Sauber has announced that it is to give two young talents the chance to sample F1 power when Adderly Fong and Roy Nissany test a two-year old C31 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia next week.
Chinese hopeful Fong will drive during the first day of the session on Wednesday. The 24-year old has competed in several single-seater championships in Asia and Europe but, this year, has focused on the Asian-based Audi R8 LMS Cup and admits that the step up is going to take some getting used to.
“I am very pleased I am going to test a Sauber C31 in Valencia,” Fong commented, “It will be my first time driving an F1 car with this high a power-to-weight ratio, and I am looking forward to it.”
Highly-rated in some quarters, Fong is gradually acquainting himself with the F1 circus, racing on the GP3 bill between Audi encounters, and has his sights set on graduating to the top flight despite time seeming to be against him. According to South China Morning Post
, Fong is trying to raise the funds to become one of a growing number of reserve drivers with Marussia F1, and sees the Valencia opportunity as another step on that road.
"Being the first driver from Hong Kong to have this opportunity - I feel very proud and I hope I can make an impact,” he noted, “My GP3 team [Jenzer Motorsport] has good connections with some of the F1 teams and the opportunity arose. I have been specially fitted with a seat, which was moulded yesterday in the Sauber headquarters in Zurich for the session, and my goal is to drive at least 300km. We will then submit all the data to the FIA and hope they will consider giving me a superlicence.”
Once Fong is done with the Sauber, Nissany will take over on Thursday. The Israeli, the son of sometime Minardi tester Chanoch Nissany, is currently in his second season racing in the FIA F3 European Championship, having worked his way through several European-based single-seaters in the past five years. With time on his side, the 19-year old has his sights set a little lower than Fong.
“I am delighted to have the chance to test the Sauber C31, and I will put lots of efforts into it to do a good job,” he acknowledged.
The Sauber pair will be joined on track by Lotus protégé Estaban Ocon, who will be receiving his reward for winning the FIA F3 European Championship title [ see separate story