26 April 2015
Stevens: I want to move forward
Manor-Marussia rookie Will Stevens is looking forward to more familiar tracks on the F1 schedule, and the ability to continue proving that he deserves a place at motorsport's top table.
Manor-Marussia rookie Will Stevens insists that he will not be content to trail around at the back of the F1 field, and hopes his performances this season will allow him to show others what he is capable of.
Up against it from round one in Melbourne following Manor's late return to F1, and his even later confirmation as its lead driver, the Briton then missed the first two races due to his car failing to run, but has made up for that by reaching the chequered flag on each of his subsequent appearances.
With a barely updated 2014 car and old-spec Ferrari engines, Stevens and fellow rookie team-mate Roberto Merhi cannot hope to challenge the bigger teams just yet but, with a new car due mid-season, the Briton is keen to prove that, after making his debut with Caterham in Abu Dhabi last year, he deserves a place at motorsport's top table.
“The only person I can race against at the moment is Roberto so it's nice to see people recognising that I'm doing a good job,” he said after beating his team-mate to the line in Bahrain, “I'm not just here for one year and to be running at the back – I want to move forward and I believe I can do a good job, whether it's here or wherever. I can always produce good results and it's nice to see that it's finally paying off.”
Although he has yet to better the 15th place he achieved in China earlier this month, Stevens believes that he is already on top of what he needs to be an F1 driver.
“I always felt that, when I got to F1, I could do a good job,” he confirmed, “Where I feel strong is in managing situations, and that's where I feel like I've got the upper hand compared to Roberto. I just need to keep plugging away - I'm still learning a lot, so I need to keep improving on myself because I'm sure Roberto will get his head around it. He's a good driver and he's been successful in F3 and had a DTM drive, so he's well respected. I just need to keep working in that direction and get good results.”
With three weeks to prepare for the first of the season's European races, Stevens is encouraged by the fact that he will not have spend the early part of the weekend getting to grips with a new circuit. Even in the age of simulators, familiarity is always an advantage, and the return to the Circuit de Catalunya - a venue he knows well from his time in the Renault World Series - should allow the Briton to make rapid inroads into his Friday programme.
“It will be nice to drive a track I already know as, with the flyaways, I have had to learn all the tracks,” he acknowledged, “I am really happy with how quickly I have got to grips with them and feel that the work I have done away from the circuit has helped me a lot, but Barcelona is a track I know really well and I've done pretty well there. I think, there, we can push on again and start moving forward. There is more we can get out of this car and we have to keep working towards that.”
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