Tag Archives: British F3

Virgin replace Parente with Soucek

Andy Soucek

Andy Soucek

Virgin Racing have announced that Formula 2 champion Andy Soucek has been signed as their reserve and test driver for the season.

Initially, this role was handed to Alvaro Parente, who is currently racing in the GP2 Series. He was the former 2007 World Series by Renault and 2005 British F3 champion. However, his sponsors, the Portugese tourism institute, pulled out, leaving him with no sponsorship.

This means that Soucek will join Luiz Razia in the reserve squad in Virgin Racing. Soucek said today:

“I am thrilled to be joining Virgin Racing. This role offers me a great opportunity to prepare myself for the Formula 1 environment, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie.”

“I look forward to learning from Timo and Lucas as well as soaking up as much information as possible from engineering meetings and time on the simulator. I would like to thank John Booth (Team Principal) and Nick Wirth (Technical Director) in particular for the faith they have shown in me at this stage in my career.”

Team Principal John Booth added:

“We are delighted to welcome Andy Soucek to Virgin Racing. He had a very good season in Formula 2 last year and a positive F1 test with Williams. He is certainly someone we have been keeping a close eye on, as we believe he has a great deal of potential. We expect him to be a real asset to our development programme with the VR-01 and at the same time he provides the experience we need, should he be required to deputise for one of the race drivers at short notice.”

It has always been my belief that after winning the F2 title last year, Soucek would find a way into F1. The problem is, how is he going to get any track time? Testing concludes after the next 4-day session in Barcelona, so he won’t get any running all year. Hopefully we can watch him develop in this year’s F2 championship.

Ricciardo and Hartley are Red Bull reserves

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull has announced that their 2010 reserve drivers to be Daniel Ricciardo and Brendon Hartley. Both of these drivers are already in the Red Bull junior team.

Brendon Hartley

Brendon Hartley

It is also understood that the two drivers will alternate reserve driver duties on a race-by-race basis.

Ricciardo impressed last year in the young driver test in December, while Hartley was reserve driver for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso last year.

When asked about this, Ricciardo said:

“It’s very exciting. It was an email I was hoping for since the test in December, but I wasn’t sure whether it would come at all. So, a big relief, but also very satisfying.”

“This will be a very good introduction to F1 – even though I won’t be driving the car, just to sit in on the briefings and do what the drivers do on a weekend is a good way to start learning. It’s all exciting and I’ll be busy, even though I’m not driving.”

At the moment, Australian Ricciardo is the reigning British Formula Three champion. In 200, he raced in the Italian Formula Renault series, and in 2008 won the Formula Renault West European cup, with 8 wins. Last year, he won the British F3 series with 2 races to spare. I’m expecting him to be in Formula 1 in the next few years, as his racing history shows he has a huge amount of talent.

Here’s a great overtake in the British F3 championship from Ricciardo:

And a burnout as well :)

Kiwi Brendon Hartley started in 2006 in Formula Renault 2.0. In 2007 he won the Eurocup title, and in 2008 raced in British F3 just like Ricciardo. Here, he finised 3rd, behind Jaime Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey. In 2009, he competed in the Formula 3 Euroseries. I don’t know as much about him, but he clearly deserves the opportunity to be in the Red Bull junior team.

Here’s a video I found about him when he competed in the famous F3 Macau Grand Prix:

As always, I love to see the new guys get a chance in Formula1. Both have lots of talent, and deserve this opportunity. Hopefully we can see them racing in F1 in a few years time.

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