Back in the mid-1990’s, the Deletraz name made a brief foray into Formula 1, with Jean-Denis Deletraz competing in one race for the Larrousse team in 1994 and two races for the Pacific Grand Prix team the following year.
Now, twenty years on, the Deletraz name is once again being heard on the single seater scene, with Jean-Denis’ son Louis Deletraz showing a good turn of speed in Formula Renault.
The younger Deletraz made the move from karting into single seater racing in the Formula BMW Talent Cup finale at Oschersleben back in September 2012 before making his Formula Renault bow the following year with Josef Kaufmann Racing in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup.
As a sixteen-year-old back in 2013, Deletraz had a year of learning in NEC, having a best finish of fifth at Silverstone, finishing seventeenth in the championship whilst battling with the likes of current GP3 Series racers Matt Parry and Esteban Ocon, Formula Renault 3.5 Series stars Oliver Rowland and Gustav Malja and current Formula Renault 2.0 rivals Jack Aitken and Dennis Olsen.
Deletraz continued the collaboration with Josef Kaufmann Racing for another year of NEC in 2014, and put what he learned the previous year to good use, taking his maiden series victory in the season opener at Monza, and then finishing on the podium a further four times as he took the championship battle down to the wire before losing out in the final weekend of the season to Ben Barnicoat.
He also made his Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Series debut in 2014, making three appearances at Spa-Francorchamps, the Nurburgring and Paul Ricard.
Happy with the partnership with Josef Kaufmann Racing to continue for a third year, Deletraz is now racing a dual campaign in both Eurocup and NEC in 2015, and his results have stepped up to another level.
In the seven races so far in the Northern European Cup, Deletraz has secured six pole positions, five fastest laps and four race victories, and comfortably leads the championship by 46 points from his team-mate Kevin Jörg.
He also finds himself leading the Eurocup standings, with four pole positions from seven races, and took his third win of the season in race two at the Hungaroring having won two of the three races at the season opening round at Motorland Aragon. He should have won race one in Hungary as well but for a jump start penalty, but such was his pace advantage his ten-second penalty only relegated him to third.
His performances in the past year have also caught the eye of BMW, who have included the Swiss driver in its Junior Programme for 2015. He will participate in 3 VLN races around the Nurburgring Nordschleife with the marquee, as well as an intensive testing and training programme.
If all things come to pass, should Deletraz maintain his current level of development and progression, then a move into the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2016 could be on the cards, and there is no reason why he cannot follow his father into Formula 1.
Should he not have the opportunity to move up, the collaboration with BMW could allow him the opportunity to have a Touring Car career such as in the DTM Series. He could even follow his father into the world of Sportscars, where ‘dad’ was twice a class victor at Le Mans.
Whatever happens, the future appears to be bright for Louis Deletraz.