Laurens Vanthoor looks ahead to 2011
With a second place in the renowned F3 GP of Macau Laurens Vanthoor finished off his 2010 season on a high note. In the meantime the VW Motorsport driver is busy preparing the 2011 season, a season in which he will once again be working with the same partners as during the 2010 season: VW Motorsport, Signature, the Belgian VW Club and the RACB National Team. In conjunction with these partners his overall objective is the title in the 2011 EuroSeries F3 and most likely also a strong performance in the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy.
Similar to this season Laurens Vanthoor will be competing in the EuroSeries F3 in 2011 as almost certain in the the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy, with classics as the Formula 3 Masters in Zandvoort and the F3 GP of Macau on the calendar. Time for an interview with the young Belgian driver.
Laurens, how do you see yourself in 2011?
Laurens Vanthoor: "Actually all parameters in the 2011 EuroSeries F3 are identical to those of 2010, with one major exception: I really want the title in the EuroSeries F3. For me this is now the year of truth if I still want to reach my final objective, namely F1. The partners with whom I worked in 2010 believe in me and I in them, and that is a perfect foundation to build on for 2011. We form one solid unit and together we'll put in some strong performances, that's for sure. I'm looking at a mix of hard work, full trust and perhaps here and there a trickle of good luck; these are definitely the ingredients to produce a strong 2011 season, with the title in the F3 EuroSeries as main target, but also strong performances in the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy on the agenda."
These recent F1 tests in Abu Dhabi with the rookies, why were you not amongst them this year?
"I did in fact receive a proposal to carry out some tests, but I didn't feel that the moment was ripe and it was more opportune for me to concentrate fully on Macau in order to put in a strong performance there. F1 is my future target, but this season Macau took priority."
You are back with the same partners in the F3 EuroSeries, but there are quite a few changes?
"Indeed, in the first instance there's the format of the weekends, with now three races as opposed to two. Also the major sore point; the easy scoring during the second race with its inverted starting grid has been taken into hand. The first race (40'), with a grid based on the second fastest qualifying time and the second race (20'), with an inverted starting grid now take place on the Saturday, whereas the main race is run on the Sunday, with a starting grid based on the qualifying times. As such the main race is moved to the Sunday, which is a good deal for the drivers, the general public as also the media. Everything becomes far clearer. In 2011 we will also be competing several times with the Le Mans Series - next to the DTM-meetings. We will also be back live on TV, allowing the Belgian fans once again to be closely involved in the championship and in that light a race on home soil would be absolutely great"
In addition in 2011 the FIA will be grouping together all classics into one championship.
"Indeed, the FIA recently announced that it will be launching a new F3 Championship in 2011: the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. This championship will be comprised of six meetings, with amongst others the Masters in Zandvoort, the GP F3 in Macau and the F3 race at Spa during the weekend of the 24 Hours of Spa, which is fantastic for me as I never had the occasion so far to perform in front of my crowd. The top-3 of the series of the trophy will receive a super licence. I'm looking forward to it, especially seeing the top-3 will be awarded a super licence. Nothing is definite as yet, but there's a very good chance that I will add this to my calendar. I would anyway have competed in some of these races and also want to battle it out for the title in this new competition."
EuroSeries F3 Calendar 2011:
2-3 April: Paul Ricard
30-31 May: Hockenheim
14-15 May: Zandvoort
4-5 June: Zeltweg
2-3 July: Norisring
6-7 August: Nurburgring
10-11 September: Silverstone
1-2 October: Valencia
22-23 October: Hockenheim
22 May: Pau (F)
31 May: Hockenheim (D)
31 July: Spa-Francorchamps (B)
14 August: Zandvoort (NL)
20 November Macau(China)
27 November: Zuid-Korea