Bent Viscaal may only be tied down for the opening round of the season, but the Formula 3 race winner is hopeful that an impressive debut could lead to a full season in the second tier. He just needs everything to fall into place.
Spending pre-season testing with Trident, Viscaal got his opportunity on the back of a promising second season in F3 where he scored a podium and a win with MP Motorsport.
Knowing that he’ll be under instant pressure to perform if he’s to earn further opportunities at this level, Viscaal explained the unforgiving training programme he underwent during the off-season.
“I needed to make sure that I was physically ready for F2, both in terms of the car and the new format, when we’ll have a third race during the weekend,” said Viscaal.
“Coming from Formula 3, it will be a bit of a challenge, but I have trained as hard and as regularly as I could, often twice a day. I have to get the maximum out of myself and that’s basically what I have been doing up until this point.
“At the moment, I am only in for testing and the first round, but my target is to do the whole season. I just want to get the most out of myself and the most out of the car and be competitive. I want to learn yes, but I have to do well, that’s why I am here, to score points and maybe more.”
Viscaal wasn’t quite making his debut at the pre-season tests at Sakhir, but he may as well have been, after a disrupted day of testing last December. Down for just one day out of three in the post-season tests, Viscaal barely got a morning of track time in before issues with the car ended his maiden outing prematurely.
Despite the lack of time in the car in December, Viscaal believes that the experience will still be beneficial if he’s to make a success of his time in F2.
“It wasn't the team’s fault at all. It’s just one of these things that happens,” he continued. “It was a shame because I could only do a few laps, but the laps I did looked quite promising considering my lack of mileage and the tyres that we had on.
“It wasn't as different to F3 as I thought it would be. The car is a bit heavier, so it needs that extra bit of power and braking performance. The 18-inch rims were quite different to the tyres we were using in Formula 3, but you get used to it after a few laps really.
“Getting used to the carbon discs was amazing. The first braking point was amazing. In general, the turbo was incredible - it was just fantastic. When the turbo kicks in you really get an extra shuff of power. It is just incredible. It’s one of the fastest race cars on the planet and it feels incredible to drive it.”