Lyons to make F1 push

Newly crowned Formula Nippon champion Richard Lyons has vowed to 'bang on the doors' of Formula 1 teams when he returns to Britain this week in his bid to land a maiden test in a grand prix car.

Lyons to make F1 push

Having clinched the prestigious Japanese title at Suzuka on Sunday, Lyons is hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous winners Ralf Schumacher, Ralph Firman and Pedro de la Rosa and use the success as the springboard to a move to F1.

Speaking exclusively to autosport.com from Suzuka on Sunday night, straight after being handed his championship trophy at the official award ceremony, the Briton said he was going to remind those teams he met at the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this year about his credentials.

"I think I really need to be getting on with some F1 testing and we need the teams to realise that I have got the pedigree for it through long-distance races, pit-stops, looking after tyres and my work on chassis, engine and tyre development," the Ulsterman told autosport.com

"When I met the teams in Hungary they all asked me what I had won before. They said I hadn't won an F3 championship but I said to them that most of the F3 champions have big sponsors and have been helped by having rich parents.

"I came to Japan with just talent. I am making myself with that talent and determination and I have got the title behind me now. I was the fastest driver this season in qualifying and I think the teams will need a little reminder - which is why I am going to bang on a few doors."

Lyons is adamant that his experiences in Formula Nippon and the Japanese GT Championship, which he could also win this year, have made him better prepared for the move to F1 than if he had raced in any other category.

"Where else is there another single seater category in which every driver is a professional and not bringing money? There isn't," he said. "In Champ Cars, Formula 3000 or the Nissan World Series guys pay money to go to the top teams and a lot of them aren't that quick.

"In Formula Nippon we are all professionals and we have to earn our right to be here. That is why the guys who come here can't win straight away - it's just the way it is.

"I think it provides the perfect grounding for F1, plus on the GT side I have been working with Bridgestone on the tyre and development side of things and with Nissan for the last two years for a lot of tests and R&D development work. Every month I will be testing or racing for 15 days - and even in F1 you don't get that much running.

"I am sure I will open a few eyes if I get a test in F1, especially from the feedback point of view. I am better prepared than anyone else."

Lyons has close links with Jordan, having been in contention for a race seat at this year's Chinese Grand Prix, but speculation has also linked him with a possible test in a Renault because of the French car manufacturer's close ties with Nissan.

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