After announcing its return in 2016, the Winfield Racing School will see its first eighteen drivers go head-to-head for the chance to win a full season in the FIA French F4 Championship. The Volant Winfield scholarship had previously launched the Formula 1 careers of many drivers in the 1980’s and 90’s.
They received 58 applications in total, with the final 18 being given an opportunity to test around the Paul Ricard circuit, where their performances will be judged. After a off-track training day, the hopefuls will get four test sessions in the F4 Mygale-Renault with a data breakdown afterwards.
From there, three finalists will be selected for a third day of runs, allowing the drivers to show off their true speed in the morning, where the fastest time (and average of the three) will be considered in the decision. Finally, they will be given the afternoon to test three different cars, testing the drivers adaptability.
Included in the line-up will be Arthur Leclerc, brother of Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team driver Charles Leclerc. Though the Monégasque will not be the only Sauber connection with the teams’ Senior Race Engineer Julien Simon-Chautemps amongst the mentors, along with Pirelli‘s F1 engineer Gregory Thomas.
Also making an appearance, will be a number of drivers from last years French F4 series. Pierre-Louis Chovet, despite not being eligible for points, did win a race in the final round of last year at Paul Ricard, with fellow race winner Stuart White and podium finisher Ugo de Wilde amongst the favourites. Also present from the class of 2017 is Adam Eteki and Noah Watt.
Leclerc will not be the only prominent rookie though, with Nicolas Todt‘s Brazilian prodigy Caio Collet entering. Both, along with Theo Pourchaire, have already been confirmed for the upcoming season.
The event will take place between Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 February.
Winfield Scholarship’s 18 Finalists
Pierre-Louis Chovet (France), 15 years old
Caio Collet (Brazil), 15 years old
Sébastien Debourg (France/Bulgaria), 15 years old
Ugo De Wilde (Belgium), 15 years old
Joshua Durksen (Paraguay), 14 years old
Adam Eteki (France), 15 years old
Alessandro Ghiretti (France), 16 years old
Arthur Leclerc (Monaco), 17 years old
Esteban Muth (Germany), 16 years old
O’Neill Muth (Germany), 14 years old
Théo Nouet (France), 15 years old
Théo Pourchaire (France), 14 years old
Hugo Roch (France), 16 years old
Pierre-Andréa Verreaux (France), 16 years old
Victor Vincent (France), 16 years old
Noah Watt (Denmark), 15 years old
Stuart White (South Africa), 16 years old
Cylien Zammit (France), 16 years old