F1-guru Adrian Newey lampooned parents who sideline their children’s education in favour of motorsport. Speaking at an F1 press conference, Newey said:
“I think what is a much more concerning question personally is the effect on education that happens for these drivers to get [to F1] at that age. A lot of the drivers in karting and in junior formulas frankly just aren’t going to school. They don’t go to school at all. The parents then hide behind that by saying that they have private tutors but I think in many cases – not all, I’m sure, but in many cases – that’s actually a complete sham.
“I think if you asked a lot of those kids to sit their baccalaureate or GCSEs or whatever it might be that the results would tell a fairly depressing story which means that the few kids that do get through, fantastic,” he continued. “Being at a motor race and so forth, the kids do learn in a different way – not an academic way but they learn in other ways – but I think for many of those children that don’t quite make the grade, they have spent all that time not going to school, not having a proper tuition and then what happens to them afterwards is altogether another question. It’s something which motor racing as an industry urgently needs to look at, because personally I think we’re being irresponsible allowing that.” Newey’s son, Harrison, races for Mach 1 Motorsport and will race in BRDC F4 next season.