Formula One (F1) hopeful Matt Parry’s first taste of spectating at the British Grand Prix has made him even hungrier to reach the pinnacle of motorsport.
The 20-year-old racer, a former pupil of Bury St Edmunds’ County Upper School, is set to get a taste of F1 life at Silverstone in October after earning a test drive in a McLaren.
That prize was the most lucrative part of the McLaren Autosport British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Young Driver of Year award Parry won in December, but he is determined to follow that up by eventually gaining a race seat in F1.
“I dream to be here and I dream to win here,” said Parry, who was a guest of the BRDC for the weekend. “I’ll be here in October in a McLaren F1 car for testing so it’s great to be here and see how the drivers are driving while also enjoying it as a spectator.
“Hopefully one day everything will work out and I’ll be here on the grid in an F1 car.”
The youngster’s rise through the single-seater ranks has been a spectacular one, taking the Intersteps title in 2012 and the Formula Renault Northern European Cup 12 months later.
This year, Parry has his sights set on the Formula Renault Eurocup — a series won in the past by the likes of F1 race winner Felipe Massa — but a tricky start to the season has left him playing catch-up in the championship.
Huge improvements were made when taking his first podium of the season at the Moscow Raceway in Russia and he is targeting not one, but two victories when the series reaches the world famous Nürburgring circuit in Germany on Saturday and Sunday.
“We changed a lot of things on the car going into Russia, but not just for the sake of it — we really sat down and thought about it,” said Parry. “A massive thanks must go to Fortec and Alex and Ben, who are my engineers in the team — they did an absolutely brilliant job.
“We pretty much had a race-winning car in Russia — if things had gone our way and I didn’t make a little mistake in qualifying then we could have been in pole position and from there we could have won the race.
“It’s so hard to overtake in Russia, so wherever you qualified was basically wherever you finished.
“Podiums are good, but I’ve been raised winning, so it was an odd feeling to think of third place being almost like a victory after the disappointing previous couple of rounds.
“It was a massive confidence boost and I got a huge rise in the championship, so I’m really looking forward to the Nürburgring.
“The Nürburgring is a really strong track for us — one I won at last year — and as long as our preparation is right, which I think it has been so far, I’m sure we’ll be going there in a race-winning car. I’m not just hoping for one win, but a double win.”