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.