Bertrand Baguette to test with Renault F1 Team at Jerez
Bertrand Baguette, crowned Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion at the end of an impressive 2009 campaign, will be behind the wheel of Renault F1 Team's R29 for a day of testing at the Jerez circuit on December 1. As a reward for his success, the Belgian driver will get a first taste of Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport, with the Renault F1 Team. This is also an ideal opportunity for Bertrand to gain some exposure especially looking ahead to 2010.
2009 was undoubtedly Bertrand Baguette's year in Formula Renault 3.5 Series with five wins and ten podium finishes. Having already claimed the title in the sixth round at Nürburgring in September, the Belgian driver finished the season on a high with a double-win at Motorland Aragon. Belgium has had to wait 42 years for a successor to Jacky Ickx, the last Belgian champion at this level of competition back in 1967.
Like Robert Kubica, Alx Danielsson, Alvaro Parente and Giedo Van der Garde before him, the 2009 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion gets the chance to test with the Renault F1 Team at the Jerez circuit on December 1.
"This will be a great first for me," explains the Belgian driver "it's all my childhood dreams come true and, at the same time, it's every racing driver's ultimate goal. It's thanks to Renault that I was able to get into single-seater racing, by winning a programme set up by Renault in Belgium to discover up-and-coming young talent from karting. Since then, I've driven every Renault single-seater, from Formula Renault 1.6 to Formula Renault 3.5 via Formula Renault 2.0. Driving the Renault F1 R29 kind of completes the set as far as I'm concerned! The first few laps in Formula 1 must be really unbelievable, with a lighter, more powerful car that has just phenomenal cornering speeds. I'll have everything to learn, not just the car itself, but also a new environment, lots of new parameters, a different way of working. The only thing I will be familiar with will be the Jerez circuit!"
Bertrand is currently preparing for the test day with a special physical training course. He will also visit the Renault F1 Team at Enstone in a few days' time for a bull briefing on the testing programme.
"The most important thing for me is not really driving the fastest possible lap. The aim of this day will be to work hard with the team and to carry out the test programme that Renault F1 Team is going to define seriously and professionally. Rather than my outright speed, it will be my ability to analyse the car's handling and my communication with the members of the team that will be gauged. I can't wait. I'm going to have to take things one step at a time and be cautious. It's a terrific opportunity to be able to take part in testing with a team as prestigious as the Renault F1 Team."