Formula Renault 3.5 series champion Bertrand Baguette will make his Formula 1 debut next month when he tests for the Renault team. The Belgian driver will take to the wheel of grand prix machinery for the first time on Dec. 1 at the Jerez circuit.
"This will be a great first for me," said Baguette. "It's all my childhood dreams come true and, at the same time, it's every racing driver's ultimate goal.
"It's thanks to Renault that I was able to get into single-seater racing, by winning a program set up by Renault in Belgium to discover up-and-coming young talent from karting. Since then, I've driven every Renault single-seater, from Formula Renault 1.6 to Formula Renault 3.5 via Formula Renault 2.0. Driving the Renault F1 R29 kind of completes the set, as far as I'm concerned!
"The first few laps in Formula 1 must be really unbelievable, with a lighter, more powerful car that has just phenomenal cornering speeds. I'll have everything to learn, not just the car itself, but also a new environment, lots of new parameters, a different way of working. The only thing I will be familiar with will be the Jerez circuit!"
Baguette is preparing for the test day with a special physical training course and will visit Renault's Enstone, UK, factory in a few days' time for a briefing on the testing program.
"The most important thing for me is not really driving the fastest possible lap," he added. "The aim of this day will be to work hard with the team and to carry out the test program that the Renault F1 Team is going to define seriously and professionally. Rather than my outright speed, it will be my ability to analyze the car's handling and my communication with the members of the team that will be gauged. I can't wait.
"I'm going to have to take things one step at a time and be cautious. It's a terrific opportunity to be able to take part in testing with a team as prestigious as the Renault F1 team."