Dean Stoneman sealed the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship today at the penultimate race of the season. As well as the title, Stoneman has won a prize test drive for the Williams Formula 1 team.
The 20-year-old from Southampton defeated Jolyon Palmer to win this year's title, becoming the first British F2 champion since Jolyon's father and current series director Jonathan Palmer won the European title in 1983.
Stoneman was not seen as one of the favourites to win the crown before the season started, having come from the Formula Renault UK Championship, where he had finished fourth in his second season in 2009.
However, Stoneman shone all season-long amongst a field of drivers with international experience, including race winners from F2 last year. He took victories at Marrakech, Brands Hatch, Zolder and Portimao. He then got the upper hand over his rival Palmer at the penultimate race weekend at Oschersleben, where he took an impressive double victory.
He will now be looking to impress when he completes a test for the Williams F1 team as a reward for his achievements. He also now qualifies for an FIA Superlicence, which is required to compete in Formula 1 Grands Prix.
He said: “It's only just starting to settle in really. Getting into Formula One has always been my dream, and this just brings me one step closer to that. It's hard to know what to expect but it's obviously a fantastic opportunity to be testing a Williams Formula One car, so hopefully I can prove myself. I'm just going to go there and do what I do best: get in the car and drive as fast as I can!”
“I’ve got to say well done to Jolyon, as throughout the season we’ve had some fantastic races, and thank you to F2 Series Director Jonathan Palmer for putting together such a brilliant championship for myself and the other competitors. And also thank you to my father, who has backed me all the way.”
Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of MotorSport Vision, was quick to congratulate Stoneman, despite his son Jolyon losing out in the title battle. “Dean has done a superb job this season and is certainly the worthy champion of the 2010 FIA F2 Championship,” he said. “He is an outstanding talent, being extremely quick, a tough fighter, and very consistent. I am very confident Dean will prove the high standard of competition in F2 by performing impressively when he has his Williams F1 test drive. The fact that the affordable, level playing field of F2 has given Dean the opportunity to highlight his talent, without having a big budget, will undoubtedly inspire others.”
Mike Bewsey, Sales and Marketing Director of Comma Oil, commented: “The second season of F2 has proved beyond doubt its credentials as one of the very finest single seater championships, with an unbeatable mix of performance, affordability and competitiveness. Our congratulations go out to Dean for his exceptional season.”