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De la Rosa helps Santander nurture young Spanish talent 01 Dec 2009

Young Spanish driver Antonio Alarcon receives Santander's 30,000 Euro motorsport scholarship from McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa. © McLaren Young Spanish driver Antonio Alarcon receives Santander's 30,000 Euro motorsport scholarship from McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa. © McLaren

Although there’s been an influx of young drivers into Formula One racing in recent years, the sport is always hungry for more. And last week McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa did his bit for the cause, attending a special event organised by team sponsor Santander, who hope to boost the careers of talented newcomers in De la Rosa’s home country of Spain.

Thirteen young drivers travelled to the Spanish banking corporation's international headquarters in the town of Boadilla del Monte to hear a series of talks aimed at increasing their knowledge of the motorsport industry, develop their skills and give them a head start in their racing careers.

"Santander's support of young Spanish drivers is a fantastic initiative that really supports grassroots motorsport in Spain,” De la Rosa said. "I'm proud to have been able to offer my experience and advice to everyone who attended the Santander event. And I'm sure all these guys will benefit tremendously from the support they were given today."

De la Rosa talked about his own career progression to Formula One racing and urged the young drivers to never give up in their pursuit of excellence. The programme also included other inspirational talks from Santander's Formula One sponsorship manager, Pablo de Villota, and fitness expert Gonzalo Iglesias.

At the close of the event, Mallorca-born driver Antonio Alarcon was awarded a 30,000 Euro motorsport scholarship from Santander, and De la Rosa was optimistic the prize would help the 16 year-old achieve his future goals: “I hope that Antonio is able to use his scholarship to benefit his career - that level of support is simply invaluable when you are just starting out in the sport.”