Sauber launches academy to find next Vettel or Schumacher
Sauber Motorsport has launched its own academy in a bid to unearth the next generation of Formula 1 drivers.
The Swiss organisation has played a key role over the years in helping to nurture talent, providing a stepping stone in the F1 journey for the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Robert Kubica and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
The academy, to be overseen by Alfa Romeo team principal Frédéric Vasseur and sporting director Beat Zehnder, has named four young drivers as its first inductees - Emerson Fittipaldi Jr, 13, Théo Pourchaire, 16, Petr Ptacek, 17, and Dexter Patterson, 16.
Vasseur said: “Investing in young talent has always been a central part of Sauber Motorsport’s racing philosophy.
"Our academy is just the latest project aimed at unearthing stars of the future and guiding them through their career, giving them the tools, the education and the resources needed to succeed in the world of motorsport.”
Two-time F1 champion Fittipaldi Sr, whose son will be competing in the OK-J karting championship with the Sauber Karting Team, added: “When I heard Emmo Jr. had been selected by Sauber Academy, I was extremely happy for him.
"First, he achieved a sponsorship deal from Brand Institute, a crucial step in advancing his young career. Now, he will be guided by Sauber, an organisation with exceptional prestige and experience in motorsport. Emmo Jr. is building a strong foundation to help him achieve his dream of becoming an F1 driver.
"I have known Frédéric and Beat for many years. With their expertise and reputation, I feel very confident they will provide Emmo Jr. with the proper guidance to be successful on and off the track.”
Off-track, the four juniors will go through a programme of mental and physical training, technical work with the team’s engineers, media training and work on the simulator, both for F1 and for their respective series.
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