Parente Sets Sights on GP2 Drive

Alvaro Parente will focus his efforts on securing a GP2 drive next season after clinching the British F3 International Series last weekend

Parente Sets Sights on GP2 Drive

The Portuguese driver won the second race at last weekend's Nurburgring meeting to take the championship with four races remaining. Despite entering the series late at round three he has taken ten victories from the 16 races he has started this season.

And already Parente is targeting a step up to GP2, like last year's British F3 champion Nelson Piquet Jr.

Parente told Autosport-Atlas: "I want to get into Formula One so I want to race in the series that is closest to it, which currently is GP2. But I will only do it with a strong team because there is no point otherwise.

"I don't know what the chances are yet, but I'm sure we can raise the money and sponsorship will not be a problem following this championship victory."

It was a tall order that Parente was going to take the title at the German circuit, despite a sizable lead over teammate and championship rival Charlie Kimball. He went into the weekend needing to score 20 more points than Kimball over the two races, but the American had been in fine form of late.

Parente finished third in the first race before taking the victory in race two, while Kimball finished seventh and fifth, which was enough for Parente to pull out the points margin he needed.

"The team only told me about the title after I had taken the chequered flag," Parente said. "I was so busy keeping Bruno Senna at bay I was only concentrating on my race and not where Charlie was. I had one old tyre on my car because of a puncture so I was worried about oversteer and I had my hands full.

"I crossed the line, they told me, and you can just imagine what happened in the cockpit after that."

While completing the British championship, Parente's immediate efforts will be focused on A1 Grand Prix, where he has been signed as Team Portugal's second driver to former F1 driver Pedro Lamy.

The Portuguese squad is being run by Carlin Motorsport, the same team that helped Parente win his F3 title.

"I will go to the final four British F3 races with the same attitude I have now," he added. "Just to win. My focus will not change.

"A1 Grand Prix is a great opportunity and nice extra thing, but because of the calendar it won't stop me trying to get a GP2 drive."

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