Robert Wickens, hotly tipped to be North America’s next F1 star, is set to try and emulate German F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel when he heads to Barcelona in two weeks time to try and clinch the World Series by Renault (WSR) title. ¬†WSR is often used by F1 teams to evaluate potential drivers, and Vettel went directly from WSR to F1 four years ago.

Wickens currently leads the WSR championship by two points from his Carlin Racing team mate Jean Eric Vergne, with the final weekend in Spain set to be a thrilling climax to the hotly fought title. The Toronto born driver has been nurtured to WSR success by Mark Gallagher and the Status Grand Prix team, for whom he scored their first victory in the A1 Grand Prix of South Africa in February 2008. It was later with Status that Wickens finished 2nd in the 2010 GP3 series, and was promoted to WSR in partnership with Marussia Motors, owners of the Marussia Virgin Racing F1 team. He is now MVR’s official reserve driver.

“Robert is a special talent,” says Mark, ” and the success he achieved for my team in A1GP continued in Formula 2 and GP3 last year. It has come as no surprise that he has been the best overall performer in WSR this season, but he faces stern opposition from Red Bull’s star driver Jean Eric Vergne. It is enormously satisfying to see Robert on the cusp of F1.”