Lewis Hamilton’s father, Anthony, is planning to run a fleet of 2009-spec F1 cars in an effort to help young drivers gain valuable mileage in current Grand Prix cars without the restrictions of the current testing regulations.
Hamilton is intending to lease year-old cars, equipment and personnel from F1 teams and run them independently in a programme titled GP Prep Drivers Academy, which is expected to be launched in March and largely feature the use of UK-based circuits.
What a dull name for the concept!
Not surprisingly, a deal has already been struck with McLaren for the supply of two of its 2009 cars, and the driver-manager is allegedly in talks with other teams.
While such an idea provides obvious benefits to drivers looking to graduate into the F1 market, if McLaren proves to be the sole team to provide the use of its cars (and one highly doubts that another team will permit the loan of its intellectual property to someone who is so intrinsically linked with McLaren), what’s to stop McLaren from running some 2010-spec components on these 2009 cars to test them, thereby circumventing the in-season testing restrictions?