Tristan Vautier to replace Edoardo Piscopo for Barcelona

Tristan Vautier to replace Edoardo Piscopo for Barcelona
Frenchman joins F2 after strong campaign in FPA

Jonathan Palmer and Tristan Vautier

Tristan Vautier will make his FIA Formula Two debut next weekend in Barcelona, after agreeing a deal to replace Edoardo Piscopo for the final round.

Piscopo, who currently lies 11th in the drivers’ standings, is unable to compete in Spain after signing up to contest the GP2 Asia series. The Italian is looking to gain experience before returning to F2 for a renewed title challenge in 2010.

Vautier, 20, has spent the season contesting the 2009 Formula Palmer Audi Championship, in which he finished a close fourth after leading for much of the first half of the season. His tally of six wins – which included a run of four consecutive victories – was the highest of any driver in the series, and he remained in contention for the title going into the final round of the season at Snetterton.

Vautier is due to test at Barcelona along with the other 24 drivers on the Monday, and will have two further practice sessions on the circuit before first qualifying on Friday 30 October.

“This is a very good opportunity for me,” Vautier said. “I’m hoping to race in Formula Two next year, so this is a great chance to learn the car and get an idea of how the championship works and how competitive I can be.

“I’m not setting myself any targets, I’m just focussing on doing my best, learning the car and improving lap by lap. I’ve adapted to different cars in the past but the F2 field is very strong, so I’m not going to set any precise objectives.

“It’s a bit of luck to have an official test day just before the round, as it will hopefully help me get an idea of the car and how it behaves. I’ve raced at the circuit before and I like the track, and I know the organisation well from my season in FPA. I’ve also beaten Kazim Vasiliauskas on several occasions this year in FPA, so my confidence is high and I’m hoping to show the same kind of pace in Spain.”

Formula Two Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tristan to F2 for the final round of 2009. Tristan has really impressed me in FPA this season with his speed, racecraft and attitude, and could easily have won the title.  He knows F2 will be tough but I have no doubt he will do a very good job, particularly with a test day at Barcelona in preparation.”

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