British driver Dean Stoneman completed his prize Williams F1 test for winning the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship this week. The 20-year-old finished Tuesday's Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi fifth fastest, up against many drivers with previous F1 testing experience.
After beginning the day with some aero development work for the team, Stoneman was allowed to set some competitive lap times in the FW32 challenger towards the end of the day. His time of 1:41.522s was just one tenth shy of 2010 race driver Nico Hulkenberg's qualifying time from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend.
“That was slightly different to what I'm used to!” said Stoneman after the test. “It was good to start off with some speed-limited aero work as it allowed me to build up to doing quicker laps in the afternoon. Towards the end of the day, I just kept pushing to see where the limit of the car was and where I could improve my times around the lap. Today was a great experience and the team have been really supportive. It's also been a major opportunity for me. To be given the chance of driving a Formula One car doesn't come around that often, so I feel very privileged.”
Williams F1 Senior Engineer Tom McCullough said the team was impressed with Stoneman's performance during the day. “We did aero work this morning, from which we've accumulated useful data,” he explained. “Dean used the afternoon to familiarise himself with the car and put some times on the board. He went quicker every lap he completed, worked well with his engineers and overall did a professional job for the team. We're impressed by him.”
Stoneman finished the day ahead of 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Mikhail Aleshin and British F3 Champion Jean-Eric Vergne as well as GP2 Series champion Pastor Maldonado.