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Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Jun 2013   |  3:09 pm GMT  |  23 comments

Caterham has launched a racing academy aimed at providing a path for young motorsport talent from junior formulae right up to Formula 1.

The Caterham Racing Academy is an evolution of its driver development programme which started in 2010. It aims to provide a bespoke development plan for each driver that will cover every aspect of a modern day racing driver’s life.

They will work on racecraft and engineering feedback, mental and physical training and media and sponsor relations. Crucially, the drivers will also receive financial support providing they meet their performance-based targets.

The prize fund will make a contribution to a driver’s season costs ranging from “10% in year one up to 50% in year five”.

Giedo van der Garde has benefitted from Caterham’s commitment to developing future talent having moved from GP2 in 2012 to F1 this season with the Leafield-based outfit while Alexander Rossi, who is one of the six drivers currently on the Academy’s books, is combining his Caterham F1 reserve commitments with his GP2 race drive as well as making his international sportscar debut in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

American Rossi is joined in the Academy by his GP2 team-mate Sergio Canamasas of Spain and Britain’s Matt Parry, who competes in Formula Renault NEC.

France’s Aurelien Panis, who races in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Malaysia’s Weiron Tan, who competes in the Formula Renault BARC and Singapore’s Daim Hishamuddin who races in European KF3 karting championship, complete the line-up.

Caterham F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “Within the Academy we have an environment that gives young drivers a clear path from the junior racing series right up to F1.

“For the team itself, the Academy program is also driven by our ongoing search for our future line-up and having investments in a number of drivers gives us a range of options for the future.”

Each driver will work with the F1 team at selected races and tests during the season to give them exposure to a race weekend and prepare them for a future in F1.

Caterham adds that in the future, the Academy will have direct links with Caterham Motorsport’s karting and racing series.

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23 Comments
  1. Andrew Carter says:

    Van der Garde benefited from millions of dollars of McGregor backing to get the Caterham drive or he wouldnt have been there. But it is nice to see a scheme like this at least offering some financial backing to the drivers which should go some way to ensuring the cream really does rise to the top.

  2. CarlH says:

    “Giedo van der Garde has benefitted [sic] from Caterham’s commitment to developing future talent”

    Come off it. This isn’t an attack on Giedo because I find him one of the most genuinely likeable guys on the grid, but if he’s still in F1 in two years time I’ll eat a Caterham-branded beanie hat.

    What he has actually benefited from is Caterham’s desire to funnel funds into the team this year.

    1. tarun says:

      he does seem to be a quick driver!

  3. Anne says:

    Nice to see Caterham growing and expanding their wings. Good luck with the academy. And with Le Mans. That´s an adventure

  4. Stan says:

    It’s not surprising that they use Van Der Garde as an example. After all he did win two races for their GP2 team.

    I don’t really understand why people seem to consider Van Der Garde a pay driver, but not Pic. When you look at their track records, you will see that they are more or less equals. One would expect they both bring in a hefty amount of sponsorship.

    1. Victor says:

      If you consider that bring major sponsors to a team means that the guy is a pay driver, then even Alonso is, as Santander joined Ferrari together with Fernando.

      1. Pete_from_Nepal says:

        One brought sponsorship, while in the other case the sponsorship followed. Minor difference but significant imho.

    2. David C says:

      Probably their age, at 28 VDG is pretty late to the game by modern F1 standards while pic at 23 has plenty of time to improve which is crucial with the modern no in season testing bans (insert Merc comment here). I don’t think we will see any more young drivers coming through and being very quick straight away due to testing bans, it’s going to take guys years to get up to speed and when they move teams now the first year will be difficult. At 28 VDG dosent have the time to get good enough. LH probably drove more miles before his first gp than JEV has in his career so far.

  5. TP says:

    I’m not convinced that such an Academy has much merit when it’s run by a team that required funded drivers.

    You don’t need an “Academy”, there’s a bunch of young drivers that could jump in F1 and perform, but they lack budget.

  6. Peter Scandlyn says:

    I hope that their training smartens up drivers reaction times.
    I watched and re-watched the botched start of the GP2 race 1 from Monaco and saw the same every time – Rossi coming in to a tangle from way back and screwing his chances when he had ample time to hang a right and avoid.
    Pretty simple stuff.

    1. David C says:

      GP2 is a joke, best off keeping young drivers away from it, I saw some lad force another off during practice and the funny thing was they were both going about 20mph on a straight piece of track, kinda a like the chuckle brothers in cars (I’ll try post up a link for you later). The rules should be stricter in the junior series to get rid of bad habits, like cause a crash miss the next race because the lax stewarding in GP2 is starting to damage F1. If Perez need to be punched in the face that gp2 driver I was talking about needs to be blasted out of a cannon into the sun!
      P.S. he got no sanction

    2. David C says:

      There is that link I was telling you about, what a jerk!! he called Johnny Cecotto and Id like to see him do that to Kimi

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVoKC_tvj4E

  7. Trent says:

    Totally irrelevant but – there’s a very odd picture of you coming up in Google at the moment…

    1. Peter C says:

      I’ve pointed this up previously. The face is of a murderer & serious criminal by the same name. It has been there for several weeks.

      Perhaps JA or moderators can’t do anything about it.

    2. alexyoong says:

      Good spot- who is that? Seems to be James’ profile

  8. Danno76 says:

    I’m happy to see that Caterham appears to be foreseeing more of an F1 future than HRT at the moment. However I grew up in Caterham (in Surrey, geography fans)and they recently closed their showroom there. It’s a shame that a Racing Outfit like Caterham no longer has any links with the town that gave it its’ name

  9. Hendo says:

    Where do they get the money for that?
    Why not spend the cash on making their cars go faster?

    1. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      Given the reserve drivers don’t really do anything these days due to the testing ban, the academy is probably a way of justifying the millions paid by sponsored up and coming drivers. You can’t just take their money and all they get is a set of team apparel!

  10. Joseph El Antoury says:

    i am looking for a chance to get a trial driving in formula 1 or formula 2.
    i am from lebanon,i have 30 yrs old.i am a speed addicted person,with a high adrenalin level.i drived Golf Tuned, BMW M3, Subaru Impreza STI Tuned,i also participated in Carting race in Swizerland and i won the race.
    Hope to get a sponsor who will offers me chance to make a drive and i promess good results.
    00961-70-94 84 47

  11. ralvan williams says:

    I am a young boy from south Africa who really loves racing and especially loves formula 1. I really want to start racing professionally but there are not many opportunities in south Africa and want to go to a racing academy ,im 17 years old ,can someone please help me.

  12. Jaco says:

    Hai I am 20 years old and have 3 years racing experience hafo lots of trophies first second and third place trophies stopt racing du to funds is there some one thar can help me turn my dream into a reality

  13. Henrique Pimenta says:

    Hello.

    I am a sixteen year old portuguese, who is pursuing is biggest dream: to be a professional Formula 1 driver. Just looking for a chance to surprise someone who can take me there, since I have no monetary conditions to make it myself alone. All I need is an opportunity, and I promise you won’t regret it. Just one chance.
    Yours sincerely,
    Henrique.

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