The finalists have been named for the sixth running of the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy shootout, which awards a paid-for seat in Spanish Formula 4 as its prize.
Three of the finalists, Emanuele Olivieri, Mattia Colnaghi and Maciej Gladysz, have recently been selected to take part in the Ferrari Driver Academy’s scouting camps.
Olivieri started his rookie year on OK karts by finishing fifth in the Lonato Winter Cup and eighth in the WSK Champions Cup. He followed that up with 13th in WSK Super Master Series, 15th in Champions of the Future and 34th in the CIK-FIA European championship.
Colnaghi stepped up to OK karts at the end of 2022 and came 32nd in the WSK Final Cup. This year 15th in the European championship has been the standout result, having failed to score in WSK SMS and placing 42nd in CotF.
Former Sauber junior Gladysz won the junior-level FIA Karting Academy Trophy in 2021, and in 2022 won the CotF Winter Series and came fourth in the CIK-FIA World championship for OK-Junior karts. This year he stepped up to OK karts, coming 20th in the European championship, and has done F4 testing.
The other five finalists are Jimmy Helias, Louis Iglesias, Martin Molnar, Thomas Strauven and Sita Vanmeert.
Helias finished third in the WSK Final Cup on his OK kart debut late in 2022, and this year was fourth in the Lonato Winter Cup, won by Molnar, and seventh in WSK SMS. Iglesias is currently 12th in the WSK Euro Series and was 14th in CotF.
Molnar was also WSK Champions Cup runner-up, while Strauven was WSK SMS runner-up and recently made his car racing debut in Spanish F4 at Jerez. Vanmeert is the only finalist to come from X30 karts.
There will be two parts to the shootout, with finalists heading to Formula Medicine’s facilities in Italy on October 9 for physical and psychological tests (split into ‘athletic’ and ‘mental’ sessions’). Following that, they will drive F4 cars at Navarra on October 17-18. The winner will race for MP Motorsport in Spanish F4 next season.
The shootout’s Navarra part starts with two half-hour practice sessions, then a 15-minute ‘qualifying’ session on new tyres and one race simulation lasting 25 minutes using the same tyres. Crashing in any session eliminates a driver from the shootout.
To be eligible for consideration for the shootout, drivers had to be born between January 1 2007 and April 1 2009, and have spent 2023 racing in international competitions in senior karting. One spot in the shootout was reserved for a driver from the factory Birel ART team (or one of its satellite squads).
Drivers were allowed no more than two weekends of single-seater racing experience, while any karter who was part of an established driver management agency was ruled out unless they were Formula 1 juniors who could move under the wing of All Road Management – the company that organised the shootout – for 2024.
All Road is run by Nicolas Todt, son of ex-FIA president Jean Todt, and backs drivers primarily in karting and single-seaters.