British F3 teams have admitted their pride at the fact that six drivers to have raced in the series will line-up on track at Jerez this week for the F1 young driver test.
The drivers will be led by defending champion Daniel Ricciardo, who will run with Red Bull Racing, while Brendon Hartley and Oliver Turvey – who finished second and third in 2008 – will be out with Toro Rosso and McLaren respectively. Former scholarship class winner Gary Paffett will also be on track with McLaren during the three days.
Two former British F3 racers will test with Brawn GP as Mike Conway and Marcus Ericsson get the chance to sample F1 machinery with the new champions while F3 Euroseries title winner Jules Bianchi – who drove as a guest driver in the races in Portugal earlier this year – will be on track with Ferrari.
“To see so many former British F3 drivers selected by Grand Prix teams is not only heartening but also a massive endorsement of the championship as the best training ground for the future F1 star,” British F3 teams spokesman Peter Briggs said. “I'm sure it won't be long before some of this current crop get their chance to follow Jaime Alguersuari into a regular seat with a Grand Prix team.”
Alguersuari, title winner in British F3 last year, got his break with Toro Rosso following the departure of Sebastien Bourdais and is set to retain his seat for 2010.