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Renault name Wickens, Korjus & Charouz for young driver test 07 Nov 2011

Robert Wickens (CDN) Virgin Racing Reserve Driver at the runthattrack.info charity group run.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 30 July 2011 Kevin Korjus (EST), Tech 1 Racing. Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Rd 4, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 26-29 May 2011. Jan Charouz (CZE) Renault Test Driver. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010.

Renault have announced three drivers for next week’s Abu Dhabi young driver test. Stepping into the R31 during the three-day session will be Canada’s Robert Wickens, Estonia’s Kevin Korjus and the Czech Republic’s Jan Charouz.

Wickens, 22, is the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion and a reserve driver with the Virgin Formula One team. In 2009 he finished second in the FIA Formula Two Championship, and in 2010 he was runner-up in the GP3 Series.

Korjus, 18, was the 2010 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion. This year, he became the youngest driver to win a race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, going on to finish sixth overall.

Charouz, 24, has been one of Renault’s F1 third drivers since 2010. He won the 2009 Le Mans Series and 2006 F3000 International Masters, as well as taking fourth place in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans. He has also competed in Auto GP and Formula Renault 3.5.

“The young driver test in Abu Dhabi in is a great opportunity for us to cast our eyes over potential future stars of the sport,” said Renault team principal Eric Boullier. “With a plethora of young hopefuls out there, we hope to spot very strong contenders for future F1 seats. As the season draws to a close, this three day test will pit the wits of the three drivers against this challenging circuit. We look forward to seeing how they get on.”

Wickens commented: “I’m really excited - I think it’s every kid’s dream to drive a Formula One car. I can’t wait to drive the Lotus Renault on Tuesday; I have been waiting a long time. Obviously I’m confident having won the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship; that was a big achievement for me and it just proves to myself I’m capable of doing something like this. I feel like I’m ready for Formula One and I think driving the car in Abu Dhabi will be kind of a true test. All year, my goal in World Series was to win the championship and to get this drive, so hopefully I can make the most of the opportunity and put in some competitive lap times.”

Korjus commented: “It’s the most exciting moment of my life and now, as it’s only a few days left, I’m really looking forward to it. I will be driving on the Wednesday and I’m very much looking forward to this event. It will be such a huge experience for me. I was in Enstone last week to ensure my seat and meet all the guys, and I also learned a little bit about the steering wheel because there are so many patterns - it was a lot to take in. I also talked with the engineers about what we are going to do in Abu Dhabi. It will be my first ever time in a F1 car and my first time in the Emirate. Everything is new for me and it’s extremely exciting to learn about it. I’m ready to get in the car.”

Charouz commented: “I’m very excited to go to Abu Dhabi; it is a great opportunity to get some mileage in the R31 this year. I have been doing some driving but nothing in this year’s car yet, so I’m very excited to do that and also to work with the race team.”

The Abu Dhabi young driver test takes place on November 15-17. Wickens will drive for Renault on Tuesday, Korjus on Wednesday and Charouz on Thursday.

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