Aston Martin has been announced as the new partner of the Autosport BRDC Award, following McLaren’s decision to drop its support after 30 years.
The award has supported the careers of prominent young British drivers, with the core of the prize previously being a test in a McLaren Formula 1 car.
That will now be replaced by a equivalent car supplied by Red Bull, and a run in Aston Martin’s Vantage AMR GTE car that competes in the World Endurance Championship, as well as a ?200,000 cheque.
Since David Coulthard was named the inaugural winner in 1989, recipients have included Dario Franchitti, Paul di Resta and 2019 F1 rookies Lando Norris and George Russell. BRDC British Formula 3 race-winner Tom Gamble won last year’s award.
The evaluation process behind the Award will remain largely unchanged. Once nominated by Autosport readers, a quartet of British drivers from the lower rungs of the single-seater ladder will undergo fitness assessments, and will be evaluated using Red Bull?s F1 simulator.
The final stage of the assessment will also remained unchanged: a two day shootout test at Silverstone in a yet to be revealed variety of machinery. Last year’s line-up included MSV Formula Two, McLaren GT3 and Liger LMP3 cars.
The final decision will also be made by the same mix of racing drivers and industry experts. Last year the judging panel was led by ex-F1 driver and former British Racing Drivers? Club president Derek Warwick, double BTCC champion Jason Plato, former McLaren designer Mark Williams, 1997 AMABA winner Andrew Kirkaldy, BMW Formula E driver Alexander Sims, commentator Ian Titchmarsh, McLaren’s Amelia Lewis, and Autosport’s Kevin Turner.
Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner said, ?This programme represents a golden opportunity for young drivers to further their careers at the highest levels.
?Red Bull has a long and successful history of nurturing young racing talents through its Junior Team so we look forward to supporting Aston Martin in its quest to find the champions of tomorrow.?
Reigning winner Gamble is yet to announce his 2019 racing programme, while 2017 victor is joining Team Mugen in Super Formula after a disappointing start to the year in the Asian F3 Winter Series.