Young karter Emerson Fittipaldi Jr and German Formula 4 champion Theo Pourchaire are among the burgeoning talents chosen by Sauber to join its new young driver academy.
The Swiss outfit which manages Alfa Romeo’s efforts in F1 has overseen in the past the development and nurturing of many successful young drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica or Sergio Perez.
Up until last year, Sauber enjoyed an affiliation with the Charouz Racing System team, but the Hinwil squad has now set up its own independent development program, enrolling four young drivers for 2020.
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“F4 Germany champion Théo Pourchaire, Sauber Karting Team graduate Dexter Patterson, Formula Renault Eurocup racer Petr Ptacek and karter Emerson Fittipaldi Junior are the first drivers selected to take part in the Academy programme, having access to Sauber’s expertise and know-how and taking part in a tailor-made development programme to complement their 2020 racing activities,” Sauber said on Wednesday.
“Frenchman Pourchaire will make the step to FIA F3 in 2020, while Ptacek, who hails from Czechia, will continue in the championship that saw him claim multiple podiums in 2019. Scotland’s Patterson will make his single-seater debut in the Italian F4 Championship, while Fittipaldi, son of the two-times F1 world champion whose name he shares, will drive in the OK-J karting championship with the Sauber Karting Team.”