Webster’s F1 dream ahead of F3 debut

DEBUT DRIVE: Josh Webster
DEBUT DRIVE: Josh Webster

STOWMARKET’S Josh Webster is about to move a step closer to realising his dream of a Formula 1 ride as he prepares to makes his Formula 3 debut at the RTL GP Masters in Holland tomorrow.

The 18-year-old hopes to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Force India’s British driver Paul Di Resta who graduated to the pinnacle of the sport after dominating the Formula 3 Euroseries.

And after just a day of testing, Webster is set to drive a Dallara Mugen-Honda National Class car for Brackley’s British squad T-Sport, who took Grand Prix star Sergio Pérez to the National Class title in the British championship in 2007.

In what will be the youngster’s biggest test to date, he is relishing the chance to pit his wits alongside experienced Formula 3 drivers from the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series and F3 Euroseries,

Webster is all to aware of the magnitude of his first ever race at the famous Zandvoort Dutch track, but remains determined to make the most of a chance to impress.

“This is a massive step for me,” he said, “a really big jump in at the deep end, but I can’t wait to get out there and learn as much as I can.

“Testing in the new car has gone well, it is a lot more physical than what I am used to but I’m ready for the challenge.

“We’ve been testing on the track so I am comfortable with it and think I am well prepared for the race.

“It’s obviously a much higher level than anything I’ve done in my career so far so the aim is to just make the most of such a fantastic experience.”

He added: “It will be tough being up against some really experienced drivers but I’ve been quick in practice and I’ll be looking for a scalp or two.”

Plans are in place to feature in the remaining UK rounds of the British F3 season at Snetterton in early August and at Silverstone and Donington Park in September as well as complete his season in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship.

The only stumbling block for Webster, currently supported by Nine Group, Admiral Solutions & Support and Integra ICT, is raising the required funding needed to compete at Foirmula 3 level regularly. And he understands his dependence on sponsorship if he is going to continue his progression.

“It will be great to compete in a Formula 3 race but I know to make the next step up that I need to be challenging there regularly” he added. “I’m at that stage in my career where I need to progress but I am massively dependant on sponsorship and raising the money needed.

“Hopefully this will enable me to attract new sponsors because this is the level I need to be at.”

<n> F1 legend Jackie Stewart speaks to the Free Press at the British Grand Prix, see page 128.