International Formula Master runner-up eyes F2 title attack in 2010
Sergey Afanasiev has today (01/03) become the second Russian driver to join the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship.
Afanasiev, part of the Lukoil Driver Support Programme, joins the series after an impressive 2009 campaign which saw him finish as runner-up in the International Formula Master series. He scored one race victory and nine podiums from the 16 races, including top three finishes at Brno, Brands Hatch and Oschersleben all circuits F2 will visit in 2010. The 21-year-old also competed in IFM in 2008, recording one victory, two podiums and one pole.
Despite his young age the Russians single seater career dates back to 2004 when he won the Formula Russia championship in his maiden season. He went on to become a multiple race winner in Formula Renault 2.0 and also competed in the F3 EuroSeries and Formula Renault 3.5.
Afanasiev follows Ivan Samarin as the second Russian to join F2 for 2010, and Sergey will be hoping to repeat the 2009 success of fellow countryman Mikhail Aleshin, who finished third in last years FIA Formula Two Championship.
He said: "It is very difficult to find the right category each year and success in other series depends not only on a driver but also the right car, the right people and engineers. I’m pleased that the F2 car has been advanced for 2010 and I’m sure it will be really fast. I’m excited about the overboost button, which I cannot wait to try during a race weekend. My target is to first understand a new car and also to learn some fantastic circuits that I have never been to before. There will be many good drivers in the championship but I expect to be fighting for podiums.
Jonathan Palmer, Formula Two Series Director, said: Im very pleased Sergey has joined F2 and it will be the perfect championship for him to prove his talent. There is clearly a great deal of Russian talent emerging and Sergeys championship second place in Formula Master last year proves he is amongst the best, which is why he has been selected by Lukoil, who were also involved in F2 last season, for their young driver support programme. Sergey has had the benefit of seeing how F2 works last year when Formula Master supported the WTCC/F2 events, so it is a natural graduation and I expect him to be challenging for podiums.