JANUARY 8, 2010
Genii to drop young drivers program?
Genii Capital’s investment in Renault’s F1 programme sounded like great news for the young drivers supported by the Luxembourg-based company through Gravity Sports, but the latest stories coming from England suggest this program may be axed to allow Gerard Lopez’s company to focus its efforts in this new venture.
Jerome d’Ambrosio and Ho-Pin Tung’s hopes of making it to Formula One this year with Renault have all but been ruled out by new Team Principal Eric Boullier, who said recently, “it will be even more difficult for a driver from Gravity to get the seat alongside Kubica, as they would really have to prove their worth to be chosen.”
The Belgian and the Dutch-born Chinese are Gravity-Sports top drivers, but the list includes promising young German Christian Vietoris, who won a GP2 Asia round during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, Adrien Tambay and Marco Wittman, currently racing in the Euro F3 Series, plus Kim Pla and Christian Mengesdorf, both involved in the Formula BMW Euro Championship last year.
Pin-Tung tested for Renault last December in Jerez de la Frontera, completing enough mileage to earn a super-licence, even though his lap times were not too impressive, while d’Ambrosio’s results in GP2 should be enough for the Belgian to earn a super-licence too.
But with their drivers unable to secure a lot of sponsorship, Gravity-Sports has been banking their careers in an investment valued between 5-7m euros per year. Money that could be now channelled to help Renault return to the front of the field in F1, leaving those young drivers in limbo as it would be difficult for any of them to secure enough sponsorship in the coming two or three months to go ahead without the support of Gravity Sports.
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