Will Stevens will contest the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship again in 2014, it has been announced.
The 22-year-old, who finished fourth in the series last season, taking five podiums in total, will remain with P1 Motorsport by Strakka, although the squad will compete under the Strakka Racing banner this season.
“My goal is to be in F1, and having discussed this with the Caterham Racing Academy, we have decided the right route for me is to stay in Formula Renault 3.5 and win the Championship,” Stevens said. “I developed a great relationship with my engineer at Strakka last season and the consistency of continuing that, together with my experience in the Series, should provide me with the platform to achieve my objective.”
Stevens took part in the F1 Young Driver Test at Silverstone last summer and also did some straight line tests with Caterham. He is now hoping to get more F1 mileage in 2014 alongside his outings in the World Series by Renault.
“As part of my participation in the Caterham Racing Academy, the team will give me as much exposure to F1 as they can to assist in my development. I'm hoping to get some more F1 testing during the year in order to continue my preparation for the next step towards my ultimate objective which is a race seat with Caterham,” he added.
Stevens had explored the option of switching to GP2 in 2014 and tested with the Caterham GP2 Team in Abu Dhabi.
“We gave the switch to GP2 very serious consideration and I like the Series but I have never in my career had two consecutive seasons with the same team in the same category and the chance to do that and really build on the solid year we had in 2013 swung the decision,” he explained.
Mike Henderson, Stevens' race engineer at Strakka Racing, meanwhile is confident the Brit can mount a serious title bid in 2014.
“We are delighted that Will has decided to remain in the Championship with us. We put together a consistent run of points' finishes and podiums last season and his performances towards the end of the year, particularly at Barcelona where he was the only one to give Kevin Magnussen [who won the title and who will now race with McLaren in F1] a hard time, demonstrated he will be a real Championship contender this year," Henderson concluded.