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GB3 champion O’Sullivan completes Aston Martin F1 test

Wednesday, October 26 2022

Zak O'Sullivan, the 2021 GB3 Champion and winner of the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, has completed his prize test in an Aston Martin F1 car at Silverstone.

The 17-year-old enjoyed an extensive run at the wheel of last year's Mercedes-powered AM21 machine, previously driven by multiple champion Sebastian Vettel, around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit today (Tuesday).

The test started with installation laps on wet tyres, before moving onto slick rubber immediately afterwards.

Several more runs followed, including stints on new soft rubber, giving him plenty of mileage in a contemporary turbo-hybrid F1 car.

Speaking to Autosport.com afterwards, he said the test was: "Pretty crazy. It's a different world compared to what I'm used to in F3.

"The first install lap was a big wake up call when I first went full-throttle, I got put through the back of the chassis, basically.

"Towards the end of the day, I kept getting on to it. Obviously, a lot of areas to build on early on with the high speed and a bit of confidence in the car.

"A crazy experience, easily the fastest car I've driven and really enjoyed it."

The British driver enjoyed a strong first season in FIA F3 in 2021, which resulted in two podium finishes and a pole position, and he enjoyed the increase in performance the F1 car offered.

"Obviously, the power is crazy. I think in general, the balance is a lot more predictable and stable in an F3 car because in F1 they have a bit more freedom to make the car as nice as it can.

"But the main thing was the brakes. I mean, the main limitation was my neck rather than the car. But yeah, the braking is crazy.

"We were braking 15, 20 metres later that I would have in F3 and coming in 80 or 90 miles an hour faster. So yeah, pretty crazy, but I'm quite happy with where I got to at least in the last run."

O'Sullivan won seven races on the way to taking last year's GB3 crown, and was then named as last year's winner of the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award, for which he not only scooped the F1 test, but also a £200,000 prize, full BRDC membership and an Arai helmet.

The 2022 award features newly crowned GB3 champion Luke Browning amongst the four finalists, which also includes series alumni Louis Foster, Ollie Bearman and Jamie Chadwick.