1 - Identifying a driver
The Story …
Since many years, I have been travelling to Karting and race car tracks generally single seaters, and i have been able to add tremendous value to the pilots by observing and analyzing all the smallest details of their driving skills starting from the mini kart, i.e. children from nine to twelve years.
The qualities and defects of a driver, however small they are often difficult to detect. The ones you see from an early age, you generally find are more significant at the highest level and in F1.
I assure you that the risk of errors is zero. For security, say one percent error.
My goal is to find boys who, of course, go fast.
If he misses a second it is very difficult to recover, they may go fast but they do not win.Generally one can develop this and sort out the potential problems in their head, that's why it is imperative to have intelligent children.
2 - Observing their behaviour
As soon as I spot a young talented driver, before I approach them I observe in the paddock:
• Their Behavior in general.
• Their look: if very young wearing an earring, a tattoo or any other negative signs...
-> These are part of my eliminatory factors when deciding who to coach.
For some this will seem trivial, but it's never favourable to a good career as a driver, just a negative aspect for me.
I prefer a pilot who stands out only by his talent.
3 - Analyze his surroundings:
Then another very important aspect: His entourage.
Parents, friends and finally the people who surround the child on a day to day basis to ensure their education and academic achievement remains very important.
If you have intelligent children, well educated and are fast in a kart, you have a good basis to start with and many chances to reach the highest level.
My goal is to start with children who are within my parameters, it is useless to invest in young drivers who may at any time change to a negative attitude
whilst growing up : you're wasting your time, money and credibility with Sponsors, which for younger ones is the Kart manufacturers, chassis and kart engines.
4 - Making a choice
My choice will therefore focus on a pilot combining all these parameters:
• Working calmly
• Being able to Distinguish between pilot error and technical problems
• Giving the right information to engineers to optimize the settings
• To correct them yourself even without taking into account the advice from people you trust.
5 - History
Sébastien BUEMI, Jules BIANCHI, Jonathan THONON
Three young drivers that I had identified, taken in hand when they were around twelve years old and now find themselves at the highest level of motorsport.
6 - Conclusion
Young drivers with great talent cannot make a career as such, not because they lost their talent along the way, but in general because of their family and loved ones, or still, some of the karting teams who want to give advice without the knowledge required. The drivers you will discover, all had a great talent at the outset, those who came were those who put everything in order, worked hard and were totally commited in their mind.
-> I gave them all an equal opportunity.
Those who understood immediately made their careers, others have remained in karting or stopped.
Example of a good investment: Lexoil had invested thousands of euros in small contracts with Sebastian whilst he was competing in his first major International Kart races.
Today, Lexoil sponsors Sebastien Buemi, who is currently in F1.
Sebastian has never had a manager, I was always at his side with his parents since the kart until F1.
He is a serious boy, a worker and commited, Red Bull has faith in him rightly so, they will be quickly rewarded.
Jules Bianchi : a hard serious worker. I placed him at Maranello in 2002, he remained there until 2006 with a short stint with Intrepid in 2004. Now under management by Nicolas Todt since 2006, he has a great opportunity ahead of him in single seaters.
After winning the French Championship in Renault 2.0, Jules won the European championship F3 Euro Series in 2009 and conducts tests in GP2, where he performs extemly well. We will see him very quickly in an F1 car.
He tests Ferrari F1 on the 1 and 2nd December 2009 at the Jerez circuit Della Frontera in Spain.
I placed him with CRG in 2001 during the European Championship qualifying in Saint Amand Montrond
He was driving with Top Kart, I was present with Gian Carlo Tinini boss CRG.
We came to an agreement and Jonathan disputed the final of the European Championship in Denmark two weeks later in a CRG. To date, he is still at CRG, having disputed a year in Renault 2.0 in 2006 in the Italian series. Thereafter, he continued in karts, it's not easy to combine cars and karting. Sometimes you need to know when to make a choice: he chose the kart!
He won with CRG a title in the European championship ICA and several world championships in 125cc class Fa KF1 and KZ1, and numerous national titles in Belgium and France. The list of wins is impressive!
When I see some drivers in F1, I see that they brought with them the small the mistakes from Karting !!!