Speed Grateful to GP2

Scott Speed has declared his gratitude to the GP2 series for giving him the opportunity to push for a seat in the Formula One paddock after a successful start to the competition led to a third driver seat for Red Bull in Canada and the United States

Speed Grateful to GP2

Speed, who is strongly tipped to sign a contract this weekend in Monza with Red Bull to be their permanent third driver next year, declared that it was his work with GP2 team iSport that singled him out from the other Red Bull backed drivers.

Talking about his season as a whole this week, Speed said: "Obviously it's been fantastic as a whole - starting off things were really good for us, and because of how well the start of the season went I was given my shot at Formula One. I'm really grateful for that."

The comments were a climb down for the American driver from those given last week to Autosport-Atlas, when Speed had hit out at a variety of people after a disappointing weekend on track.

When asked about those comments, Speed stated: "Turkey was a tough weekend for all of us, the team and I; we probably had two wins on the cards but didn't get them. After that I was pretty upset, and I probably said a few things I didn't mean in all of the excitement.

"But GP2 has given me an awesome chance to show myself in front of Formula One. I really think it has given me my shot at Formula One, and since then we've really been able to capitalize and build on it."

Speed is the only driver in the top six of the GP2 standings not to have taken a win to date, but he is hoping that his experience at Monza will help him put this unwanted record behind him this weekend.

"I drove there in Formula Renault last year," Speed noted, "and I really enjoyed the track - it's probably my favourite just because of the history and features such as the banking; you look at that and you can really imagine how it was to race there back then.

"I'm quite looking forward to getting back there - I know the place pretty well, and I think it's obvious from Turkey that we have a good set up - we've worked hard in the last three weekends to catch up to ART, and if you look at Turkey I think you can see we've now done that.

"I'm hoping that we can make amends for the disappointment of Turkey in Monza. I think we've got a pretty good shot at winning there."

Speed, who has spent most of the last week testing at the Paul Ricard circuit for the forthcoming A1 GP series, would not, however, be drawn on his Red Bull future, simply stating: "On Thursday we'll be discussing my future with Red Bull, and after that we can talk."

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