Renault sign Hadrien David to finalise driver academy

Renault have finalised their driver academy line-up for 2020 by confirming the signing of French driver Hadrien David.

Renault have finalised their Sport Academy drivers for 2020, with two new recruits for the year. Following on from Monday’s announcement of Australian driver Oscar Piastri, Renault have signed French Formula 4 Champion Hadrien David.

This means the full line-up of the Renault Sport Academy for 2020 is the two aforementioned drivers, alongside Max Fewtrell, Christian Lundgaard, Guanyu Zhou and Caio Collet.

Hadrien David has been signed on the back of winning the French F4 title, and will step up to Formula Renault Eurocup in 2020 and will drive for MP Motorsport. This means he will be racing on the same grid as Collet, who will be racing for R-ace GP for a second consecutive season.

Monday’s signing Oscar Piastri will be driving for Prema Racing in the FIA F3 Championship, as well as Max Fewtrell. The British driver will be racing for Hitech, following a switch from ART.

At the top of the Academy tree are the Formula 2 drivers who are, in theory, next in line to find a way into F1. Guanyu Zhou will be racing for UNI-Virtuosi, while Christian Lundgaard will be driving for ART after racing for the team in his F3 campaign in 2019.

All academy members will be trained up by Renault through their respective championships, as well as being prepared in terms of personalised training and development programmes. They will also be called upon for assistance for the F1 team in terms of simulator and development sessions at the factory at Enstone.

“This year’s line-up is the strongest we’ve had in the last four years of the Renault Sport Academy.” said Renault Sport Academy Director, Mia Sharizman. “We’ve struck a balance between experienced and rookie drivers and we believe we can compete for titles across all junior championships in which we’ve entered our members. As the years progress, we are moving closer to the point where we want to have an Academy driver in contention for the Formula 1 race seat. We remain hopeful that this year is a breakout year for this to happen.”

“We already know what Max and Christian can do, and they are entering their fourth year on the programme. We were also pleased with how both Zhou and Caio performed in their first season with the Academy. All drivers have their own targets this year, which they know they have to meet. It’s great to welcome two very talented individuals in Oscar and Hadrien and it’s exciting to see what they can do this season. I’m sure all the drivers will push each other to perform to their best ability.”

Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul agreed with Sharizman’s assessment, and says the company are hopeful of bringing home-grown talent into the F1 fold sooner, rather than later: “Our Academy continues to grow in strength each year. We now want the programme to progress to the next level, and target championship wins in 2020.”

“The Academy was first set-up in 2016 with the long-term objective of progressing a driver from the RSA to a seat with the Formula 1 team, and with the talent we have in the Academy we are still confident of achieving this in the relative short term. The ability within the Academy is there for all to see. On a wider level I am also pleased to see Renault global markets getting behind the programme and supporting their local drivers. I am very proud of the programme and its activation and I look forward to following the success on and off track.”

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for FormulaSpy.com - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Enjoy my work - https://www.buymeacoffee.com/MidcHN8

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