Soucek gears up for 'dream' Williams Formula One test
Spaniard ready to receive prize for winning 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship
24-year-old Spaniard Andy Soucek has described his forthcoming test in Jerez tomorrow (1 December) for the Williams F1 team as a 'dream come true', and insists he is feeling confident and relaxed ahead of the experience.
Soucek received the test as part of his prize for winning the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship, which he clinched in magnificent style after taking five wins over the season. He will drive for Williams for the first day of the three day test, after which Nico Hulkenberg - confirmed to drive for the team in 2010 - will take over testing duties.
Soucek visited the Williams factory in Grove last week for his official seat fitting, and admitted he had been delighted to meet the team for the first time. "For me it is like a dream come true, having an F1 team focus on you for an entire day," he explained. "Williams really do set the highest standards, and every detail is examined and catered for - I even had three people analysing how my seat position could improve!
"It's a big responsibility driving Williams' car, and as always I'll be going out hoping to be fast and do the best job I can. However I'm not putting myself under too much pressure; I'm confident and relaxed more than anything else, and it will just be great to get experience from the test and get reference points of how Formula One works."
Soucek will be joined at the test by some of the best young drivers in the world, including F2 pilot Mirko Bortolotti, who will test for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team. The Spaniard insisted, however, that all the drivers would be judged on more than just their raw speed.
"The test is about an accumulation of factors," he said. "You need to be able to create and build a good environment with the team, you have to deliver good and accurate reports on the car, and of course you have to be quick. If you put everything together, then you have a good test. I'm just going to be myself and be natural.
"I knew I had the test after Imola where I won the championship, so since then I have been training a lot, working on my neck and my fitness. F1 requires you to be in very good physical shape, so I have been working hard. It's also about your mental state, so I have spent the last few days with my grandmother and family in order to be fully focussed before the test. On Monday I will spend the whole day with my engineer making final adjustments, and then I'm sure the nerves will kick in the night before.
"Overall though I'm feeling very relaxed and confident. I have even had my Stilo helmet repainted with the Williams blue and white colour scheme, and it looks really good. The team made me feel very comfortable, and I can't wait to get out in the car!"