Meindert van Buuren: “I have to show that I am a top driver”

Meindert van Buuren continues for a second season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2015, switching from Pons Racing to Lotus for the forthcoming season.

The twenty-year-old Dutchman had a best finish of fifth at the Hungaroring in 2014 having moved from racing in the Auto GP championship the previous year.

Talking to The Checkered Flag ahead of the opening race of the 2015 season at Motorland Aragon this week, van Buuren revealed it will be the first season in his single seater career where he has been able to prepare properly as the move to Lotus was decided early.

“So far [in my career] we made steps mostly last minute due to budget reasons every time, which was challenging,” said van Buuren. “We made step ups in the different programs and this year will be the first year in the same series with a good preparation.

“I learned a lot and I think I showed good results with Pons. It taught me how to handle a Formula Car with a lot downforce.”

Van Buuren revealed he was invited to test with the Charouz-run Lotus team at the end of the 2014 season, and both parties were sufficiently happy with how the test went that the Dutchman agreed to race for the team in 2015.

“I was invited to test with them during the ECU test in Barcelona December 2014,” revealed van Buuren. “The results were that impressive that they made us directly a proposal for 2015.

“[I was impressed by] their professional way of working from the workshop to trackside. Every millimetre of the car is serviced during winter and preparation before we go to track for testing or racing, [which] is very professional.”

The Dutchman admitted he is still learning more about the series, including during testing in the off-season, and is aiming for a much stronger 2015 season where he aims to show to everyone he is amongst the best in the field.

“I learned a lot again [during testing] but I still need to improve myself to be finally at the front of the grid,” said van Buuren. “But I am very confident that we will because we know what [was missing] and why! [I am aiming] to go for the championship.

“This year is very important for me I have one of the best cars on the grid and I have to show that I am a top driver.”