Nick Yelloly has been explaining why he has decided to step up to the GP3 Series in 2011 after Atech CRS GP announced him as the first of their drivers for next year.
Speaking on the GP3 Series website, the 19-year-old from Solihull said: “It's a good Series and the cars are really technologically advanced so you have the opportunity to learn a lot. Driving with a paddle shift is especially good because it prepares you for GP2 and F1. I think for these reasons GP3 is a good training ground.
“For me GP3 is now the logical step for drivers that want to race in GP2 and Formula 1. The further up the motorsport ladder you get, the more expensive it becomes, and GP3 is the most cost effective way to learn the big tracks. Even though track time can be limited it teaches you to go straight out in the car, learn quickly and do the job right the first time.”
Yelloly explained that being on the support bill for Formula 1 is key in making GP3 an attractive series to race in. “Driving on a Formula One weekend is also very important because it really helps to attract sponsors, and without sponsors I couldn't go racing”, he explained. “For this reason also the Series has a much bigger fan base than other championships – people following the racing and come along to watch.”
He was impressed by the first season of the GP3 Series in 2010. “I watched most of the races and it looked really awesome,” he said. “I'm a real racer. I prefer racing to qualifying and practice so to see such good racing in the Series is exciting. The quality of racing was really high and there were not many stupid moves – maybe just few overambitious ones. I think the tracks also help. It's not like racing at small circuits such as Oulton Park or Thruxton, in GP3 you are on big tracks with massive amounts of overtaking opportunities.”
Yelloly had the chance to drive the GP3 car at the recent tests at Estoril and Jerez. “To be honest it felt like driving a big Renault,” he said. “It didn't feel much different from my Formula Renault car, just much faster. It was initially difficult to get the hang of the speed and the big tyres, but after a few laps I felt comfortable. The downforce was incredible, and the braking was really impressive – it feels like you are stamping down on someone! You can go really fast into corners and the car just stops.”
He explained what he thought would help him to have a successful season in GP3 in 2011. “I'm a racer, I like racing and after watching GP3 last season I think this will be an important quality – racing well and overtaking. I also analyse things a lot. I might not be the most naturally talented driver, but I think I work exceptionally hard and I try hard.
“This will be my second season with Atech so I know the team well, and they know me. We have already worked closely together and have a relationship and confidence in each other after a season of Formula Renault, so I think knowing the team will be another real advantage.”