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FIA Institute launches Global Driver Academy 24 Sep 2010

FIA flag on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 14 March 2010 Alex Wurz (AUT).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 18 April 2010 (L to R): Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams with Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 29 August 2010 Sid Watkins (GBR) Ex-FIA Safety Delegate.
GP2 Series, Rd 5, Race 2, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 11 July 2010

The FIA Institute is launching a groundbreaking new project to develop young driver talent worldwide. The new FIA Institute Academy will provide opportunities for upcoming drivers to develop the skills and attitudes they need to progress their motor sport careers.

The participation and support of the FIA’s National Sporting Associations (ASNs) is helping to ensure that the most talented drivers across the world have access to this initiative.

Potential participants will be aged between 17 and 23 years old and will be in at least their first year of circuit racing or rallying in 2010. Initially, the Institute Academy is selecting 10 drivers to take part, with at least one driver chosen from each of the following five regions: North, Central and South America; Western and Northern Europe; Central and Eastern Europe; Middle East and Africa; Asia and Oceania.

The FIA Institute is teaming up with former Formula One star and two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz as well as former World Rally Champion Robert Reid to lead the Institute Academy training programme.

In the first instance the Institute Academy activities will take place in Europe but this will soon develop into a programme of events and workshops across the world.

Rubens Barrichello, President of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA), representing the current drivers and test drivers in Formula One, has given his support to the Institute Academy.

Rubens Barrichello, GPDA President, said: “After more than 300 F1 races I am still learning every day. Education is a highly valuable thing and the young drivers will certainly benefit strongly from this comprehensive programme. The training they will get from Alex and the FIA Institute will not only benefit the drivers and team, but the whole motor sport industry. I wish such a programme would have existed when I was on the way to F1.”

Prof. Sid Watkins, FIA Institute President, said: “We plan to provide drivers with not just the skills but also the attitudes they need to have a safe and successful future in motor racing. Graduates of the Academy will become ambassadors for our sport and will be able to establish careers in motor racing long after their success on the track.”

Alex Wurz said: “Having been involved in creating the Academy concept with the FIA Institute I am very pleased to continue to be part of this important project. I now look forward to working with young drivers to help them to develop their professionalism, skills and responsibilities at the defining stage of their careers.”

Robert Reid said: “There is more to a successful driving career than just ability behind the wheel and we will aim to ensure that participants are taught all the skills they need to become complete competitors. The Academy will also offer recognition and opportunity on a global level, and this will be important as drivers look to take their next steps up the racing ladder.”

For more information, visit http://www.fiainstitute.com.