The brother of Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, Arthur, and GP3 race-winner?Dorian Boccolacci are among those selected for a new young driver programme, established by Venturi Formula E owner Gildo Pastor.
The ‘Venturi Next Gen’ academy is the first young driver scheme in electric motorsport, with eight members signed so far alongside Venturi’s current development driver and Formula Renault Northern European Cup champion Michael Benyahia.
Leclerc makes his single-seater debut in French Formula 4 this weekend, and is joined on the Venturi programme by potential rival Pierre-Louis Chovet, last year’s French junior karting champion.
The intake also includes Boccolacci,?nine-year-old karting star?Louis Iglesias, 14-year-old karter Benjamin Cartery and three eSports champions: Maxime Pain,?Kevin Leaune and?Gaetan Goarant.
Drivers will be given time in the Formula E simulator at Venturi’s base in Monaco, as well as physical training and tuition on electric vehicles.
“We want to help those with talent but who haven’t always had the means to get started,” said Pastor.
“We have often given youth a chance in the past. For example, the Venturi Formula E team development driver, Michael Benyahia, is just 17.
“For me, it was the logical next step to continue betting on youth by creating Venturi Next Gen.
“We want to build bridges between eSports and reality, as I’m convinced there are budding talents among gamers.”
Leclerc, 17, added: “I’m learning a lot with Venturi Next Gen, physically and mentally. I train in the simulator, I’m learning to work with the engineers, and simulating Formula E race weekends. I also watch [race drivers] Edoardo [Mortara] and Maro [Engel] at work.”