Driving an F1 car 'a bit like rocket science'

© XPB 

Williams development driver Alex Lynn has described the step up to driving an F1 car as "a bit like rocket science".

The 22-year-old was the GP3 champion in 2014 before stepping up to GP2 last year, winning two races. Ahead of his second season in the same category, Lynn described driving a GP3 car as "ballet dancing" and GP2 machinery as "heavyweight boxing".

Asked what that makes F1, Lynn replied: “I think it’s a bit like rocket science, to be honest.

"When I drove the Formula 1 car it was less about bravery and less ballsy and I actually had to stop and go ‘How do I actually drive this thing?’ Because it’s just a bit confusing and you have to stop for ten minutes and think ‘Right, OK, I need to change my driving style quite a lot more’.

"There’s a lot more thinking needed to drive it quickly and economically than any other car I’ve driven to be honest.”

When asked if it was disappointing that F1 isn't as pure as GP2 for a youngster aspiring to race at the top level, Lynn replied: “I don’t really want to bash it but it was a little bit disappointing.

"But at the same token Felipe Massa was in the car the day before me when I tested last year [for Williams] and I watched his onboard and had won the GP2 race that weekend and I thought ‘Come on, I’m going to get in and it can’t be that bad’.

"Then you suddenly realise that there’s a lot more to it than you ever thought there was, even though you’ve done so much stuff on the sim. And then when you really drive it you think ‘Hang on, this is still really difficult’. Even if it’s not about attacking to the maximum, there’s a lot more that’s required mentally.

"I think that’s when I got a lot more appreciation for how easy it looks on the telly and also when you try and do it in the sim compared to what it’s really like. And also how powerful the power units are now, it’s quite literally mind-blowing the amount of power it has got. That for me is what feels fantastic about these cars because I probably never will feel anything like that because it’s so powerful. It is cool, but just a bit different to be honest.”

Classic F1 - Sweden 1977: Ligier and Laffite's 'Jour de Gloire'

Derek Warwick - Race of my life

Technical analysis - Shanghai

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter