Brands Hatch race winner targets championship win and F1 test drive in 2010
20-year-old Austrian driver Philipp Eng has confirmed he will return to Formula Two for a second season, after an impressive debut campaign in 2009 which included two podiums and a dominant win at Brands Hatch.
Eng scored a third place finish during the inaugural weekend in Valencia and repeated the feat at the second event in Brno, Czech Republic. He claimed his first F2 pole position at Brands Hatch in July, which he converted into a lights-to-flag victory at the legendary Kent venue resisting the challenge of eventual 2009 champion Andy Soucek. He suffered a run of bad luck in the latter part of the season but scored further points finishes at Donington Park, Imola and Barcelona, and finished the year eighth in the overall standings.
The Salzburg-born racer, who is mentored by ex-F1 pilot Christian Danner, has already experienced Formula One machinery having tested with the BMW Sauber Team in 2008 as a reward for winning the BMW World Final the previous year. Now targeting the title in his second F2 campaign, Eng is hoping to win the championship and earn another Formula One test drive prize this time with the Williams F1 Team.
Philipp Eng said: I am extremely delighted to be returning to Formula Two it is just a great feeling to know that I will be racing in a top level single seater series again. It is always a nerve wracking time when youre trying to secure a drive but now I can sleep easier knowing that I am back in F2! Like some other drivers, I will have the advantage of this being my second season but you cannot take that for granted. Kazim Vasiliauskas and Nicola De Marco will be very strong, Jolyon Palmer also went really well during winter testing and I am sure there will be some good rookies coming too, so it will not be easy. I want to at least finish in the top three overall but my main aim is to win the championship.
F2 Series Director Jonathan Palmer said: Philipp Eng impressed me enormously during the 2009 F2 season. Despite his young age and very limited experience, he proved his natural speed immediately with a remarkable top three place at the first event in Valencia. Philipp’s dominant performance at Brands Hatch, when he won from pole position at a track renowned to be a challenging drivers‘ circuit, was outstanding. I expect Philipp to be a multiple race winner in F2 during 2010 and to finish in the top three in the championship – with a realistic chance of winning it.