Italian refusing to be distracted by F1 rumours Italian driver Mirko Bortolotti says he wants to focus on a potential second season in Formula Two rather than think about speculation linking him with a drive in Formula One. The...
Italian refusing to be distracted by F1 rumours
Italian driver Mirko Bortolotti says he wants to focus on a potential second season in Formula Two rather than think about speculation linking him with a drive in Formula One.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a whirlwind 18 months in motorsport, which has included an Italian F3 title, an F1 test with Ferrari, his first F2 race victory in Brno and a further Formula One test with Toro Rosso. Rumours persist that a number of F1 teams are monitoring Bortolotti's progress, but the Italian is in no rush to make the step up the highest level of the sport.
"F2 is still a major option for me in 2010 and I am not even thinking about F1 at the moment," said Bortolotti. "I am only 20-years-old and I think it is vital that you are fully prepared in terms of speed, experience and consistency before you make the step to Formula One. You have to have been through it all; you need to know how to be quick over one lap but also consistent over a race distance, you need to know how to turn bad situations into a good one for example. There are so many things that you need to learn and I want to reach Formula One when I am in the right moment of my career. F1 is F1 - it is not a game, so at the moment I am better to focus on learning and improving further for the future."
Despite his reticence over an F1 call-up in 2010, his recent test with Toro Rosso has certainly whetted Mirko's appetite for Formula One. "It was a great experience," he commented. "We had a different programme to the other teams of course, and mainly we were testing parts for 2010 on medium and hard tyre compounds. I would have been able to go a lot faster in terms of lap times but we didn't get the chance to complete a low fuel run. The most important thing however, is that the test was a real success and the team were very happy with the results.
"It was great for me to have the job of a real F1 test driver -- the team had a belief in me and I was trusted with some very important development work, which meant a lot."
Mirko's immediate future could consist of a second season in Formula Two after the Italian claimed one victory and a total of five podiums on his way to taking fourth in the overall standings in 2009. The youngster is no longer with the Red Bull Junior Team but he remains confident of securing a race programme for the upcoming campaign.
"Returning to F2 this season is an exciting possibility," he notes. "We were able to fight at the front last year but I had some bad luck, which meant I probably lost some positions in the championship. It was my first year in international motorsport so finishing fourth was a pretty good season -- it can always be better of course, but that's racing!
"I am looking forward rather than backwards anyway and I really liked being in F2 last season -- it is a great concept and a good championship. I know that the car is going to be improved and Jonathan Palmer and the team are working hard to push the championship forward in every way, which is impressive. I really don't know where I will be in 2010 at this moment, but if I am racing in F2 then I will definitely be targeting the championship."