BRITISH RACING DRIVER ALEXANDER SIMS COMPLETES PRIZE WINNING TEST IN A VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES FORMULA ONE CAR
British racing driver Alexander Sims today took a step closer to realising his dream of racing in Formula One when he tested the 2008 MP4-23 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One car at Silverstone. Today's test was Alexander's prize for winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2008. Past winners of the award include David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti, Gary Paffett and Jenson Button, and the award is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious of its kind.
After a thorough briefing from the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers, Alexander took to the Silverstone South Circuit and immediately started to get to grips with the car. Capable of a top speed of 181mph and with the ability to go from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds, this car was a big step up on all fronts from the F3 cars that Alexander has been driving over the past two years.
After doing an installation lap, Alexander brought the car back into the pits and then headed out for the first full run of the day which consisted of six laps of the circuit. As the focus of today's test was to get as much experience and track time as possible, there was no time to analyse the data from his laps of the track so having successfully completed the six laps, he headed back out for his second run (ten laps).
"Today was the most incredible experience of my life. I've driven some great cars in my racing career but the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 Formula One car was like nothing I've ever experienced and it really blew me away!" commented Alexander Sims.
"The first time you go full throttle in the car and then feel its reaction under breaking is simply incredible and you realise exactly what you've got underneath you! Once I got heat in the tyres I was able to understand pretty quickly what I could do with the car, how it responds to you, how late you can brake and how to get the most out of it;" continued Alexander.
"I want to say a big thank you to everyone that made today possible. It was fantastic to work with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One team and I also want to thank the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award for offering such an amazing prize. It's safe to say that now I've had the opportunity to experience driving a Formula One car that I am even more determined to succeed in my ambition of driving in Formula One in the future;" commented Alexander.
"Firstly, Alexander is one of the nicest young men you would wish to meet. Secondly, he did everything that was expected of him under the circumstances. It was a very cold and blustery day, so to do such a competent job as Alexander did on his first acquaintance with a Formula One car, clearly demonstrates the level that he is at already." commented McLaren's test team manager Indy Lall.
"His feedback was very precise, which allowed the Team to make improvements to the balance of the car during his short runs today. Alexander left the Team having not only done a good job, but to see the joy in his face made the whole event very worthwhile. We wish Alexander much success for his career which will undoubtedly reach the top level;" continued Indy Lall.
Alexander and his management are currently in the process of considering options for the 2011 season. Last month Alexander completed a three day GP3 test and over the next two months he will be competing in a series of tests for other top level racing series.