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Oliver Turvey, Carlin Motorsport - Q&A

15 March 2009

Despite entering his first year in the World Series by Renault, British F3 runner-up Oliver Turvey sees no reason why he and Carlin Motorsport can't aim for the very top in 2009.

Q:
You had a very successful season in British F3 last year, how does it feel to be making the step up to World Series?

Oliver Turvey:
It's really good. I'm really pleased to be staying with Carlin as well and to be continuing the relationship we had last year. We had a great 2008 season and to finish as vice-champion in my first season in F3 was a fantastic result for everyone involved, including the Racing Steps Foundation. Hopefully, this year, we can go one better and win the championship.

Q:
How does it feel to be team-mates with Jaime Alguersuari again this season, having raced against each other so closely last year?

OT:
I think it's a good thing, we know each other very well, and we know we can work together to develop the car, which is what we did last year. Jaime is a very strong driver, we pushed each other last year and I think it will be a close battle again in World Series.

Q:
What does it mean to have the support of the Racing Steps Foundation for another season?

OT:
It means a lot. It's fantastic to secure the backing of the Racing Steps Foundation for another season. Without their support, I would really have struggled to find the funding to race with a top team like Carlin in F3 last year and, similarly, probably wouldn't be able to race in World Series this year without their support.

Q:
You're a World Series by Renault rookie, but you've already completed a comprehensive test programme with Carlin, have you been happy with your progress?

OT:
We completed four days testing before Christmas; two at Paul Ricard and two days in Valencia. We've just completed two days at Jerez as well which went very well. The World Series is a very different car to an F3 car, it's a big car, there's more weight, there's more power and there's more grip. I think we made some really good progress at the end of last year and, by the end of the Valencia test, I was feeling very comfortable in the car. In Jerez, we've been able to focus on setting up the car, rather than me adjusting to it.

Q:
You raced in Formula Renault Eurocup in 2007, so you make a return to the World Series package this season. Are there any circuits that you are looking forward to on the World Series calendar?

OT:
I've got experience on most of the circuits we're visiting this year through my time in Formula Renault Eurocup. Monaco, Portimao and Motorland will be new circuits for me, but I'm really pleased with the calendar overall, I think it looks great. It's good experience for the future to race on such great circuits in a high powered car. Spa is probably the circuit that stands out for me, its one of my favourite tracks, and I was really strong there in F3 last year, so I'm hoping we have a good race there this year.

Q:
A lot of drivers see GP2 as the main feeder series for F1, but do you think the World Series is equally as good a stepping stone? Where do you hope to go from World Series?

OT:
World Series is a very strong series for drivers wanting to reach F1, it's helped drivers like [Robert] Kubica and [Sebastian] Vettel in the last few years, who both went straight from World Series to F1, so I think it's a strong series in that sense. Renault put on a really good show as well, they have massive crowds and it always has that feeling of being a big event. In terms of my ambitions beyond World Series, this year I'm just going to focus on my racing rather than wondering what might come next.

Q:
You nearly won the British F3 title at your first attempt, while also completing your undergraduate degree at Cambridge University last year. Do you think you could become a rookie World Series champion this season?

OT:
Yes, that's got to be the aim. I'm focusing on the testing at the moment, learning about the car and set-up changes and we'll see how the season goes from there. Hopefully, we can be up there challenging at the front of the grid.


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