McLaren welcomes Firman to championship

McLaren would like to congratulate Ralph Firman on becoming the latest winner of the McLaren Autosport Young Driver Award to compete in the Formula One World Championship. Ralph won the prestigious award in 1993 and will join former winners West...

McLaren would like to congratulate Ralph Firman on becoming the latest winner of the McLaren Autosport Young Driver Award to compete in the Formula One World Championship. Ralph won the prestigious award in 1993 and will join former winners West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard and BAR competitor Jenson Button on the grid for the 2003 Australian Grand Prix.

The McLaren Autosport Young Driver Awards first took place in 1989 when it was won by David Coulthard. Over the years, a number of up-and-coming racing drivers have received a valuable cash prize to help their racing career and a test in a West McLaren Mercedes Formula One car.

"I have always believed that companies such as McLaren have an important role to play in nurturing future generations of Grand Prix drivers," said Ron Dennis, Chairman and CEO, TAG McLaren Group. "Before the McLaren Autosport Young Driver Awards started in 1989, our relationship with the British Formula Three Championship meant that we were able to give Ayrton Senna a taste of Formula One long before he became a McLaren Formula One driver. The fact that we have now provided 14 young drivers with the same opportunity as a result of this award is incredibly pleasing."

Other winners of the McLaren Autosport Young Driver Award include Anthony Davidson, who made his Formula One debut last season, Gary Paffett who only two weeks ago was used by McLaren for testing duties and current IRL driver Dario Franchitti. In addition regular McLaren test driver Darren Turner won the award in 1996.

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , David Coulthard , Anthony Davidson , Dario Franchitti , Darren Turner , Ayrton Senna , Ralph Firman , Gary Paffett
Teams Mercedes , McLaren