This week I look at the efforts being used in developing the next generation of French race drivers, an approach that has produced great results so far.
I also bring you the first four drivers selected for the 2023 Ferrari Driver Academy, why F1 drivers think that sim racing is a less expensive alternative to karting and the importance of resilience.
All this and more in this week’s edition of the Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
The Ferrari Driver Academy has revealed the four drivers who are taking part in its first scouting camp of 2023. ACI Sport nominated Italians Francesco Marenghi and Giacomo Pedrini for the camp, while Polish youngsters Maciej Gladysz and Jan Przyrowski were also selected to participate by the FDA on the advice of kart manufacturer Tony Kart.
Dylan Ulinder is headed to France after winning a scholarship from Road to Racing which aims to provide financial support to young Canadian drivers. He will be attending the FEED Racing School. Dylan was the quickest of the 20 karters that attended the recent R2R shootout. He was recently profiled by Canada’s Global News.
Feeder Series profiles how both the French FFSA Junior Karting Championship and the FEED Racing F4 competition are being used to shape the next generation of French racing talent. “Following a golden generation with Pourchaire, Martins and Hadjar, France is ready to prepare its next rising stars. After being on Friday at Magny-Cours for the first training course of the FEED Racing F4 competition, Feeder Series went to Salbris for the final of the French FFSA Junior Karting Championship. These two competitions share the same core principle: reveal young drivers’ talent under equal conditions.”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says its planning to cut back on the number of drivers within its junior ranks beyond this year. “I think that look, I mean, things go in waves, it produced Sebastian Vettel, it’s produced Max Verstappen,” Horner said regarding the Red Bull Junior Team on the ESPN Podcast. “Daniel [Ricciardo] is a graduate of it. Carlos Sainz is a graduate of it. Pierre Gasly is a graduate of it. There’s so many drivers it’s given opportunity to and got to Formula 1. Alex Albon being another. And yeah, it’s focusing a bit more on youth I think going forward as well. We have a lot of drivers in Formula 2 this year, I think that will be thinned out moving forward and perhaps a refocus on perhaps some of the lower formulas as well. But you know, a Max Verstappen or a Sebastian Vettel, they don’t come along every season. So, it’s just making sure that you identify that talent when it does come along.”
Kart racing site Vroom Kart is looking to expand its coverage of sim racing as a tool for driver development after it notes that an increasing number of drivers like Max Verstappen are stating how sim racing is an alternative to (expensive) karting.
“For some years now there seems to be a consolidated tendency on the part of F1 drivers – all of whom have arrived where they are starting from karting – to criticize the high costs, emphasizing how impractical it is for those who set career goals to access the highest level of this sport, which according to some is the only one capable of providing access to minor Formulas and consequently to the junior formula racing that leads to F1.”
The Rallye du Maroc is the only leg of the World Rally-Raid Championship that takes place in Africa, thus making it important to generate domestic interest by giving competitors from the continent an opportunity to take part. This comes in the form of the Africa Rallye Team, a program overseen by rally organizer ODC Event and its sponsors to bring a group of African bike riders and SSV drivers to the race.
“A big thank you to ODC Event for offering me this great opportunity as part of the Africa Rallye Team,” said Jacquemain. “The objective of this edition is to finish classified in order to validate a Dakar pass and gain as much experience as possible, especially in the field of navigation.”
The Shift Up Now Foundation has announced the launch of its “40 for 40 Campaign,” aimed at raising $40,000 over 40 days, in celebration of Pippa Mann’s 40th birthday on August 11, 2023.
“As Shift Up Now continues to strive for gender equality for female athletes in motorsport, the foundation furthers the mission by accepting tax-deductible gifts, donations and grants. Funds raised from donations are used to award opportunities to racers believed to have the talent and aptitude to succeed in motorsports. This allows these racers access to more competitive equipment, seat time for testing and practice, and resources to help grow their careers. To join the campaign, race fans and Shift Up Now supporters are invited to make a donation – in $40 increments – from August 1st through September 9th.”
Donations can be made to the Shift Up Now Foundation Inc via the “make a gift” page of the website, www.shiftupnow.com. To pay via check, please contact them at email@example.com.
The latest issue of the Formula Career News newsletter has a great piece on the importance of resilience. “In motorsport, resilience is more than just a buzzword. It’s a key trait, a lifeline, and often, the thin line between success and failure. It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up, dust yourself off, and get back in the race.”