NEW PRIZE FOR MABA WINNER
Mclaren offer paid sim driver role to 2016 winner
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.