Aston Martin to consider setting up young driver program


Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer says the Silverstone-based outfit might consider having its own young driver program in the future.

In the past, in its Force India guise, the British team has served as a training ground for several young drivers, with George Russell and Nikita Mazepin among others testing with the outfit.

But as Aston Martin grows its foundation along with its ambitions, it could add a junior program to its capabilities along such a scheme isn't a priority.

"There’s a lot to do here to grow into a championship-winning team and a lot of the bigger teams have those programmes underneath them," said Szafnauer.

"We haven’t really given it much thought but I think in the future we should look at that as part of our entire capability."

With the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari or Alpine regularly selecting and supporting young cubs from motorsport's junior ranks, identifying and recruiting potential future champions isn't an easy task according to Szafnauer.

"You’ve got to start early," Szafnauer added. "I’m sure the competition for the best drivers, the best karters will be high given everyone else has young driver programmes in place already.

"So the option is to start young, hire them early. Either that or make it so attractive to them when they are ready to come into Formula 1 that they come knocking on your door anyway.

"So that’s the two routes and so far we haven’t entertained having one, but I think we should consider it for the future. I don’t know what’s best right now."

Next year, Formula 1 will mandate that all teams assign at least two free practice sessions during the 2022 season to a young driver, a move that will undeniably help the promote the sport's junior talent.

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