The Renault Driver Development (RDD) programme today announced its line-up of young drivers for the 2004 season. In addition to Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) and Jose-Maria Lopez (Argentina), who have been retained in the programme, the...
The Renault Driver Development (RDD) programme today announced its line-up of young drivers for the 2004 season.
In addition to Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) and Jose-Maria Lopez (Argentina), who have been retained in the programme, the following young drivers have been selected: Jérôme D'Ambrosio (Belgium), Lucas DiGrassi (Brazil), Loïc Duval (France) and Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands).
Kovalainen and Lopez, respectively entering their third and second seasons in the programme, have been retained for the quality of their performances in 2003, and they also impressed during their maiden F1 tests with Renault and Minardi last December. Kovalainen finished second in the World Series by Nissan championship in 2003, his first season in the formula, while Lopez was the inaugural champion in Formula Renault V6.
The new recruits will all be expected to meet the exacting standards of the programme, which demands not only excellence of performance on track, but also high standards off it, from physical training through to public relations. They got their first taste of the programme this week when they were put through their paces at the Human Performance Centre (HPC) in Enstone, UK, undergoing physical evaluations in order to establish their training regime for the year ahead.
The championships in which each driver is to compete are as follows:
. Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Formula Renault 2000 France and Eurocup, Graff
. Lucas DiGrassi, British F3, HiTech Racing
. Loïc Duval, Euroseries F3, Signature
. Giedo van der Garde, F3 Euroseries, Signature
. Heikki Kovalainen, World Series By Nissan, team TBA
. Jose-Maria Lopez, F3000, team TBA