Skip to content

Driver Database News

The latest news from the world of racing

Archive

Category: Formula 1

Seb MorrisFormula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup racer Seb Morris has today, Monday, 3rd February, been confirmed as the latest addition to the Caterham Racing Academy – meaning the 18-year-old will compete in 2014 with the full support of the Caterham F1 Team’s driver program.

Seb, from Marford near Wrexham, makes the step-up to Formula Renault 2.0 NEC this year with Fortec Motorsport after becoming Vice-Champion of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship in 2013 with Hillspeed.

Ending last season with one win and nine other podiums, he was also selected as a finalist for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Outside the cockpit, Seb works with Jack Wills as one of its ‘Young Britons’ and as an ambassador for TAG Heuer.

Mia Sharizman, Head of Caterham Racing Academy, commented: “Seb is another outstanding addition to our list of Academy drivers. His talent speaks for itself and we are very pleased to be able to provide him with the full range of support available to all our Academy drivers as he makes the step up to Formula Renault NEC. He will be a strong contender for championship honours this season and, if, as we firmly believe he will, he fulfills his promise, the UK will have another serious motorsport talent to back.”

Seb added: “Joining the Caterham Academy is pretty huge for me. Matt Parry [2013 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Champion] is someone I look up to, and who I had a real battle with in the McLaren Autosport Awards.  I am following his footsteps this year, both as a Caterham driver and in NEC and I am looking to win it as Matt did.  To be part of an F1 team, with all the support and knowledge that brings, is a massive step forwards for my career.”

Seb’s motorsport career began in 2007 when he started racing karts aged 11. By 2010, he had progressed to the Ginetta Junior Championship where he showed his ability and became the youngest ever podium finisher and Winter Series Champion at 14-years-old. In 2011, Seb won the main Ginetta Junior title and was also awarded the Welsh Young Driver of the Year accolade.

In 2012, Seb was selected as a member of the Motor Sports Association (MSA) Academy and was also named a British Racing Drivers’ Club Rising Star. He moved into single-seater racing in the UK based Protyre Formula Renault Championship and finished the season as the highest placed rookie and third overall. He followed this by becoming the Winter Series Champion.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey PHotography.

Formula 1 fans attending the Autosport International Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham today were among the first to hear the Marussia F1 Team’s announcement that it will retain Max Chilton for a second season. Max will race alongside Jules Bianchi once again, completing the Team’s 2014 race driver line-up.

Max was present on the F1 Racing Magazine stage at the Show as Marussia F1 Team President & Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon announced the news that the 22 year old British driver, who made his F1 debut in 2013, will be racing for the Team again in 2014.

Max Chilton
“I am really happy to be continuing with the Marussia F1 Team into a second season. Continuity is important for the Team but also for me as a driver. You learn such a lot in your debut season, but the second year is when you can really pull all of those new experiences together and show your true potential. That has always been the case for me in the junior categories and I’ll be aiming for a similar step in my second year of F1 competition. I would like to thank the Marussia F1 Team for their continued faith and support. They are a great bunch of people who are extremely hard-working and ambitious and I can’t wait to embark on our 2014 season challenge together.”

Graeme Lowdon, President & Sporting Director, Marussia F1 Team
“We are delighted to announce Max directly to an audience of Formula 1 fans at the Autosport International Show today. Judging by the warm reaction we received at the Show, they felt it was well worth the wait to hear the news first hand and we at the Marussia F1 Team felt it was a fitting reward for the incredible support we receive from them. Keeping the fans at the heart of our sport is critical to its
continued success. It was great to see Max and Jules developing during their debut season last year, rewarding our confidence in such a young but obviously talented line-up. I’m sure the fans are as excited as we are to see what our drivers can go on to achieve in their second season with us.”

John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team
“We are pleased to confirm that Max will continue with the Team into the 2014 season. In view of next year’s regulation changes, continuity is key, so it is highly beneficial to our technical team that we retain the same driver line-up moving forward. Max had an impressive debut season last year and, of course, achieved a new rookie record for finishing all 19 races. He can be justifiably proud of the progress he made through the course of 2013. With our race driver line-up complete we can now focus all of our attentions on our 2014 car and moving the Marussia F1 Team to the next level. After our success in achieving 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship, we have set our sights on a bigger and better 2014 campaign.”

Heikki KovalainenFinnish driver Heikki Kovalainen [32] will join Lotus F1 Team for the final two races of the 2013 season as a stand-in for regular race driver Kimi Räikkönen, who is currently undergoing back surgery.

Heikki – a veteran of 109 Grand Prix starts – has previously driven for Renault F1 Team, McLaren, and Caterham F1 Team. Over the course of his six seasons in Formula 1 to date, Heikki has scored 105 World Championship points. He has qualified on the front row five times, taken one pole position at the 2008 British Grand Prix, achieved two fastest laps and finished on the podium four times; including victory at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Prior to racing for Lotus F1 Team in its former guise of Renault F1 Team in 2007, Heikki performed various test duties for the squad between 2004 – 2006. He completed his seat fitting at Enstone on Wednesday 13th November, before proceeding directly to Austin to join up with the race team.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team
“Obviously we had to move quickly following the news of Kimi’s non-participation in the final two races of this season, and we found ourselves facing a difficult decision in terms of who should take the wheel in Austin and São Paulo. On the one hand we had our reserve driver Davide Valsecchi – who is a talented young driver that has shown a great deal of promise – and on the other we had the opportunity to bring in a seasoned Formula 1 competitor in Heikki. Whilst we have every faith in Davide’s abilities, we are obviously involved in a tight Constructors’ Championship battle, so it was decided that the experience Heikki could bring to the team would be invaluable as we aim to finish the year in the best position possible. We must thank Tony Fernandes and Caterham F1 Team for their professional conduct in allowing Heikki to join us for the final races of this season.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Race Driver, Lotus F1 Team
“It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for the final two races of 2013. We’ve seen this year that the E21 is a car which can win races and finish on the podium, so I will be pushing hard for the best results possible. Jumping into a car so late in the year when you have not been competing in the races all season will be a challenge, but I know the team at Enstone well so I have no concerns about getting up to speed. This is a great opportunity for me, so I would like to thank Tony Fernandes and Caterham F1 Team for allowing me to take advantage of it.”

Michael LyonsFelsted-based racing driver Michael Lyons continued his outstanding run of success in the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany over the weekend, 10th/11th August, with two superb wins in the 41st staging of the AvD ‘Oldtimer’ Grand Prix event.

Hot on the heels of a remarkably successful outing at the Silverstone Classic two weeks ago, where he also claimed a double victory, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) ‘Rising Star’ once again shone at the wheel of his RAM Williams FW07 – his maiden historic F1 wins at the Nurburgring.

Although just missing out on pole position for Saturday’s encounter by a mere 0.2 seconds, largely after being held up by traffic, the Lyons Racing Team driver held second place over the course of the opening lap before grabbing the lead into the first turn on the second tour.

Controlling from the front thereafter, Michael eased to an eventual winning margin after 16 laps of some 15 seconds. He also comfortably posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m37.221 seconds (171.74 km/h).

Lining up on pole position for Sunday’s race, with the grid formed from the finishing order of the first contest, the Essex youngster led from the off and again scorched into the distance to open up an advantage of 15 seconds.

Although a late Safety Car period eroded his huge lead, Michael made a perfect re-start and over just one final racing lap he managed to win by three seconds. As in race one, he posted the fastest lap – this time with an effort of 1m37.621 seconds (171.03 km/h).

Having made his first ever competitive appearance in an historic F1 car at the Nurburgring back in 2007 when he was just 16-years-old, Michael was thrilled to have tasted success at the famous German track. He received his winner’s trophies from former BMW Motorsport Director, ex-team principal of the BMW Sauber F1 team, Dr Mario Theissen.

“We didn’t use new tyres in qualifying, in retrospect we should have, but I did get baulked as well by traffic which was a little bit frustrating – we were quick enough for pole”, explained the 22-year-old, “I managed to get the lead of the first race at the start of lap two and then pulled away, we also had fastest lap by more than a second.

“I was leading race two by the same margin but then we had the late Safety Car. I judged the re-start just right, caught the others napping, and won by three seconds. It’s great to carry on the winning momentum from Silverstone, overall it was a really good weekend. Nurburgring was the first place I ever raced an F1 car when I was 16, so it’s fantastic to finally win there.”

Further success for the Lyons Racing Team, and the family as a whole, came in the form of a double class podium for Ensign MN177 racer James Hagan who finished second in class in race one, before adding third in class in race two.

Michael’s dad Frank, piloting his usual Hesketh 308E, took second ahead of Hagan in race two after finishing fourth in class in the opener. Mum Judy, meanwhile, was third in her class in the second outing after an unfortunate non-finish for her Surtees TS9 in Saturday’s race.

Zandvoort in The Netherlands will host the next two rounds of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship over the weekend 31st August/1st September. One week later, Michael will return to action in his contemporary racing career with rounds 11 and 12 of the International GT Open taking place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 7th/8th September.

Photo by Charlie Wooding.

Romain GrosjeanCNBC becomes Official Business Media Partner to Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team welcomes CNBC, the world’s leading business and financial news network, as its Official Business Media Partner in a move which cements the team’s position as the number one Formula 1 team for business.

CNBC takes business news to a global audience of 390 million homes around the world. Throughout the 2013 Formula 1 season, this new agreement will allow Lotus F1 Team’s partners to benefit from CNBC’s unmatched reach of affluent and influential business leaders with commercial advertising campaigns airing on its international network. This new relationship builds on the team’s recent partnerships with brands such as Microsoft, Unilever and The Coca-Cola Company.

The partnership will see CNBC branding on the nose of the team’s 2013 car, as well as on driver and pit crew overalls, team uniform, branding around the paddock and on marketing materials.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team:
“CNBC is a fantastic partner which highlights the growing importance of Lotus F1 Team as a vehicle for the business world. We are working with household brands such as Microsoft, Unilever and The Coca-Cola Company; brands whose actions are watched closely in the business world. Our partnership with CNBC brings us greater exposure in this environment and allows our business-to-business platform to flourish.”

Charlotte Westgate, VP Marketing & Communications, CNBC:
“CNBC’s partnership with Lotus F1 Team is extremely exciting. It’s an innovative marketing solution which provides branding and commercial opportunities for both parties. The Formula 1 audience is complementary to our own influential and affluent viewer base around the world. We look forward to working with Lotus F1 Team and wish them success in the 2013 season”

About CNBC

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD+, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 390 million homes worldwide, produced from CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and from CNBC’s regional networks and news bureaus worldwide. CNBC is dedicated to CEOs, senior corporate executives; the financial services industry and private investors. CNBC has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms. These include CNBC.com, the online destination for global business; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides real-time global market data and live access to CNBC global programming; and a suite of CNBC Mobile products including the CNBC Real-Time iPhone and iPad Apps. CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal www.CNBC.com.

Lotus F1 Junior TeamLotus F1 Team is proud to announce its roster of drivers for the newly launched Lotus F1 Junior Team. The seven drivers announced today will be supported by the team in all areas of driving skills, physical fitness, health and nutrition, social and mental development, business ethics and principals, as well as PR training.

The seven drivers will contest within a variety of motorsport championships from the World Series by Renault Formula Renault 3.5 Series through the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to KF category karting.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team;
“Lotus F1 Junior Team takes our previous i-Race Professional young driver academy and builds on it to be more closely aligned with the Formula 1 team and all the benefits brought by this association. We have announced seven highly talented drivers, many of whom will be competing against their fellow team-mates from the programme. We’re offering an in-depth and highly beneficial training regime which should encourage these drivers to develop and perform at their very best. Motorsport can be very daunting for young drivers, particularly everything that occurs away from the track, so we hope to give our drivers the very best preparation possible for their future careers.”

The 2013 Lotus F1 Junior Team
Marco Sørensen, 22, Denmark, FR 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team
Marlon Stockinger, 21, Philippines, FR 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team
Alex Fontana, 20, Switzerland, GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport
Oscar Tunjo,17, Colombia, Eurocup FR 2.0 with Kaufmann Racing
Esteban Ocon, 16, France, Eurocup FR 2.0 with ART Junior Team
Alexander Albon, 16, Thailand, Eurocup FR 2.0 team TBA
Dorian Boccolacci, 14, France, Go Kart International KF category with Energy Corse

Q&As with the 2013 Lotus F1 Junior Team Drivers

Marco Sørensen – Denmark – World Series by Renault

How did you come to be involved with the Lotus F1 Team Junior programme?
At the end of 2011 I was contacted by Gravity Sports Management and the Charouz team to take part in a World Series by Renault test. The deal was that I had to be quickest for them to take a closer look at me which was tricky as it was a big step up from Formula 3, so it’s great to be here and I think this association with the team can only be good for my career in terms of exposure to the top levels of motorsport.

What are your targets for this season in World Series by Renault?
I had some bad luck last year where mechanical issues ended my race whilst in the lead which meant P5 in the championship when it could have been more. At the end, it all comes down to results; if you don’t perform then you won’t progress, so I’m hoping for a bit more good fortune this year and am looking forward to taking on a new challenge with the Lotus F1 Junior Team.

Marlon Stockinger – Philippines – World Series by Renault

How significant is joining the Lotus F1 Junior Team programme to your career?
It’s a great feeling to be associated with such a prestigious team. If you look back through the years as Benetton and Renault you can see that this team knows how to win championships, so to be surrounded by that heritage is a big honour for me. I really want to make the most of it and am looking forward to wearing the team colours with pride.

It’s a big year for you making the step up to World Series by Renault; what are your thoughts heading into the season?
Of course, every driver wants to win, but I understand it’s a big step moving into a new category so learning is the most important thing. Starting with testing, I need to take in as much as I can and from there it’s all about consistency and building a strong platform to progress through the ranks. I’m aiming to make a good start and develop as much as I can as the championship progresses.

Alex Fontana – Switzerland – GP3 Series

Being part of the Lotus F1 Junior Team must be a big boost to your ambitions?
Definitely! I haven’t been part of a management programme before and it’s always tough for a young driver to find the backing and experience to help you progress. Being part of Lotus F1 Junior Team will definitely help to give me those things and it’s great to have people really behind you, pushing you to do the best you can. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.

This will be your first full year in the GP3 Series; what are you looking for from your debut season?
I competed in a couple of races last year alongside the FIA Formula 2 championship and managed to take P4 in Spa, so I have had a good introduction to the championship already. This year the cars have changed slightly and will have a bit more power so it’s not going to be an easy transition, but my aim is to prove my ability over the course of the season and hopefully move on to the GP2 Series or World Series by Renault next year. If you want to get into Formula 1 – which is the ultimate target for any young driver in single-seater categories – then these are the ideal stepping stones to the top level.

Oscar Tunjo – Colombia – Formula Renault 2.0

What does being a member of Lotus F1 Junior Team mean to you?
It’s a big motivation. Just being at Enstone, walking around the factory and learning from all the team members who have such huge knowledge of their respective areas is fantastic. On top of that, I’ve been working with people who have coached so many world class drivers over the years and their experience is something that has made a big difference to me already. It’s a privilege to be part of the team.

You’re competing in Formula Renault 2.0 for the third year in 2013; what’s the aim for the season ahead?
I had a solid start in 2011 but 2012 was a tough year for me, so now I’m even more determined to come back and push for the championship. I feel like I have all the elements in place to make a strong challenge, so my goal is to be consistently at the front of the pack in every session; taking podiums and hopefully as many wins as possible along the way. My motivation is higher than ever to perform as part of the Lotus F1 Junior Team programme.

Esteban Ocon – France – Formula Renault 2.0

How does it feel to be part of the Lotus F1 Junior Team?
I’m familiar with Enstone having been with the Gravity Sports Management programme for the last four years, but it’s great to be associated with a team at the top level of motorsport. I’m trying not to think too much about the link to Formula 1 as it’s important to focus on what you are doing now and not look too far into the future, but I think for any young driver that must be the ultimate goal.

You’ll be taking on the Formula Renault 2.0 series for the second season in 2013; with your debut done and dusted, what would you be happy with this year?
Winning the championship has to be the goal; even if I can’t win every race, I want to be one of the drivers at the front all the way through the season. Last year I learned that consistency is the key, so my aim is to be up there fighting from start to finish.

Dorian Boccolacci – France – KF2 Karting

You’ve been coming to Enstone since the beginning of 2012; how have you enjoyed it so far?
It’s great to be part of the team; being at the factory is a real experience and to be surrounded by people who have worked with the best drivers in the world means I have the best people to learn from. Seeing what another French driver, Romain Grosjean, has achieved with the team has also been a big inspiration to me and so to be part of the setup at Enstone is a big thing for me.

You’re competing in the KF2 World Karting Championships this year; what are your aims for the year ahead?
The goal is always to win, and if you can’t win every time then to pick up the maximum points possible through the year is the most important thing. I managed to break into the top five in the World Championships last year, so the target is to be right at the front this season.

Alexander Albon – Thailand – Formula Renault 2.0

What does the Lotus F1 Junior Team programme mean to you?
It’s great to be a part of this programme. Being at the factory in Enstone is an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can from my time there. Hopefully this will give me an even better chance to progress over the course of the season and put me in good shape for the future.

You’ll be tackling Formula Renault 2.0 for the second year in succession in 2013; what’s the plan for the season ahead?
Last year was a very tough one for me, so I’m almost thinking of this as my first real season. The first step will be to improve my consistency and take regular points finishes. With that baseline I’ll then be looking to push towards the top five, the podium and eventually race wins, but the priority is to take things step-by-step and develop a good solid platform to progress. Last year didn’t give me much of an opportunity to see where I stand, so I’m really looking forward to being able to show what I can do.

Romain GrosjeanRomain Grosjean ended the second day of testing at Jerez as comfortably the fastest man on track as the team continued its evaluation programme with the E21.

Under blue skies with occasional cloud coverage, Romain completed 95 laps; many of which dipped into the 1min 18s. He ended the day with the best time set thus far this week – a 1min 18.218secs – with no other car running under 1min 19.000secs.

Fast Facts:

  • Track: Jerez, Spain, 4.4km
  • Chassis: E21-01
  • Weather: Sunny, ambient 5-22°C, track 7-28°C
  • Programme: Systems checks, temperature monitoring, data correlation, evaluation of the performance of the car with its initial aerodynamic package, tyre performance assessment.
  • Laps Completed: 95.
  • Classification: P1, 1:18.218.
  • Interruptions: Stopped out on track on lap 96 (fuel).

What’s Next?
Kimi Räikkönen will take to the wheel of the E21 for the first time tomorrow, before wrapping up the opening test on Friday.

Romain Grosjean:
“It was good today; the programme went to plan and we showed we have good reliability. For me, the whole test has gone well which bodes well for the year ahead. My feeling in the car is good and it was great to be at the top of the times. Even if it doesn’t mean anything during testing, it’s still good to be at the front. We used the soft, medium and hard compounds and whilst we’re not 100% yet on the differences between each we have a good idea. Kimi will be working on this area for the next two days so we’ll have a better understanding when we head to Barcelona. It’s not easy to understand everything about the car and tyres yet, but I think we’re working quite well and it’s up to us to find the best solutions.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“I’m very happy with today’s performance. The pace looks good and we haven’t had any issues with reliability meaning we could complete all of our programme without interruption. We focused on learning more about the 2013 Pirelli tyres and ran with the soft, medium and hard compounds with a variety of different set-ups, both mechanical and aerodynamic, to understand how they react. This combined with a good mileage today to give us some very good data to work through ahead of Kimi getting in the car tomorrow.”

Photo by Malcolm Griffiths / LAT Photographic.

Max ChiltonMax Chilton’s former karting boss says Marussia’s new star will shine. Now the countdown to the first F1 Grand Prix of 2013 has begun, Max Chilton’s former karting boss is toasting his former protégé’s graduation to the Marussia race seat.

Steve Armstrong, owner of the hugely successful RL Racing Department team, guided 21-year old Chilton from his formative days competing in club events at Buckmore Park, right the way through to podium success in Europe.

“I am absolutely thrilled for him,” said Armstrong speaking from his HQ at the internationally renowned PFi circuit in Lincolnshire. “Max thoroughly deserves his opportunity. Even as a youngster he was very focused about where he wanted to be ultimately and he dedicated himself to achieving it. Now he’s done it and I am really proud of him.”

The pair first started working together in 2002, when Armstrong worked for the Scholartech outfit. From these early beginnings, Max progressed from Cadet into Junior TKM and a year later he dovetailed TKM with JICA. It was in the latter class that he really began to make a name for himself, as Steve recalls: “I remember the Champions Cup race in Rome was one such highlight. Max won the first final and took 2nd in the following race. He completed the year as a seeded driver in both the Super One classes and as a works Maranello driver.”

Aged 14, Chilton moved to the T-Car championship for two seasons before switching to the British F3 series.

“Education played a big part in his life. So Max didn’t quite do the same amount of racing that many of his contemporaries did. His beating many of them to an F1 race seat highlights his ability. I saw his potential during our time together in karts and he’s such a nice kid too. We still speak regularly, so it is good to know that he remembers his roots and those who have played their part on his journey from karting to the Grand Prix grid. Now he’s got his chance, I’m sure he will grab it with both hands and he will impress many people, including F1’s bigger teams.”

For more information about racing with RL Racing Department, call Steve today on 07843 586 416 or contact him via accounts.rlracingdept@live.co.uk. For all the latest team news, go to www.rlracingdepartmentltd.com

Photo by Chris Walker/Kartpix.

 

 

The next 9th of November will be a day to remember for two drivers of the Prema Powerteam stable, as they will be able to move from their Formula 3 Dallaras to the mighty Formula 1 Ferrari that raced in the 2010 World Championship. Eddie Cheever, winner of the 2012 Italian Formula 3 European Series, and Daniel Juncadella, who took the FIA F.3 European Championship honors this season, will line-up for a dream experience behind the wheel of the most renowned Formula 1 cars available.

Thanks to a deal between the two promoters and the Ferrari Driver Academy, awarding a test on the F10 for the best racers of both championships, Cheever and Juncadella will have their first chance to drive a Formula 1 car.

“We’re absolutely happy to have contributed to such a dream achievement for our drivers – said Team Principal Angelo Rosin – they will be experiencing a unique opportunity in a few hours. Eddie is growing up consistently, while Daniel spent the last three years with us and now he’s ready to aim for some top results in the top open-wheel championships”.

Michael Schumacher & Seb MorrisSeb Morris will be the subject of a dedicated one hour documentary on the Sky Sports F1 channel next Thursday, 4th October, entitled ‘Britain’s Next F1 Star’, which details the 16-year-old’s motor racing career to date as he strives for a potential future in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

As one of six young racers to be highlighted by the series, which is produced by USP Content and sponsored by Scalextric, the Marford driver – who is currently in the midst of his first year of single-seater action in the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship – is on the fast track to success.

Graduating to Formula Renault from the ranks of Ginetta Junior, where he won the championship in 2011 having already made history by winning the previous year’s Winter Series at the tender age of 14-years-old, Seb made a major impact by winning only his second ever race in single-seaters.

With a look at his formative career, coupled with a glance at his life away from the motorsport paddock as well, the highlight of the filming process for the Ginetta Ambassador was the chance to meet, and interview, his sporting hero – seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher.

“It’s fantastic my programme is the first of the series, I’m really happy about that”, said Seb, “I was so surprised when I had the chance to interview Michael. I was really shocked – we all were – when I got the call to say I needed to be at the Mercedes team factory the next morning for a certain time to meet Michael.

“Everything he has to do is down to the precise minute so whenever he does interviews away from the track, it’s usually when he’s travelling to or from an airport. So, we travelled with him on his way to catching a private jet and I was able to do a proper interview.”

He added: “It was such a special moment for me, he’s been my idol all through my racing career and there he was, looking me straight in the eye, while I interviewed him – fantastic! I really can’t thank Michael, and everyone at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, enough for making it happen.”

As Seb’s highly impressive maiden season in single-seater racing nears its conclusion, the exposure the documentary will provide will be absolutely crucial as he strives to attract the sponsorship to carry his career forward through the upper echelons of the sport towards a career in F1.

“The audience will be massive, I think the show is going to be repeated 12 times so there’s no excuse for anyone missing it!”, added Seb, “It’s a huge boost for me to be featured on something like this, it really helps put me in the limelight and the great thing is it also shows how hard young racing drivers have to work.

“It’s not just about rocking up to the track and driving a car, there’s a lot more to it and especially so when you’re trying to build a professional career towards F1. The filming was great to be involved with and the cameras followed me everywhere, school, testing, at home and at the track. I think it’s a good story – I hope everyone enjoys it!”

‘Britain’s Next F1 Star’ will have its premiere screening on Sky Sports F1 (channel 408 on the Sky platform) and Sky Sports F1 HD (channel 440) at 19.30 on Thursday, 4th October, with a repeat the same evening at 22.45. Additional re-runs follow with the first of those to be broadcast on Sunday, 7th October, at 10.15 and 16.15.

Seb will also enjoy further TV coverage on Sunday, 7th October, as part of the final race of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC season. Taking place at Silverstone National Circuit, round 14 of the campaign will be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD at approximately 15.10. Round 13, which isn’t televised, is timetabled for Saturday, 6th October, at 16.30.

Going into the championship finale, the Welshman is fourth in the driver standings – the highest placed single-seater rookie – and just 15 points outside the coveted top three. To date, he has three race victories, a total of four podiums, five pole positions and three fastest laps to his credit.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.