In 2016, one of the testers usual in the first free practice sessions at the grands prix of Formula 1 has been Alfonso Celis Jr. The mexican driver of 20 years, it has taken part in six sessions free throughout the year with Force India, Bahrain, Russia, Austria, Italy, the united States and Abu Dhabi), in addition to in some tests, and, except surprise, will continue his role within the team in 2017.
plans Celis, however, go beyond this, and points to get a seat in Formula 1 in 2018. The young rider from Mexico City, which shares structure with the national hero Sergio Perez, think you have made great progress this season and believes that he has time to continue improving your skills to face your target: have a pilot seat holder in 2018.
“I would Say that my progress has gone well. I would like to continue and continue to learn in Formula 1, and when the opportunity comes, I will make sure to be ready at 100%. I just turned 20 years old, I still have life ahead of you, touching wood, so my priority is to get something to continue working and to have the opportunity in Formula 1, in order to evolve; whatever he can get and the team builds that I do. Now I say that my goal is 2018“.
Celis, however, has a significant obstacle ahead of them: the Superlicencia. Since the points system to get it entered into force in 2015, the drivers of the lower categories are required to obtain good results in such championships in order to have access to the Formula 1, and this has not been the case of Celis. In the period of 3 years, that computes to obtain the 40 points necessary, has not managed to finish in the top 10 of any championship, being 21st (2014) and 12th (2015) in GP3, and 16th (2015), and 11th (2016) in the Formula 3.5, so has not gotten a single point.
This past year, despite an evident decrease in the quality of the grill of 3.5 and a smaller number of cars, Celis only achieved a podium in a rainy race in Spa, finishing well behind pilots with mediocre results in other categories such as Roy Nissany, Rene Binder or Pietro Fittipaldi. Even so, the FIA reserves the right to grant the Superlicencia to a rider who, although they do not have the 40 points, has demonstrated skills and results, and earlier this year he made two exceptions, with Pascal Wehrlein (champion of the DTM) and Rio Haryanto (4th in GP2), both pilots of the Manor at the start of the season.
Celis trusts to play that card, and that a good season on the renowned World Series Formula V8 3.5 (which gives 35 points to your champion) allows you to dispose of that special provision, ruling in step to compete in GP2: “I Could look at some options, but if I have to do something, I would consider the V8 3.5, which is what I have been doing the past two years. I see No reason to move up to GP2, with less time on track. For now, I would like to raise my level in the category in which state the last two years to gauge my improvement”.