British American Racing to showcase young F1 stars

British American Racing has successfully scooped all the attention in F1 circles this week when it comes to the question of encouraging young drivers. Less than 24-hours after it scored something of a coup by snatching the test driving services of McLaren Autosport award winning young driver of the year Anthony Davidson, it followed that up by announcing that it would be initiating a driver development programme.

The first beneficiary of this additional initiative is yet another promising young Brit, Marc Hynes, winner of the 1999 British F3 Championship. Hynes is one of two drivers to have been invited to take part in a BAR-Honda test at Barcelona on from 18-20 December. The second driver recruited for this test has yet to be named.

A statement from BAR said; "the programme will give two new young drivers the opportunity to test with the team over a three-day period as part of an evaluation programme. The drivers will be put through their paces on fitness and tested on their technical ability and feedback. British American Racing is a young team with ambitious performance targets and the driver development programme is part of the team's plan for developing emerging new talent for the future."

On the issue of McLaren Autosport prize winner Anthony Davidson, it now remains to be seen whether the 21-year old from Hemel Hempstead will ever have the chance to get behind the wheel of an F1 McLaren-Mercedes, a drive in which was promised as part of the prize which also included a cheque for 50,000 pounds.

Many F1 insiders are watching with fascinated interest as teams increasingly show interest in unproven up-comers. As one retired veteran grand prix driver noted last weekend; "It's not surprising, when you think of it. With just 800 brake horsepower, lashings of aerodynamic downforce and traction control, why pay huge sums for proven stars?"

A cynical view, perhaps, but increasingly prevalent.

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