British star Jack Clarke has been announced as the first driver in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship. The 22-year-old returns after a promising year in 2010 and has got his eyes on winning the single seater title.
In his second year in the series, Clarke recorded three podium finishes, including one on home tarmac at Brands Hatch, along with four other top ten results. His form has continued into the series' winter tests at Portimao and Barcelona, where he has finished as the fastest driver in six separate sessions and hasn't finished outside the top three in any session.
Clarke admits this has left his confidence high and is optimistic about the new campaign: “It’s nice to go in full of confidence, but I don’t just want to carry on where I left off in 2010 – I want to win, and win consistently.
“This is my third year in the championship, but I don’t think that will be important if I go out there and win it; that would be the best possible answer I could give. Motor racing is a confidence game – confidence breeds results and results breed confidence, and in F2 I’m very relaxed and in a good state of mind ahead of the season’s start.”
Jack considered a change of scenery for 2011, but decided F2 provided the best option for both driver and sponsors: “We looked quite seriously at other series for this year, but F2 proved to be a no-brainer for us really. To know there is a chance to test in Formula One at the end of the season is an incredible motivator, but you also have the GP2 test prizes which are very significant.
“Overall we felt Formula Two was a better package, and I have to say thank you to my sponsors who felt that F2 was the place they wanted to be. It’s going to be very exciting going to some of the historic circuits on the 2011 calendar – places where my heroes have raced in the past – so I can’t wait for the season to start. It might not be a walk in the park, but I’ve been working hard throughout the winter and I’m confident I can hit the ground running at Silverstone!”
F2 Series Director Jonathan Palmer commented on the announcement, saying: “Jack Clarke was increasingly impressive during the 2010 season, and his podiums at the Algarve , Brands Hatch and Valencia proved his obvious speed and talent. He was also sensational during our winter testing programme, and I expect him to be a multiple race winner with a very realistic chance of winning the title this year. I’m delighted to unveil Jack as our first confirmed driver for 2011, and I look forward to further announcements over the coming weeks as the line-up for our third season of competition continues to take shape.”