Madrid, 1 March 2019. FA Racing by Drivex is proud to announce that Brad Benavides and Patrick Schott have become its first signings for the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup season, in which the Spanish outfit will make its debut with a three-car operation.
Benavides, a 17-year-old driver from Florida (USA), will complete his first full-time season in single-seater racing this year after competing at the highest competition level in karting. Benavides’ first outing in formula racing took place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the Euroformula Open’s final event. Benavides now progresses up the motorsport ladder to race in the ultra-competitive Formula Renault Eurocup.
Swiss racer Schott, aged 18 and born in Lausanne, made his single-seater debut in Formula 4 racing last year competing in the Spanish series and the SMP-organized NEZ Championship and immediately scored several podium finishes. Besides, the new Formula Renault Eurocup contender also made a one-off appearance in the Euroformula Open for the series season finale in Barcelona the past season.
Benavides and Schott will get their first taste of the new Tatuus-built F3 T-318 – which is homologated to the latest FIA F3 specification– at the Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours next week, which will host the first pre-season collective testing on March 5-7. The Circuit Paul Ricard and Italy’s Temple of Speed at Monza will also host pre-season running on March 27-28 and April 9-10 respectively. The 2019 season is made up of ten events at Monza, Silverstone, Monaco, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps, Nürburgring, Hungaroring, Barcelona, Hockenheim and Yas Marina.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH BRAD BENAVIDES
Welcome on board Brad! Explain us your thoughts after signing up for FA Racing by Drivex to take part in the Formula Renault Eurocup
“I’m truly enthusiastic to get on board with this new team and I’m looking forward to start working with them as soon as possible.”
It will mark your first full-season effort in the European motorsport scene, how are you currently working to face this completely new experience?
“The season will definitely be one to remark as it is my first ever season in a single seater. Hence I am absolutely woke for delivering my utter dedication as well as preparation.”
The ten-round calendar provides plenty of emotions for young drivers at iconic race tracks, which one do you like most and why?
“My opinion, is that Monaco excites the most because it is not only the most demanding track but as well the most spectated.”
What are your goals for the 2019 season and your impression of the new Formula Renault car?
“My goals are based out of what I can assure; which is my performance rather than results. Therefore, my short and long termed goals are founded upon the two basic pillars of simply learning and improving. I intend to give my absolute one hundred percent since this is a once and a life time opportunity.”
You will meet Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa. How is the opportunity to meet two racing legends who are part of FA Racing by Drivex?
“Meeting two iconic figures in motorsport is not something to undermine. I admire them in light of what they’ve done for the history of Formula 1 and I’m honored to take part of their team.”
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH PATRICK SCHOTT
Welcome Patrick! Please, tell us how you feel after confirming your participation in the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup with FA Racing by Drivex
“I am very happy and excited to race for FA Racing by Drivex in this prestigious Renault championship. I can’t feel better to tell the truth.”
Following a successful season in Formula 4 racing, the Formula Renault Eurocup is the logical next step in your racing career. Explain us your expectations for your Formula Renault debut.
“My first season F4 went very well, It was therefore necessary to continue the path towards this championship so it was the jump to do and the best choice for this year. My first goal is to improve my skills to the maximum and understand the car quickly and earring that Fernando Alonso’s staff as well McLaren will provide assistance, it’s unbelievable! Having drivers like Fernando (Alonso) and Pedro (de la Rosa) advising me is amazing.”
How are you preparing physically and mentally for the new season and the new car?
“Actually I train hard physically to be focused on driving and I have the support of Swiss Olympic committee CIO who helps me mentally and physically to progress.”
Monza, Silverstone, Monaco, Nürburgring, Yas Marina… they all are top-tier venues included on the Formula 1 calendar. Which ones are you looking forward to visit?
“Racing in Monaco is a child's dream, I always wanted to feel what it's like to race in a street circuit, I like fast circuits like Monza; but to be honest, actually Barcelona is my favorite track.”
You already joined Drivex for the F3 Open season finale last year, could you tell us about that first experience and what you liked most about the team?
“I already know the team, the guys are highly professional but felt like a family, it was a real pleasure to drive for them as it allowed me to discover a F3 car. What I liked the most? It’s the link with the engineer and the mechanics and, finally, the boss. Because he was deeply involved with me.”
Finally, tell us a wish to fulfill this season.
“Having never driven with the car, I would like to learn it as quickly as possible as to optimize the performance I do not know yet where we will be but we will give ourselves all the tools and efforts to achieve our common goals as to be as high as possible and personally I will discover all tracks, with the single exception of Barcelona, and the car and race towards experimented drivers, I will reasonably fight for the rookie championship and everything on the top, will be a bonus! I can’t wait!”
“My commitment is to help young drivers from karting to make the transition into the single-seater scene. My experience will help them push the car to its limits quicker. I will be able to give them some tips with the aim of make it easier, because your first steps on the single-seater ladder are quite demanding at this level. We are extremely happy having Brad and Patrick joining FA Racing by Drivex for the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup season. It’s nice to confirm that such young talents will be a part of our team. Everybody is motivated to start on the right foot in this fascinating and prestigious racing series. It will be a tough challenge but we are looking forward to starting this new chapter.”
MIGUEL ÁNGEL DE CASTRO
“We had the opportunity to work alongside Patrick last year and he rapidly made an impression as a quick learner. Having him driving one of our cars for a full-season programme are excellent news. In the same way, Brad is another emerging talent coming through the ranks and we welcome him to our team. The pre-season testing is just about to start but preparations are already in full swing. The competition level and the professionalism of the series demand our best effort.”