In keeping with its tradition of spotting and promoting talented young drivers in motor sport, Renault Sport Racing has invited the front-runners in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to spend two days in the F1 paddock at the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix. Five drivers have taken up the invitation to discover what goes on on the spot in the blue-riband branch of motor sport and meet the key players of the Renault Sport Formula One Team and the Renault Sport Academy, while enjoying total immersion in the behind-the-scenes of Formula 1.
Proud of its heritage of promoting the most-talented coming drivers, Renault Sport Racing has renewed its annual operation with the Renault Sport Formula One Team and the Renault Sport Academy to enable the young chargers in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to experience a Grand Prix from the inside. Thus, Max Defourny (R-ace GP), Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing), Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) and Will Palmer (R-ace GP) were in Budapest to take advantage of this opportunity that gives them the best tools to achieve their dream.
Over two days the group was given a welcome in privileged conditions by the Renault Sport Formula One Team. The five youngsters could access the motorhome, where they were able to talk to the team’s drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer as well as the third driver, Esteban Ocon.
They also met Ricardo Panteado, Head of Trackside Operations at Viry, Paul Seaby, Race Team Manager, as well as Thomas Jorgenssen, Kevin Magnussen’s physiotherapist. After a complete in-depth tour of the garage as well as the different strategic points of the team they followed the first free practice session.
Preparing for the future
The five drivers ended Thursday in the GP2 and GP3 paddock with Mia Sharizman, the Renault Sport Academy manager, where they met the GP2 and GP3 drivers.
On Friday they met Fred Vasseur. The Renault Sport Formula One Team Team Principal called on his impressive record acquired in the promotional formulas to give straight, direct answers to all their questions as well as offering them precious advice for their respective careers.
Max Defourny : “First of all, I’d like to thank Renault Sport for this invitation. To be able to follow F1 in total immersion for two days is a fantastic opportunity. It was so instructive that I’ve learned an enormous amount in all the domains. I hope I’ll be able to repeat this experience as soon as possible.”
Harrison Scott : “I’ve had two really great days in the paddock. I learned a lot behind the scenes by being able to see what all the F1 drivers do on a daily basis, and also being able to talk to them and learn more about our sport. During free practice we had the radio and I realised how much information they have to absorb. It was incredible to see how busy they are out on the track. A big thanks to Renault Sport for these two days of which I’ll remember a lot.”
Dorian Boccolacci : “For young drivers like us it’s great to have this kind of experience and I’d like to thank Renault Sport for making it possible. It shows us what we have to do to hope to make it into F1. Professionalism is everywhere although it’s only part of the job alongside marketing and media relations. We’re still beginners but we’re going to try and grow up to reach this exclusive world. It’ll be difficult as the places are rare, but it motivates you to give everything to achieve this.”
Sacha Fenestraz : “This invitation was very important as it was my first visit to the F1 paddock. I’d like to thank Renault Sport very much for enabling me to discover it as well as opening its doors to us so we could be with the drivers in the first free session, and see the engine from close up. It was extremely instructive and I learned a lot through the different conversations I had over these two days. Now, I can’t wait to come back as soon as possible !”
Will Palmer : I really appreciated these two days in Hungary. Even if it wasn’t my first time in the F1 paddock I was able to meet engineers who are usually tied up with their jobs and the races. So I’m very grateful to Renault Sport to have given me the opportunity to get to know these people in the team, to listen to their advice and to talk to them.”
Fred Vasseur, Renault Sport Formula One Team, Team Manager : “For many years now, Renault has continued to work on picking out young drivers. In this respect, it’s important to make the youngsters understand that talent is only one factor in the equation ; and that starting today they have to put together a complete package. The mere fact of bringing some of the most promising guys to see what goes on behind the scenes in F1 enables them to get a true appreciation of what a works team expects in terms of driving, technical feed-back, physical training and their ease with the media and partners among so many other factors. Thus, they can become fully aware of the efforts they have to make if they want to have a chance at the highest level.”