Jean Eric Vergne will be the most recent of a fleet of British Formula Three graduates to get a taste of F1 machinery at this week's Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi.
The Frenchman, who dominated this year's championship – taking 13 wins across the season with Carlin is set to keep his ties with Red Bull – who sponsored his to his title – by driving for the brand's 'junior' squad Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“It's really important for me,” said Vergne. “But it's going to be important for the team as well because they don't have many testing days. I will try to do a good job for them, and for those two days to be helpful to them. I don't know yet exactly what we will be doing but there will be things to try for next year's car. It's going to be a good test and I am really well prepared.”
Vergne's immediate predecessor as F3 champion – Daniel Ricciardo – is expected to drive for the main Red Bull Racing squad while Jaime Alguersuari will stay on from the final F1 race of the season to drive alongside Vergne at Toro Rosso. Their collective presence will mean that the last three British F3 champions will be present – underlining the series reputation as the “university of motorsport”.
The British F3 influence does not stop where the Red Bull logos do.
Oliver Turvey – second to Alguersuari in 2008 – is expected to be out in a McLaren while F3 race winners Yelmer Buurman and Sam Bird have been confirmed with Force India and Mercedes for the tests.
Also present will be Sergio Perez. The Mexican scored four race wins in F3 competition in 2008 and will become the latest graduate of the championship to step up to Formula 1 when he races with Sauber next season.