The road to Formula 1 is tough, but young Filipino-Swiss driver Marlon Stockinger is convinced he’s prepared for the challenge.
The 19-year-old Stockinger is taking a huge step of fulfilling his dream of making it to Formula 1 by racing in the GP3 Series this year.
The multititled Stockinger, signed up by Atechg CRS Grand Prix before the season, begins his campaign in Istanbul, Turkey, in May.
“The biggest challenges will be some of the tracks on the F1 calendar. But I think we have that covered because of our preparation,” said Stockinger at a press conference yesterday at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
“But I have a good environment and a good team, which is very important. My greatest single weapon is that I have the best support in the world. My greatest attribute is to have my family behind me.”
The GP3 is the level before GP2, which is a prominent feeder of talented drivers for Formula 1 Racing Teams. The GP3 races are held at Formula 1 events.
“GP3 is close to F1. It’s quick cars and the best drivers in the world are there,” Stockinger’s coach Chris Wasserman said.
Stockinger boosted his stock last season with an eighth-place finish in the Formula Renault UK 2010.
The former Philippine Rotax Max champion ruled one race in the series, becoming the first Filipino to achieve the feat in Europe, while grabbing pole position on two races and posting three podium finishes.
“All the sacrifices I have made to pursue my passion has led to this make-or-break point and there’s no turning back,” said Stockinger of his GP3 stint.
“Beyond fulfilling my dream, I also want to show the world that Filipinos can stand out and make their mark in the international arena.”
Wasserman has backed his ward to achieve more this season.
“You need to work harder to always be the best and for me, he’s the best Asian driver out there,” Wasserman said.
Stockinger will also get the rare opportunity of testing the McLaren Team F1 simulator because of Atech CRS Grand Prix’s partnership with McLaren.