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FR3.5: I know I am capable of winning - Stevens

In his second year with Strakka Racing, Will Stevens believes team continuity could benefit his last few races as he eyes F1 drive.
Strakka Racing's Will Stevens believes he is “capable of winning more races this year” as Formula Renault 3.5 arrives in Hungary following a lengthy summer break.

Speaking to shortly before his return to the cockpit, the Briton acknowledged that his one win and two podium finishes is not enough to secure a top four finish in the championship, the 23-year-old's main target.

“Last year I was fourth in the standings and I would be disappointed if we ended up lower than that,” he conceded. “The calibre is really high this year and it is very close at the sharp end”.

“You saw how (Roberto) Merhi rose from sixth to second after Moscow – that shows it is tight but gains are possible.”

The two month summer break allowed plenty of time for the young British racer to consider his options for the remaining three rounds of the championship. The next circuit, the Hungaroring, has been a place of great success for Stevens who finished third for his only podium finish of the 2012 FR3.5 season with Carlin.

“Monza kicked off well and we scored that important early win,” he said. “We had hoped for more wins by this point in the season and sometimes we haven't quite got the performance from the car we expected so we have made the most of the summer break to look at all areas and see what we could improve.”

When asked where the potential for improvements lie, Stevens opened up about the team's one lap pace and just how crucial a strong qualifying is to an FR3.5 campaign. Ten of the eleven races contested this year have been won from pole position, proving that a quick morning showing can help determine a drivers' afternoon result.

“Getting the most out of the tyres for qualy that leads to single lap pace is one example where we want to try some different things,” he explains just one day before Friday practice gets under way in Hungary. “Qualifying is so important in FR3.5 and I think we are still learning about the getting the best from the latest car (with the updates that came in this year).”

“I am looking forward to getting back racing this weekend and putting the theory and hard work the team did into practice.”

Now in his third FR3.5 season, and his second with Strakka Racing, the Briton admits that his options for next year will be decided by his results at the next six races.

“My ultimate goal is naturally to reach F1. Winning is a part of getting there but I am getting to prove my capability and readiness in other areas,” he adds, noting the key components of securing an F1 drive. All of the 23-year-old's previous F1 experience has come courtesy of Caterham.

“We had the F1 test at Silverstone where I ran around 100 laps at Silverstone. Put this together with the time I am spending in the sim, racking up 10,000kms and my experience at the top level is growing all the time. I've got my super licence too so that is all coming together well.”

The FR3.5 veteran now sits sixth in the drivers' standings, just five points behind fifth placed man Sergey Sirotkin. Red Bull ace Carlos Sainz Jr. holds a narrow lead over Caterham's Monza FP1 recruit Roberto Merhi.
by Katie Grimmett

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Stevens - Strakka Racing [pic credit: Renault Sport Media]
Matevos Isaakyan, SMP Racing [credit: Formula V8 3.5]
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5 series/RPM Racing
Rene Binder, Lotus - Photo credit: Formula V8 3.5
Lotus Formula V8 3.5 team - Photo credit: RPM Racing Media
Formula V8 - Photo credit: RPM Racing media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy / Formula V8 3.5 media
Photo credit: Foto Speedy / Formula V8 3.5 media
Aurelien Panis - Tech 1 Racing [credit: Renault Sport Media]
Jake Hughes - Photo credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Louis Deletraz - Photo credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
Tom Dillmann - Photo credit: DPPI / Florent Gooden / Renault Sport Media
Tom Dillmann - Photo credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI / Renault Sport Media
AVF - Photo credit: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency / LAT Photographic / Renault Sport Media
Carlin Racing - Photo credit: Lorenzo Charlez / AS Media / Renault Sport Media

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