Formula Two is pleased to confirm that it will once again play an important role in the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award by supplying six Williams JPH1B F2 cars for the driver assessment programme.
Launched in 1989, the Award aims to find and support future British F1 stars, with previous winners including 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button. Nominations are now open before six finalists will be selected to attend a Silverstone evaluation in November. This year will be the third consecutive time F2 cars have been utilised, enabling all six finalists to be assessed on track at the same time and in identical equipment - something that had proved impossible in the past. Together with the six 500bhp F2 cars, F2 will also provide full engineering support.
During their assessment, the six finalists will also be tested in a Mercedes DTM and a GT McLaren, as well as conduct a fitness test and spend time on Darren Turner's Base Performance Simulator - used recently to test the F2 car in the new rFactor2 gaming simulator.
The overall winner will then be announced in December at the Autosport Awards in London where an F2 car will be on display. The 2012 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner will receive a McLaren F1 test and a prize of £100,000 towards the driver's 2013 racing budget.
Chairman of the judges Derek Warwick said: "We will run all six cars at the same time so the drivers have the same conditions. They start with identical set-ups and will then be allowed to adjust them slightly to suite their driving styles.
"The three types of car, simulator, fitness test and in-car data all help the judging process and give us the confidence to make the right decision, hopefully to find not only the best of the group but possibly the next Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button."
Two of this year's current F2 drivers, Dino Zamparelli and championship favourite Luciano Bacheta, are both previous finalists.