Mclaren of­fer paid sim driver role to 2016 win­ner

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - Pho­tos: LAT By Kevin Turner

The win­ner of this year’s Mclaren Au­tosport BRDC Award will be­come a paid sim­u­la­tor driver for the his­toric For­mula 1 team as part of a re­vamp of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Mclaren has de­cided to in­crease its in­volve­ment in the ini­tia­tive to find and as­sist the best of Bri­tain’s ju­nior driv­ing tal­ent, which started in 1989.

As well as a role in the full move­ment Drive In Loop Sim­u­la­tor and time along­side pro­fes­sional sim­u­la­tor driver and for­mer Award win­ner Oliver Tur­vey, the vic­tor will be­come part of Mclaren’s driver fit­ness pro­gramme. This pack­age, sim­i­lar to that used by Mclaren re­serve F1 driver Stof­fel Van­doorne, in­cludes reg­u­lar phys­i­cal as­sess­ment and tar­get­ing, and ac­cess to the Wok­ing squad’s gym fa­cil­i­ties.

Mclaren will also pro­vide a spon­sor­ship mas­ter­class and the chance to im­press po­ten­tial back­ers or re­ward es­tab­lished spon­sors with the use of the Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre HQ, and ar­range for the win­ner to spend a ses­sion with re­spected driver coach Rob Wil­son.

The Mclaren pack­age re­places the £100,000 cash prize as it is be­lieved it will be more use­ful to up-and-com­ing driv­ers. The Mclaren F1 test prize and full BRDC mem­ber­ship for the win­ner will re­main.

As part of its com­mit­ment, Mclaren will also in­crease its role in the se­lec­tion process. The fi­nal­ists’ fit­ness lev­els will be as­sessed by Mclaren’s driver train­ers, with Van­doorne present to pro­vide guid­ance.

They will also have mul­ti­ple runs on the Mclaren Driver In Loop Sim­u­la­tor and be as­sessed on a range of cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing con­sis­tency and feed­back. This is as well as the tra­di­tional on-track test­ing at Sil­ver­stone.

Four driv­ers will now be se­lected as fi­nal­ists, in­stead of the tra­di­tional six, with the test cars re­main­ing as For­mula 2 (a car for each fi­nal­ist), DTM Mercedes and GT3 Mclaren. There will be a guest judge each year, with for­mer sportscar ace David Brab­ham join­ing the judges this year.

One-off For­mula 3 out­ings at FIA level will no longer make driv­ers in­el­i­gi­ble, pro­vided that a more ju­nior cat­e­gory has been their fo­cus dur­ing the cur­rent sea­son.

Ge­orge Rus­sell: 2014 win­ner F1 test will re­main, along­side sim role Lopez has the pro­vi­sional ti­tle

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