Q&A: McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Toby Sowery

McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Toby Sowery says the Formula 1 team's increased involvement has raised the level of the process and the significance of the prize

Q&A: McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Toby Sowery

This Sunday's Autosport Awards will climax with the announcement of this year's Award winner, with each driver having undergone fitness and simulator assessment at McLaren's F1 headquarters and two days of on-track testing at Silverstone.

Sowery is the final finalist to be profiled in a series of interviews ahead of the prestigious end-of-season ceremony.

Q: What was your reaction when you got the news that you had been nominated for the Award?
TS: An excited smile! It's a great moment when you get the call informing you that you'll be in the shootout, and it gives you something exciting to look forward to in the final months of the year.

Q: What makes the Award so special in your eyes?
TS: There are a huge number of things that makes the Award special, and I think this year there are more aspects, for example, the prize of becoming a McLaren simulator driver! But not only is the prize full of amazing opportunities, as part of the test days you also get the chance to drive some amazing cars and push them to their limit.

Q: Which element were you most looking forward to during the test days and why?
TS: Definitely the two days driving...it's a rare opportunity to drive such incredible cars across just two days.

Q: Which element did you find the most challenging during the test days and why?
TS: For me the biggest challenge was having only five laps to adapt to a new type of tyre that we had never driven on before, and then having to push straightaway for a fast lap. It's never easy to push that soon and be expected to achieve that ultimate pace, but it's good preparation for my future career.

Q: What were your thoughts of the fitness and simulator assessments?
TS: I really enjoyed working with all the guys at McLaren, they were very clear but firm on what they expected from you as a driver and physically. They were all incredibly professional and friendly.

Q: What would it mean to you if you won the Award?
TS: It would be a life-changing moment. To win such a prestigious Award would change my career and boost my progress massively and I have to thank the judges, McLaren, the BRDC and MSV for providing me with this opportunity.

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