2012 FIA Formula Two Champion Luciano Bacheta is gearing up for his debut with the Williams F1 team at Silverstone this Thursday, with the Brit viewing it as a massive opportunity to impress the Oxfordshire squad.
The F1 run, which forms part of his prize for winning this year's F2 championship, takes place at the Northamptonshire circuit later this week using the 2.98km International configuration. The 22-year-old will take to the track in the team's 2011 FW33 machine, also driven by 2011 F2 champion Mirko Bortolotti, where he'll conduct five separate runs.
As part of his preparations, Bacheta has already visited the team's headquarters in Grove to have a seat fitting and spend time on the simulator to learn the car's controls. He's now eager to get behind the wheel of the Williams F1 car and cap off a fantastic 2012 season.
"Everything that's happened to me over the last few weeks has finally sunk in," said Bacheta, who also admits he's still recovering from a virus. "I'm feeling really confident for Thursday which has been helped by how friendly and relaxed Williams have been. They've made me feel so at ease which will make a huge difference come Thursday. At the moment I still feel very relaxed but I think as I'm sat in the car and have everyone round me I might feel a little differently, especially when the tyre covers come off and you pull out of the pit lane for the first time!
"Preparations have gone really well. I've been training hard to cope with the physicality of driving the car and conducting runs in the Williams simulator, similar to the programme we'll run at Silverstone. My aim is to improve consistently throughout the day and hit the target time I've been set. If things go as well as they did in the sim I'll be very pleased!"
He added: "We're still working on plans for next season but so far things are moving along well. We've had a lot of interest from potential sponsors and at the moment we're looking at GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5. In the meantime, I'm off to India later this month for the Grand Prix and possibly also to drive in the MRF, a support race to the F1 weekend."
Coverage of Bacheta's Williams F1 run will be available on the official F2 website.