What a fantastic winter I've had! It has been about six months since the last World Series race of 2008 but the time has flown by, as I've been busy making sure everything is in place for this year. This is a very important season for me as I have a shot at the Formula Renault 3.5 title and I intend to give it everything I've got.

After the good results started coming at the end of last year, my management team started talking to P1 Motorsport. It's definitely one of the best teams in the series and it's where I wanted to be, especially as they won the driver's title with Giedo van der Garde. I tested for P1 at Paul Ricard and Valencia before the winter break and I knew then that, if I was going to do another season of Renault 3.5, then it had to be with P1.

The team has the perfect combination of elements. The atmosphere is great and everyone is focused on one clear goal: winning! I'm really enjoying working with Roly Vincini and the plan is to continue working the way we have been for the rest of the year.

That said, it was a tough decision to leave Fortec, as we were just starting to get good results as last season ended. We worked well together for two years, but a decision had to be made. The decision was made easier by the feeling I had the first time I drove the P1 car.

Pre-season testing has been a revelation for me as everything has clicked into place. I don't think I've been in such a good position to win a championship since I won the British Junior Formula Ford title in 2003. I'm pleased with what we've been able to achieve during testing, but you don't get points for that, so we've got to make it count when we arrive for race one in Barcelona.

The car is a bit different this year. The new aero package now gives us less drag than before. We've seen some interesting differences and I think we've adapted well. I think the cars look great without all the aero flick-ups and they are more of a challenge to drive.

I'm hoping the season starts well for us in Barcelona as it's important to hit the ground running when you are chasing a title - and that has to be my target for 2009. In all the pre-season testing, we haven't been out of the top four, so we've got as good a chance as you could wish for. I would love to get my first Formula Renault 3.5 pole position at Barcelona and there's no reason why I can't do that.

The Circuit de Catalunya is a great track. It has a little bit of everything so it's no surprise it is such a popular F1 testing venue. It has some great high speed corners and some difficult slow speed stuff. Physically, its okay, but your neck feels a bit sore the day after driving there. I finished on the podium at the last race last year with Fortec, so the signs are good for this coming weekend.

Obviously, I want to win this weekend, but you've got to remember that it's a long championship. Two podiums would be a good result...but I'd rather win!

JW

 

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