Formula Two to play central role in Awards final assessment process
The FIA Formula Two Championship will play a pivotal part in the 22nd McLaren Autosport BRDC Award after today (04/03) announcing a partnership to supply six Williams JPH1B cars for the final driver assessment process.
The prestigious award previously won by David Coulthard and reigning FIA Formula One World Champion Jenson Button – is set to undergo one of the biggest enhancements in its history thanks to the link-up with Formula Two. The move to supply six F2 cars will transform the driver assessment process as there will be enough machines to enable all of the finalists to be on the track at the same time something that had proved impossible in the past.
Formula Two will now provide the cars and the engineering support for the award, whilst there are also plans in place for a frontrunner from the 2010 championship to provide a benchmark for the six MABA finalists. There is the potential to change the format to include qualifying runs, race simulations, pitstops and technical feedback appraisals.
The McLaren Autosport BRDC Award is the worlds premier young driver award, aimed at rewarding the best young racing drivers from the UK, where a final shortlist of six drivers are evaluated both in and out of a number of racing cars. An experienced panel of judges decide on a winner who is then awarded a £50,000 cash prize and a test in a McLaren Formula One car.
Formula 3 had previously been used for the single seater element, but a lack of cars often meant that drivers were assessed at different times and in differing weather conditions, whilst a number of drivers also gained an advantage by testing an F3 car prior to the shootout.
Jonathan Palmer, Formula Two Series Director, said: The single seater is the most important part of the evaluation, but its frustrating to have to run drivers in batches because of the resources that have previously been available.
Even if we tested in Spain the track conditions would vary with temperature. Comparing drivers in different weather conditions and at different times complicates the whole process. Using six F2 cars will allow the judges to compare drivers in the same cars at the same time.
This gives us a real opportunity to get creative with the appraisal. We can do more running and give the judges a huge amount more data with which to evaluate the drivers.
Long-serving MABA judge and veteran commentator Ian Titchmarsh said: Just like F2 itself as a racing category, the introduction of F2 cars into the Award test days will provide a much more level playing field, while at the same time offering the opportunity to test the finalists in ways which have simply not been possible previously.