The AV Formula team made a surprise decision to bring Dutch teenager Beitske Visser directly into the Formula Renault 3.5 series for the 2014 season, promoting her from the ADAC Formel Masters championship in which she had been racing in the past couple of seasons. The nineteen-year-old from Dronten in the Netherlands is the first female to race in the series since Pippa Mann in 2008.
She also tested for Adrian Valles’ outfit in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series before deciding the 3.5 cars were what she wanted to drive in 2014.
“When I first tested the 3.5 car I loved it so much,” admitted Visser to Checkered Flag. “Then we spoke with AV and my sponsors Ex-tra and Universal Global Logistics and we decided to do Renault 3.5.
“It’s a huge difference compared to the ADAC I came from. It has like 4 times as much horsepower and a lot more downforce. In Motorland I was struggling physically a lot but I’m living in Barcelona now, I now have a physical trainer so I train hard. In Jerez I already made a big improvement and as well I have to handle a lot more things like pit-stops and DRS.”
When asked about getting to Formula Renault 3.5 so quickly, she admitted her surprise but was happy to be there with AVF.
“I thought there would be some steps in between, but I’m happy that I get the chance to step in to it. I’m very happy to be part off his team, the team is working very professionally and I’m very happy to work with them.
“In December I came in contact with Adrian and then we started testing the Renault 2.0. The testing went really well and then in the beginning of this year Adrian offered me a test in the Renault 3.5 in Monza. We were both happy after the test and we decided together to do the collective test in Motorland. After the tests we made a deal to do 3.5.”
Visser has been working keenly on her fitness as the season rapidly approaches, and knows she will have to work hard to be fit enough to compete at the highest level.
“I’m living in Barcelona now so I’m spending a lot off time with the team preparing the races and the simulator. I also have my trainer Javi here who is helping me getting fit in the gym every day. I feel good, prepared, and I think I’m ready.
“I think I’m improving all the time. The results didn’t show it but I think last year I learned and improved a lot as a driver. And I’m expecting to learn really a lot this year.
“I haven’t really set any goals. It’s important for me to improve a lot during the season.”
When asked if Formula 1 was the ultimate target for her, she simply replied: “Yes.”