Reigning British Formula Renault champion Ollie Hancock is set to make the step up for the final three races of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship.
For the next round at Oschersleben, Hancock will be taking over the position of the late Henry Surtees, who was killed in a freak accident at Brands Hatch last month.
Hancock had originally hoped to compete in the Formula Two series this year but due to the demand of the 25 available seats he narrowly missed out.“Originally I wanted to do a full season of Formula Two this year but missed out. It’s a fantastic package though, and I’m delighted to be contesting the final three rounds of the year. The plan is definitely to use these next races as preparation, and hopefully to come back next year and have a proper go at the title.”
He knows it will be a tough job, stepping up to the challenge just ten days before the next round, “With just ten days until the next round at Oschersleben I’m clearly playing catch up, and I’ll have to learn the cars and the circuits quickly, but I’m confident I can do well. Ultimately I’m not putting too much pressure on myself – everyone has the same chance, so I’ll just take it step by step and concentrate on my own agenda.”
The young Brit heads in to the championship with a positive attitude and said that he doesn't expect the reputation of established drivers effect him at all.
“F2 is clearly very competitive throughout the field, but I’m not fazed by drivers like Andy Soucek and Robert Wickens. Everyone has the same chance in F2, unlike a series like Formula Renault where you know only two or three teams have a chance to win, and that’s a great boost for drivers. The budget for F2 is great, and the coverage it generates is also fantastic, so I’m very happy to have joined the series even at this late stage.”
MotorSport Vision Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer said: “I'm delighted Ollie Hancock is joining the F2 grid. From his Formula Renault results he clearly has a great deal of talent and although it's going to be quite a jump coming in mid-season he is sure to gain hugely valuable experience for 2010. But there again, one of the strengths of F2 is that Ollie will know he'll have a car capable of winning and I'm sure he'd love to surprise a few people!”
At 21 Hancock has already raced in Formula Ford 2000, finishing as runner-up twice in 2004 and 2006. He then graduated into the BARC Formula Renault UK Championship in 2007, where he finished third at the first attempt before winning the series in 2008, having taken five wins and nine podiums over the season.