Alvaro Parente to test with ING Renault F1 Team on January 17
Just like past champions Robert Kubica and Alx Danielsson in previous years, Alvaro Parente is to be given the opportunity to take a test drive with the ING Renault F1 Team as a reward for winning the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 title. The Portuguese driver will try his hand at the wheel of the R27 at Spain's Jerez circuit on January 17.
As luck would have it, Alvaro Parente happened to be at the Jerez circuit when he received his invitation. The driver from Porto was completing the development of New Formula Renault 3.5, which will make its track debut in World Series by Renault 2008.
"It's a dream come true. My aim has always been to drive an F1 car one day," said Alvaro. "I knew that winning the title would lead to a test with ING Renault F1 Team, but still, it was as though Christmas had come early when they gave me the date. For the next month I'll be focussing all my attention on this. It's a very important moment in my career. I'm going to step up my physical training programme so that I'm 100% ready on January 17th."
Alvaro will travel to the Enstone plant in early January to meet the team, get his seat moulded and attend technical briefings. He will be inducted into the ING Renault F1 Team from January 14th, which will give him the chance to immerse himself fully in their working methods. Then comes the big day itself: on Thursday 17th he will take the wheel of an F1 car for the very first time. "I think there will be a lot to take in over the first three days as I watch the team and the drivers at work. It's no accident that ING Renault F1 Team and Fernando Alonso won the World Championship two years running! Working with such a successful team can only have a beneficial effect on the rest of my career."
Despite the enormity of the occasion, the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 champion is determined to keep his nerves under control: "I've always taken a calm, measured approach to things, and that's served me well throughout my career! I'll be looking to make the best possible job of things for Renault at Jerez. With the restrictions on private testing, every kilometre counts for the F1 team, so I'll be doing my best to help the team by sticking closely to whatever test programme they decide to give me. My aims for the day will be to have fun and to do a good job."
About Alvaro Parente
Born October 4, 1984 in Porto, Portugal
1998: European Junior Karting Champion
2001: Has first experiences in single-seater racing, competing in a few Spanish F3 Championship with G-Tec.
2002: Fifth in the Spanish F3 Championship (Racing Engineering, 1 race win)
2003: F3 Euro Series (Ghinzani), competes in several races in the Italian and British Championships
2004: Seventh in the UK F3 Championship (Carlin Motorsport, 1 race win)
2005: UK F3 Championship (Carlin Motorsport, 11 race wins), A1 Grand Prix
2006: Fifth in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 (Victory Engineering, 3 race wins), A1 Grand Prix
2007: World Series Formula Renault 3.5 Champion (Tech 1 Racing, 2 race wins)