Calan Williams to become first West Australian Formula Two driver after signing for Trident Motorsport
Calan Williams is one step closer to his dream of joining Daniel Ricciardo on the Formula One grid after becoming Western Australia’s first ever Formula Two driver.
After a much-improved 2021 FIA Formula 3 campaign, Williams will race for Trident Motorsport in the F2 competition after a successful testing period with the team in Abu Dhabi late last year.
While fellow Australians Oscar Piastri and Jack Doohan have caught the eye in F2 over the past two years, Williams’ signing marks the first time a West Australian will be one of the 22 drivers in the competition below the F1.
Williams told The West Australian he was proud to be the first Sandgroper to race in the F2, but he viewed it first and foremost as another stop on the way to reaching his ultimate goal of the F1.
“It’s not something I really thought about. To me, this is just the next step in in pursuing my goal,” he said.
“That’s a really nice statistic to have, but it’s not really something I think about because I don’t really want to get lost in the records.
“To me, my focus is just on this year and doing everything I can, that I don’t really think about those things.”
While Ricciardo never raced in Formula 2 - he was plucked from the Formula Renault 3.5 Series - eight of the current field of F1 drivers have, most notably Ricciardo’s McLaren teammate Lando Norris and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
Williams finished 19th in last year’s Formula 3 championship for Jenzer Motorsport, highlighted by a breakthrough third-place finish at Circuit Paul Ricard, and ended the season as the Swiss’ team’s top driver.
The northern suburbs product impressed Trident during post-season testing, posting the sixth-best time in the afternoon session of day one, before clocking the 11th-quickest time on day three, just 0.5 seconds off first place.
Amazingly, it was the first time time Williams had stepped foot inside an F2 car and he admitted his first run had exceeded expectations.
“My goal was just to learn as much about the car as possible in order to prepare myself and I didn’t really have any solid expectations, but to be honest I ended up performing better than I expected,” he said.
“On the third day, to be just half a second off the fastest lap times, with also still so much to learn, because as much as I was happy with how I learned the car, there’s still a lot more I have to improve.”
“Being that small amount off with a lot more to come is really promising and I can’t wait to get started because I’m sure there’s a lot more progression there and I just want to get in the car again and continue to grow.”
The Italian team were quick to snap him up for the 14-race 2022 season, which will coincide with F1 race weekends, and Williams said he could not wait to get started.
“I’m really happy with the team, they’re incredibly professional. The environment within the team is like a family really, so to have the opportunity to race with them, so professional but also so passionate is amazing,” Williams said.
“You need people who are really good at their jobs and committed, but also people who love the industry and have a genuine passion and want to succeed.”
Trident team manager Giacomo Ricci said they were impressed with Williams’ smooth transition from an F3 car to an F2.
“He was able to adapt very quickly to the FIA F2 car and this allowed him to be competitive both in terms of performance and during the race simulation,” he said.
“We were very impressed with his performance. He has a very high work ethic, and it is great to work with a driver who dedicates his life every day to go faster. There is already a very strong working bond between Calan and the team.”
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