Riki Christodoulou fervently believes that his maiden 2009 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series season in which he was the highest-placed “rookie” will stand him in good stead for next year – whichever category the Sutton Coldfield race ace ultimately chooses.

The 21-year-old finished fifth in the championship standings after “Christo” netted a win plus two seconds and one third placing in the 20-race series – his first year at this level. All four drivers who finished ahead of him had previously raced in F3 with three of them having two full season’s of race experience.

“My first season in F3 was very good but I feel it should have been better,” reflects Riki who finished second in the Mirror.co.uk Challenge Cup – presented to the highest-placed British driver. “I was fast throughout the season but was involved in accidents, caused by others, too many times which really hurt my Championship hopes.

“Scoring my maiden F3 win was the best feeling while the low point was at Spa in Belgium, one of my favourite tracks, where I recorded two non-finishes which was a disaster for my championship aspirations.”

“Christo” drove a Dallara-Mercedes for the Daventry-based Fortec Motorsport team – a hi-tec single-seater capable of 170mph built from advanced composites and loaded with aerodynamic wings and flaps.

Riki continued: “There is so much that can be finely tuned to suit the different tracks we race on.I did my homework before the season began and continued to learn as the year progressed. If I decide to remain in F3, I will be stronger all round with a year’s racing under my belt. I know the circuits, the car, the tyres and have been in qualifying and race situations.”

“Christo” is already planning for next year’s racing. He says: “I train everyday with my trainer, bright and early before starting work. I have a set programme throughout the week which involves Cardio Vascular work – I love running – and weights.

Riki will be awarded “Top Rookie” silverware at the British F3 Awards early next month (4 Dec) and is likely to be attending the Autosport Awards two days later in London where he will be rubbing shoulders with reigning Formula One World champion Jenson Button.

“I’m considering a number of different options and opportunities as well as attempting to put the necessary funding in place for 2010,” concluded “Christo”.