Tag Archives: young driver programme

Lopez reportedly signed for USF1

Jose Maria Lopez, when he was part of the Renault squad

Jose Maria Lopez, when he was part of the Renault squad

Reuters is reporting that Jose Maria Lopez has been signed for USF1, with an announcement due on Monday.

His manager, Miguel Mattos, confirmed the announcement, saying to Reuters that the 26-year-old Argentinian would be with USF1 for 2010. He stated:

“Everything has been agreed (with the US F1 team) and the official announcement will be made on Monday.”

In 2006, Lopez was a GP2 driver for Super Nova, and also the Renault F1 test driver. However, he was dropped from the renault young driver programme. In 2007, due to a lack of funding, he raced in TC2000, the Argentine Touring Car Championship. He claimed the titles for this championship in 2008 and 2009.

The USF1 team are also hinting towards this, saying, on their Facebook page, a big announcement is due next week.

It is understood that this deal was assisted largely by Carlos Reutemann, a former F1 driver from 1972 to 1982. He is now a politician in Argentina and a close friencd of Peter Windsor. A certain amount of governement backing (because of Carlos’ influence as a politician) and some sponsors brought on board meant that Lopez now had the money to sign a deal.

Lopez was saying months ago that he had an offer, but had to get some money and sponsors first. Now, thanks to Reutemann, he has his chance.

Personlly, I don’t think that politics like this should play a part in F1, but money talks big around here. Let’s see how he does in USF1 first, before we make any rash decisions. If he’s good, then it’s well worth this political influence. If he isn’t, it’s just money down the drain.

McLaren sign Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

Nyck de Vries

McLaren have announced that they have signed 14-year-old Nyck de Vries to their young driver programme.

The Dutch driver will be managed by Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’s father, and the Hamilton Management Group throughout his racing career in different categories.

“McLaren has a long-held commitment to assisting young talent – we believe it’s part of the responsibility of the motor racing community to encourage and nurture junior racers, and we are committed to doing just that,” said team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

“Nyck appears to be a very exciting prospect, and we are looking forward to assisting his junior career, providing him with the support and training he requires to succeed.”

Anthony Hamilton, his manager, said:

“Nyck is an extremely promising youngster. His father Hendrik has been fantastically supportive of Nyck’s career, and has been instrumental in raising him up to not just be a great young racing driver, but also a fine young man. Together, we both believe that, with the right level of support, we can take his career to the highest level.”

“We’ll be working very closely with Dino Chiesa, who will be running Nyck in Italy this year. Dino is an old friend, who previously ran Lewis and Nico (Rosberg) in Team MBM, so he knows everything about nurturing and developing young talent. We believe this is a very exciting and dynamic partnership.”

Nyck also paid a visit to the McLaren Technology Centre. Afterwards, he said:

“My visit to the McLaren Technology Centre has been a fantastic experience and I am very honoured and grateful for the support of McLaren in helping to develop my career.”

“The resources they have are incredible, and I believe they’ll be able to provide me with the perfect framework for improving my skills, my fitness and my motorsport experience.”

More details regarding McLaren’s driver development programme will be released later this month.

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