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Aleshin expects F1 race seat in 2011

Mikhail AleshinFormula Renault 3.5 champion Mikhail Aleshin is confident that he can land a Formula 1 race drive next year after making his test debut for Renault in Abu Dhabi.

The Russian set the sixth-fastest time of the first day of rookie testing despite losing almost two hours of running at the end of the day when the Renault suffered a hydraulic leak.

"We are aiming for a race seat next year," he said when asked by AUTOSPORT if he was targeting an F1 race drive or a test role. "I'm quite confident on this.

"We're working on it for next year because it is very important for me. I had a good year in World Series, which is a very competitive series this year especially. Most people see it and understand how difficult it was to win this championship."

Aleshin added that, without the technical problem, he would have been able to improve on fifth position after closing to within one second of pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo earlier in the day.

"Because of the hydraulic leak I lost one hour and 40 minutes," he said. "The problem is on this track, where it is so hot during the day, the track gets really warm and the best time is when the sun is going down.

"The important thing was that at the time I stopped, I was only one second off the Red Bull, which is a good result."

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