Olli Caldwell says that he is hoping his experience testing an F1 car at Silverstone will pay dividends this weekend in Formula 2. The Alpine Academy driver got to drive the 2021 A521 at the circuit in June.

He says that the experience was invaluable, not only helping him gain insights into how to tackle Silverstone’s high-speed sections, but also served as a source of motivation in his career as he aims to get his ’22 season back on track after a difficult start.

“The Alpine test was an amazing experience, so I’m very grateful to them for believing in me and giving me that opportunity because it shows that no matter what happens, they still believe in me and believe like I do. To come here and drive at a home track was cool, it’s been a while since I’ve driven Silverstone so to come back in a Formula 1 car was a wake up. It was much quicker than F2, sorry but it was much better than F2 as well. Hopefully I can have another go in the future and use what I learnt not only in the future but this weekend as well. I think it’ll be very useful.”

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The Campos Racing driver currently sits 22nd in the Championship, well below his own expectations heading into the season.

His assessment of how things have unfolded was earnest, admitting that the goals he had set for himself ahead of the opening round might have added too much pressure in the early phase of the year.

Now though, ahead of his home race and the second half of the campaign, Caldwell believes that his prior experiences around circuits that are upcoming on the F2 calendar will prove useful and help turn his fortunes around.

“The season’s been disappointing, but I know there’s a lot of potential there. I came into F2 with big expectations, probably too big of an expectation with joining the Alpine Academy, being with PREMA Racing where Oscar Piastri was. Just having an expectation to do well, that was massively too high to set myself but whatever, we’re going into the second half of the season after having a bit of a break, going to tracks I know well.

“I’ve been to every track now for the rest of the season whereas I’d never been to Monaco or Baku. I’d been to Jeddah once. To go to tracks I know is uplifting. There are not these big things I need to learn. So I’m looking forward to the second half of the season and finishing in Abu Dhabi.”

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Ahead of his home event, Caldwell said that the anticipation of a race on home soil in front of the Silverstone fans would be an incredible experience and one he will be savouring throughout the race weekend.

“I am the most excited I’ve been all year. Although now it’s Round 7 we’re halfway which is a little bit of a disappointment at the home race. To have a home race where the atmosphere is always as good as it is amazing. I’ve been here a few times before to watch F1. I did race here in F3 but unfortunately it was during Covid so there were no spectators. Always the atmosphere is great here so I’m really excited to be able to race here at a home track in Formula 2 and have a sold-out crowd. I can already feel the atmosphere, it’s got a different energy to what I’ve experienced so far.”

According to Caldwell, there is no one major part of the circuit to target in order to win time over the course of a flying lap. Having experienced Silverstone in F1 machinery, the Briton says that the flowing nature of the circuit and who can best tap into that will dictate the running order.

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“I’d say the most important thing to master at Silverstone – there’s not one particular part that’s difficult at Silverstone, the difficulty is to put it all together. It’s a really flowing track, you have to get into a really good rhythm, and if you don’t get into that rhythm, you can lose time in seemingly random places. It’s all very high speed and to get in a rhythm here is important.”

He added that while podiums and pole positions might be a little bit too ambitious for where he currently finds himself, a best result of the season would be a positive step for him.

“My goal this weekend is to have my best race of the season so far. I don’t want to set the expectations too high but I’ve prepared the most I’ve done throughout the year for this one race. I’m coming in here and I’m going to look to do the best that I’ve done this year and be happy when I leave this weekend as well.

“If you want to go full on, I’d love pole position and a win and all of these things but I’m going to do the best I’ve done this year hopefully.”