to most closely resemble, the Spaniard naturally selected countryman Fernando Alonso, but threw in a little of one of his rivals for good measure.
“I have something of Alonso, [but] also perhaps something of [Lewis] Hamilton for that aggressiveness,” he claimed, “Let no one misunderstand me – I only have some elements of them, but I'm aggressive with that bit of intelligence required in what you're doing. I am very concise, very clear, about what I have done when I'm on track, and I am methodical…”
Some of the Spaniard's rivals may disagree with that assessment given his performances in GP2 this season, but Canamasas is quick to point out that he is still learning his way in the feeder series.
“It is a very difficult championship,” he stressed, “We have very little time on Friday, just 30 minutes of free practice, so you have to come up with clear ideas. Logically, the experienced pilots, with three or four years of experience, are the ones at the top.”
With a place on the Caterham Racing Academy under his belt, Canamasas admits that his goals are set high, even if he may have to wait to achieve them.
“If I can make the jump to F1 next year, it would be big news,” he conceded.