The former Formula 1 drivers have presented the FEED Racing program in Barcelona, an initiative that aims to give an opportunity to a young talent, with the ultimate goal of reaching the highest car category.
The boys and girls who join the program must be between 14 and 21 years old and have never competed in formulas. The fastest will overcome eliminatory to find the winner of the first edition.
“The prize will be to compete with the Carlin team in British F4, that is, the best possible combination between championship and team,” according to Lemarié.
“In the past, talent was more important than money to get to Formula 1. That’s why we want to recover this spirit and offer opportunities to those who have a dream and want to pursue it,” explains Jacques Villeneuve.
F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve and former F1 driver Patrick Lemarié presented the pioneering FEED RACING program at the Museu i Center d’Estudis de l’Esport Melcior Colet on Tuesday, aimed at helping young drivers in their road to the highest automobile category.
After starting its first edition in France a few months ago, FEED Racing arrives in Spain to find a candidate who will have the opportunity to play a full season in a European F4 reference championship. To participate there are only a few minimum requirements: to be between 14 and 21 years old and have never competed with a formula. Never before has an F1 world champion been involved in an initiative to promote talent, regardless of origin, experience and without financial resources being a limitation.
The project was born in France with international vision at the hands of Patrick Lemarié, who was one of the young pilots who left the Elf Volley, karting champion of France (1986), test driver of the F1 BAR team (1999-2002), winner of the ELMS (2001) and who for years has been an instructor of pilots; and of Jacques Villeneuve, world champion of F1 (1997), Champion of the Indycar (1995), winner of the Indy 500 (1995) and second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2008).
“In the last 15 years there has been no program to help young talents. Go-karts are very expensive and it is almost impossible to prove the talent one has. We look for talent and that is why we open this FEED Racing initiative to young people who feel passion, regardless of their nationality, gender or experience. The prize will be to compete with the Carlin team in the British F4, that is, the best possible combination between championship and team, “says Lemarié.
To dispute international karting championships costs around 100,000 euros per year. To make the leap to formulas, you need between 200,000 and 450,000 euros for a season of F4, and in the case of F3, the jump is 600,000 euros. The increase is increasing until F1, so that economic availability plays a decisive role and that can be a brake on talent, something that Villeneuve would like to change: “In the past, talent was more important that the money to get to Formula 1. That’s why we want to recover this spirit and offer opportunities to those who have a dream and want to pursue it. The chronometer will decide who will pass the round, but we will also reserve a spot for those pilots who show a greater progression. We would love it if one day one of our pilots came to F1 because it would give us great prestige. ”
The first days of FEED Racing 2019 took place in mid-April and 16 young people participated, of which 3 were girls, of 6 different nationalities, one more proof of the international character of the project. The next runs, for which there are still places available, will take place on July 11, 12, 13, 30 and 31 and July 15, 16, 17 and August 1 and 2 at the Magny-Cours circuit, with Several F4 Mygale monoplace with identical characteristics to ensure maximum equality of possibilities. The selection will continue during the months of September and October until reaching the final scheduled for mid-November.
In the initial phase, each applicant will have a total of 5 days of training and piloting divided into two parts. The first will be 3 days and will be structured in such a way that the aspirants will receive theoretical classes that will be complemented with the practices. In total, they will make 28 laps each per day. The following two days will be only on the track and the times will count for the classification. The 48 fastest (one lap and the average of five laps) will go to the quarterfinals. From there, the 24 fastest will reach the semifinals and the final 5 will reach the final. The prize for the winner will be a full season in the English championship of F4 with a car from the renowned Carlin team, the best team of the contest, which have left many F1.
Registrations can be processed through the website www.feedracing.fr or by calling +33 (0) 386 21 86 34, at a rate of 11,500 euros per applicant.
The act of presentation of FEED Racing in Spain has had the participation Joan Ollé, President of the Catalan Federation of Motorsports, which has highly valued the initiative: “We are convinced that it is an exciting project that will provide the opportunity for many young people from Having a contact with cars, in an affordable way, we would like it to be the way to have F1 drivers again “.
Antoni Reig, Director of the Consell Català de l’Esport, who has served as host of the event, said: “We thank FEED Racing for their initiative and we congratulate them because it is an opportunity for our young people. Catalunya smells of gasoline and has several former Formula 1 drivers, so we hope that this project will help to bring out new talents. ”