Double Formula Renault champion Lando Norris believes the revisions to the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award's prize structure offer an "amazing opportunity" for this year's winner.
Sunday's Autosport Awards will climax with the announcement of this year's Award winner, who will earn the traditional prize McLaren Formula 1 test but also receive simulator time with the team and a bespoke fitness programme.
FR Eurocup and Northern European Cup champion Norris is the latest finalist to be profiled in a series of interviews ahead of the prestigious end-of-season ceremony.
Q: What was your reaction when you got the news that you had been nominated for the Award?
LN: My first reaction was to tell my parents and friends and then to jump on my simulator to start doing some testing!
Q: Who was the first person you told about your nomination, and what was their reaction?
LN: The first person I told was my trainer and manager. Their first reaction was to ask me how I was going to fit even more days in my busy calendar!
Q: Which element were you most looking forward to during the test days and why?
LN: The part I was most looking forward to was driving the GT3 and the DTM cars, mainly because they are very different cars to what I normally drive, and they are cars that everyone fantasises about driving.
Q: Which element did you find the most challenging during the test days and why?
LN: The most challenging part was the 10-lap run in the F2 car. This was because we'd had such little experience with the Pirelli tyre, so it was hard to predict the effect of a long run. We'd had experience of doing shorter, five-lap runs in the F2 car where the tyres would start to drop off, but they didn't drop off by a huge amount.
Q: What were your thoughts of the fitness and simulator assessments?
LN: The sim session was very exciting. I do love simulators and enjoy driving in them. I have driven quite a few, so it was interesting to experience the McLaren simulator.
The fitness assessments were something that you both look forward to and don't look forward to. It was interesting to experience the different assessments and understand the different training techniques.
Q: What would it mean to you if you won the Award?
LN: Winning the Award would really mean a lot to me in all areas. My aim is to be racing in F1, so this would be another step towards helping me achieve my goal.
Getting to know some of the people at McLaren from the simulator, and also being able to train at McLaren and learn how to help myself to get to a level where I would be able to drive in F1 would be an amazing opportunity.