by Craig Llewellyn

McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Stefan Wilson has admitted that his sights are aimed higher now that he has been afforded the prestigious accolade.

Originally targeting Formula Renault as his next step after finishing second in the 2007 Formula Palmer Audi series, Wilson had been angling after a possible F3 ride following his nomination amongst the candidates for the award. As usual, the future depended on whether a budget could be secured but, despite that still being the case, the 18-year old has revealed that the World Series by Renault has been added to his list of opportunities.

"I've had a lot of interest for next year after winning the award, but I'm not really sure at the minute what we're going to decide," he explained to Crash.net Radio, "We've just got to weigh up our options.

"We could jump to F3, or World Series by Renault may even be possible. It would be great to do that, but I'm not counting on anything yet. We're still looking at our previous option, which was Formula Renault, but I'm looking at World Series as well. It looks a really good championship with great cars."

One of those 'great cars' featured in the assessment programme for the Young Driver award, and Wilson excelled himself in the Comtec-run machine despite having only a year of single-seater action under his belt.

"The step up in performance was immense - the DTM and World Series cars are very powerful, with a lot of downforce and grip," he said of the machines that helped to bring him to the attention of the panel of judges at Snetterton, "You really have to push them hard to try and find the limit - and the limit is a lot harder to find in those cars than in a Palmer Audi.

"It was tricky because you only got 30 laps in the cars. It was tricky to adjust your driving style, but I think I did a good job. Now I want to do a test day in [a World Series car] to make sure we're making the right decision."

Should the WSbR prove to be out of reach financially, Wilson could find himself up against his rivals for the Young Driver award if he opts for F3 instead. Although FRenault champion Duncan Tappy has his own eyes on the World Series in 2008, Henry Arundel, Nick Tandy and Callum McLeod have all confirmed F3 programmes, while Dean Smith is understood to be considering a similar move.

"I'm not sure what the rest of the guys are doing, but they all seem to be very keen on F3," Wilson confirmed, "I'm currently trying to find the budget, but it would be great to do it and race against the people I did the award with."

Whatever he finds himself in next year, however, Wilson knows that, a little further in the future, he will be getting his hands on the ultimate prize drive - a McLaren F1 car. Although his test has yet to be scheduled and, based on recent winners, could be more than twelve months away, the teenager is prepared to wait.

"I think it will be quite a way off yet, but I've got something to look forward to now," he smiled, "It's been a life-long dream to drive an F1 car but to do, not only that, but in a McLaren, is out of this world. Just seeing my name on the side of the car the other night was very satisfying...."

 

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