Double world karting champion and McLaren protÃ©gÃ© Nyck de Vries will receive support from energy drink brand Lucozade, as a new element of GlaxoSmithKline's partnership with the Formula One team.
De Vries is a member of the McLaren Young Driver Programme, previous beneficiaries of which include Lewis Hamilton. The Dutch prospect was signed up by McLaren aged 14 at the start of 2010, and has since claimed two world titles in karting. In 2012 he is making his first steps in car racing in Formula Renault, and scored a second-place finish in just his third race at the Eurocup Formula Renault round at Motorland Aragon last month.
De Vries will benefit from Lucozade's expertise that has seen them develop two bespoke formulations of their product for the McLaren team.
“As Managing Director of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, I regard driver recruitment as a matter of enormous importance,” said Jonathan Neale, Managing Director of McLaren Racing. “In Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 world champions both, I'm pleased to say that we have the strongest driver line-up in Grand Prix racing today.
“Our McLaren Young Driver programme, which identified and nurtured Lewis in his karting days, then guided him through Formula 3 and GP2 to his Formula 1 debut with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in 2007, is crucial to the process of ensuring that our future driver line-ups are as strong as our current one is. For that reason, I applaud the involvement of Lucozade in the ongoing development of Nyck de Vries's career, and wish him success in his journey from junior single-seaters through to his ultimate goal of Formula 1.”
Peter Harding, General Manager GSK Consumer Healthcare, commented: “Lucozade plays an integral role in the performance of the F1 drivers during the race. Hydration is critical to their success and overall performance. We're confident that our knowledge and expertise in this area as well as the work that we're doing with the human high performance team at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will deliver great benefits for Nyck and his sporting performance.”
Jenson Button added: “Getting from karting to Formula 1 is an incredibly tough journey – and one that you have to fight for every single step of the way. My years in karting gave me the solid foundation I needed to move into single-seaters and Formula 1. But that is never straightforward for anyone – that's why I think the McLaren Young Driver Programme is such a good idea.
“I arrived at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in 2010, as reigning Formula 1 world champion, so I was obviously never a part of the programme, but I think it's an excellent scheme, and I'm sure that Nyck will really benefit from his involvement in it.
“One of the programme's aims to create overall fitness by developing and conditioning your body. As he starts to take part in longer races, driving faster cars, Nyck will learn to recognise that good hydration can have a significant impact on his results. And having Lucozade onboard will give him all the benefit of their massive experience in that area. I wish him well.”