Q & A with Oliver Turvey
|By Glenn Freeman||Monday, December 4th 2006, 12:56 GMT|
Q. Oliver, how are you feeling now that a few minutes have passed since the announcement?
Oliver Turvey - McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner: It's still a bit of a blur. It's going to take a while to sink in. This award is huge, and all of the past winners have gone on the great careers, and hopefully I can emulate them. I'd love to race F1 but my aim is to become a professional racing driver. The F1 test will help because I don't have any experience of driving such an amazing car.
Q. What was your initial reaction when the winner was announced?
OT: I heard my name, but I couldn't believe it. Then I thought 'yes, it is my name' and then my whole table went crazy. It's been so hard for my parents, we've been racing 11 years now and we've never had the budget.
We've always relied on sponsors, and I've got some guys here who have sponsored me for a long time, and without them I wouldn't be here. Loctite especially, because this year I didn't have a drive and they came on board to sponsor me in Formula BMW.
Q. This was your third year in Formula BMW, are you glad that you stayed there that long?
OT: My first year was my only full season, and I was only learning then. For the past two years I've missed six races each time, but this year I made the most of my opportunities and finished second in the championship despite only doing 70 per cent of the races. BMW is a really good car.
It doesn't have a lot of aerodynamic grip, but it has a lot of mechanical grip. It's really close racing so it teaches you a lot. I've had a great three years in the category, and now it's time to move on to better things.
Q. Do you think Formula BMW has played its part in you winning this award?
OT: Certainly. BMW is one of the most prestigious categories in the UK and it's one of the most competitive, so it's been great to be fighting at the front in one of the UK's best junior single seater championships. Hopefully we can do the same next year in British F3.
Q. You made your F3 debut at Thruxton two months ago, how did things go?
OT: There was no testing at Thruxton because the test was six weeks before, and my car was only built on the Friday before the race. I was straight out in qualifying which was in at the deep end, but it was good experience. We saw what the competition is like, and I think next year we can do well.
Q. What have you been up to since then?
OT: I've been out testing at Donington a couple of weeks ago, and that went really well. We were really quick, and hopefully next year we can be right at the front.
Q. Will you race in the main championship class of British F3?
OT: Hopefully, that's what I want to do. It's not confirmed yet, we are still discussing things with teams. We were always going to wait until after the awards just in case, because winning this award was always going to change things. I knew that if I won the award, I'd go for championship class. That's where I want to be, it's where all the top drivers and top teams are, and we need to compete in that.
Q. Which team will you race for?
OT: We haven't decided which team yet, but Loctite are going to sponsor me, and Trevor Powell (BMW Team boss) has been so good to me for the past three years, that I feel I need to be loyal to him. Hopefully we can get a really good budget together, do lots of testing before the season, and I think we can surprise a few people next year, and maybe beat some of the top teams.
Q. What are your thoughts on testing a McLaren Formula One car?
OT: It's awesome. I wouldn't expect it so soon. It was amazing to drive the Mercedes DTM car, so to drive a Formula One car is a dream. I can't wait. It's over a year away, and that's going to be a very long year. A year in F3 will give me better experience of downforce and more power, so it will help me develop a driving style I need to drive a Formula One car. Hopefully I can do well at the test, and maybe even get picked up by McLaren, that would be good!