Zak O’Sullivan completed his first Formula 1 test earlier this week with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team, his reward for winning the BRDC Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award in 2021.
O’Sullivan, the 2021 GB3 Championship winner who is also a member of the Williams Driver Academy, completed thirty-two laps of the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, initially on wet tyres before switching to slicks, with his lap times improving throughout the day as he adapted to Formula 1 machinery.
It capped off a memorable season for the seventeen-year-old British racer, who raced for Carlin in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, scoring two podium finishes at Silverstone and Zandvoort on his way to eleventh place in the final standings.
Speaking after the event, O’Sullivan was thankful for getting the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time, calling it an ‘amazing experience’, and he felt the confidence was coming with every additional lap he completed.
“It was an amazing experience to drive an F1 car for the first time,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s a big step up from anything I’ve ever driven before but I absolutely loved it.
“I gained more confidence with every lap and was really pushing hard by the end!”
Kieren Clark, the founder of Kokoro Performance and coach to O’Sullivan, admitted he was not surprised by the young Briton’s performance at Silverstone, and it proved that the BRDC and Autosport were right to vote him as the Young Driver of the Year for last season.
“We are incredibly pleased – and not at all surprised! – with Zak’s top-notch performance at his first F1 test,” said Clark.
“Together we have been preparing for an opportunity like this for several years, and he showed today why he was crowned winner of the award in the first place.”