Alexander Sims completed his prize test for winning the 2008 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award today, trying out the 2008 McLaren Formula 1 car on the Silverstone South circuit. The test, which consisted of two runs offering 16 flying laps, was the Formula 3 Euro Series frontrunner's first taste of an F1 car.
"Today was the most incredible experience of my life. I've driven some great cars in my racing career but the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 Formula 1 car was like nothing I've ever experienced and it really blew me away," said Sims.
"The first time you go full throttle in the car and then feel its reaction under braking is simply incredible and you realize exactly what you've got underneath you. Once I got heat in the tires I was able to understand pretty quickly what I could do with the car, how it responds to you, how late you can brake and how to get the most out of it.
"I want to say a big thank you to everyone who made today possible. It was fantastic to work with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team and I also want to thank the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award for offering such an amazing prize. It's safe to say that now I've had the opportunity to experience driving a Formula 1 car that I am even more determined to succeed in my ambition of driving in Formula 1 in the future."
McLaren test team manager Indy Lall said Sims had made a very good impression.
"Firstly, Alexander is one of the nicest young men you would wish to meet," Lall said. "Secondly, he did everything that was expected of him under the circumstances. It was a very cold and blustery day, so to do such a competent job as Alexander did on his first acquaintance with a Formula 1 car, clearly demonstrates the level that he is at already. His feedback was very precise, which allowed the team to make improvements to the balance of the car during his short runs today.
"Alexander left the team having not only done a good job, but to see the joy in his face made the whole event very worthwhile. We wish Alexander much success for his career which will undoubtedly reach the top level."