Paul Edwards Q&A

Former British F3 driver Paul Edwards has endured a lean year without the necessary backing to secure a full-time drive. Now, as one of the four winners of Red Bull's quest to find the next American F1 star, he faces the prospect of racing at Curitiba and Interlagos in the final two races of the Dallara-Nissan championship with KTR racing as a precursor to a full assault in 2003. Edd Straw spoke to the American

Paul Edwards Q&A

"It's a huge opportunity. Fortunately I've had some relevant experience over the past couple of months driving a 1976 Penske F1 car which is comparable in power with big slicks, although it doesn't have as much grip! I've been driving a 125cc gearbox kart all year for training, so although I'll be a bit rusty I should be able to use the practice time to get up to speed."

"It's a definite plus, especially for Curitiba because a few of them have been around Interlagos before, although that is the track I can practice on the PlayStation so by the time I get there I should be in good shape. Hopefully my arms and neck stand up to the racing, but as I've been training hard it should be OK."

"I'm probably the textbook example of that. I've always done really late deals on a medium budget, and looked a little enviously at some of the guys that always seemed to have the full budget and all the elements of a successful year. Now it's happened to me. With Red Bull the budget is there and for the first time I can focus on driving and staying fit rather than having to worry every race weekend about whether I have the money to continue."

"Red Bull decided that it was a good idea for me to go out to Brazil because it means that I will have done 10-1200 kilometres to give me something to think about before the start of next season. I'll also get to know the team which is a big plus."

"That is what Red Bull are expecting. They've put me into a top drive and now it's up to me to perform. If not, I'm not sure what will happen, but of all the finalists I have the most experience and am now in a championship which is very close to F1. With a bit of luck, maybe I will be the first to make it to the top!"

"I had some good races with Audi in the Speed World Challenge at Sears Point and Laguna Seca, so something would well have happened there. But this Red Bull chance is what I have wanted I started racing, it is my great dream. I am delighted that it has come off."

"Things were tough with Alan because he helped me as best he could, but so much of my budget was soaked up even before the season started. We were strong in pre-season, when we had the money to keep up with what the team wanted to do, but as time went on the budget dried up and everything was very tight. I had some good results, but I sensed the end coming when I was drawing on every last dollar available to me, and my focus was no longer on driving. I thought it would be hard to get my head back into racing when this Red Bull chance came along after almost a year out, but the Audi drive helped me back and gave me the chance to get back into a race car and work in a professional environment."

"I've got to concentrate and work hard both in these races and next year, because there is tough competition for the top positions. These guys have been in the cars all season and I've got to take it one session at a time and not go overdriving as soon as I get out of the pit-lane and not get anywhere. It's almost a test weekend, but some good results would be more than welcome. I've got enough time in the car, a strong team and a good team-mate in Bas Leinders, so I should be able to get up to speed."

Edwards in for final two rounds

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