Louis Delétraz will travel to Abu Dhabi this weekend with two distinct targets in his mind: to finish his 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign positively, and to impress Haas F1 Team officials during his maiden F1 test next Wednesday (28 November).
The 21-year-old has spent a number of weeks preparing for his upcoming racing and testing programme at the Yas Marina Circuit and he’s determined to make the most of both on-track opportunities.
“This is the kind of schedule you dream of, racing a fantastic F2 car across three days and then making your F1 test debut at the same track almost straight afterwards,” Louis explained. “I’m super excited and fully focussed on doing the best job. I want this to be the best week of my life.”
The final round of Louis’ current F2 campaign is his first challenge in Abu Dhabi, with the ADSS-supported driver targeting a positive outcome.
After tackling Free Practice and Qualifying on Friday, he will then battle in the Feature Race with his Charouz Racing System squad on Saturday night, before contesting the season-ending Sprint Race on Sunday.
With a pair of impressive P2 finishes on his record this season, Louis is keen to add more points to his tally by finding success on a track he knows well.
“We had some podiums and a lot of points during the middle of the season but the results have been tougher for many reasons lately,” he said. “Abu Dhabi is kind of a home race for me and my main sponsor, ADSS. It’s a country I love to visit and I really like the track.
“Because we run in the daytime and then the night, the track evolves a lot and you have to understand that to be successful. I was fastest in a number of the test sessions last time I drove at Yas Marina so I’m optimistic I can have a good weekend. As always, I want a win or a podium.”
Once his F2 race weekend is complete, Louis will then turn his attention to his debut F1 test with Haas F1 Team on Wednesday. The Swiss driver has been recruited by the squad to drive its VF-18 chassis during the Pirelli Tyre Test.
“I’m hugely excited for the F1 test and I’ve been working flat-out to ensure I’m fully ready for my running,” Louis said. “I’ve had to keep my F2 and F1 programmes separate in my head because they require different things from me. F2 is all about pure racing and procedures, whereas my F1 test will be concerned with learning and developing.”
To help prepare for his test day, Louis has sought advice from his long-term mentor and friend, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean.
He added: “For sure, I’ve spoken to Romain about various things. It’s clear that everything you have on an F2 car is pushed to the limit in an F1 car. And when everything comes together, it makes a huge difference. I’m looking forward to experiencing and feeling that.”