Stoneman: F2 is the best and quickest way for me to reach the top
Formula Renault UK race winner Dean Stoneman has become the latest driver to have signed up for the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship.
19-year-old Stoneman gained a reputation as one of the UKs most exciting young prospects after a superb breakthrough year in the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship. Dean took three wins, nine podiums and three pole positions in his first year in the series a better record than former Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamiltons debut season in the same formula.
Deans performances earned him a nomination for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, won in the past by David Coulthard and reigning F1 champion Jenson Button. He remained in Formula Renault for the 2009 season, finishing fourth overall with one victory, eight podiums and one pole to his credit despite some misfortune and reliability issues.
Stonemans single seater career dates back to 2006 when the young Briton contested selected rounds of Formula Renault 2.0 UK BARC. He stayed in the series the following year, finishing as the overall runner-up. He went on to contest that seasons Formula Renault UK Winter Series, immediately recording a podium finish.
Dean Stoneman said: I showed what I am capable of in my first season in Formula Renault, and although I had some bad luck last year I still scored well. I think Andy Soucek showed that if you win F2 you get noticed by some key figures in the sport, and for me Formula Two is the best and quickest way to reach the highest tier of motorsport. The Formula One test drive and the award of an FIA Superlicence for the top three are also big attractions, so this year I will be going out all out to try and win the F2 title.
F2 Series Director Jonathan Palmer said: Formula Two is the perfect step for Dean and Im thrilled he is joining the grid. His strong performances in two years of Formula Renault UK have marked him out as one of the few British drivers with a realistic chance of making it to F1, particularly as he has been racing without the benefit of a leading big name team. With greater reliability, he would have scored even better results. Now with identical equipment to his rivals, Dean will surely be a championship challenger in his first year of F2 and his tough determined character will mean he certainly wont be overawed by more the experienced drivers.