French Formula 4 champion Anthoine Hubert and fellow competitor Tristan Viidas were invited to visit the Lotus F1 Team’s base in Enstone on Wednesday as reward for their success. Hubert dominated the season with eleven wins from 21 races while Viidas was the highest placed foreign entrant in third behind runner-up Jules Gounon who declined the invitation to Enstone.
After being welcomed by events manager Gabriella Mills, the drivers were took part in a succession of physical tests and examinations in the Human Performance Centre with team trainer Darryl Coombes who passed on his advice for remaining in good shape. The pair were then treated to a meal with Lotus junior driver Alex Fontana which included a greeting from Team Principal Eric Boullier before moving on to a programme with marketing manager Luca Mazzocco, learning the importance of representing such an outfit.
Hubert paid tribute to the FFSA, the French motorsport federation, for giving him such an opportunity and admitted he was taken aback by the size of a Formula One team.
“It was a really interesting day with physical tests this morning, which gave us an insight into a different, but just as interesting way of working, compared to what we’re used to with the FFSA. It was pretty tough! In the afternoon we were lucky enough to have a factory visit and discover all the parts required to build an F1. It was very impressive to see so many people for just one car. I’d like to thank the FFSA for giving us this opportunity to see what goes on at Lotus.”
Viidas also revelled in the experience and enjoyed gaining an insight into the physical demands on a Formula One driver.
“In the morning we had some pretty demanding physical tests for endurance, strength, agility and rapidity. In the afternoon we were able to do a tour of the F1 factory. We saw how all the components of the car are designed and made. It was a really fantastic, amazing experience.”