GP2 driver an F1 hopeful Alex Lynn feels his prospects of progressing to Formula 1 soon have been boosted by the trailblazing immediate success of Max Verstappen and Stoffel Vandoorne ahead of him.
The 2014 GP3 Series champion heads into his second season of GP2 racing this year with DAMS as he looks to build on a race winning maiden campaign, whilst at the same time dovetailing his commitments as development driver for the Williams F1 team.
Indeed, Lynn, 22, comes into the 2016 season eager to take a step forward and emulate Vandoorne in challenging for the title, if not necessarily the dominant manner the Belgian enjoyed.
“I don't want to sit there and go 'I'm going to do that', because it was pretty out of the ordinary. But fair enough - he deserved all of those! But I definitely want to win loads of races, win the championship in a convincing manner. Or just win it, to be honest!
“At the end of the day there're so many competitive drivers and I love the fact that the championship is so raw - it's the best drivers, the best teams, all going at it. There's no other politics, it's just pure racing. That's what I like and hopefully… Usually the cream rises to the top and hopefully I will be that guy!”
Beyond that, Lynn feels the 2017 season could see 'everything change' in F1, saying Verstappen, Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz have proven young, relatively inexperienced drivers can flourish if given the shot.
“I feel quite lucky that I think this year could be the year that everything starts to change. I think it's really helped by the fact we've got guys like Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz [Jr], we've got Stoffel [Vandoorne] doing a great job in his first race… It's proving all the time that the guys from the junior categories can compete straight away, fight with the big guys and with previous world champions. So I think, yeah, I think this is the year that everything could change.
“I know that if I can do the business, it's going to give me the best chance possible,” he continued. “How the driver market looks like it could possibly play out, I'm hopefully going to get a chance.”