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In the Footsteps of Jacques Villeneuve


He is one of the best kart drivers in Europe. At Jacques Villeneuve's school, he puts his foot down. The 16 year old Swiss Jasin Ferati from Winterthur is also an attraction in the Formula V field.


Jasin Ferati says what every young racing driver dreams of. But in the case of the 16-year-old car mechanic apprentice, the statement stands for more than just an unrealistic wish. Ferati is one of the fastest kart drivers in his age group - throughout Europe. Two races before the end of the season of the internationally announced German championship he is second in the overall classification and has a real chance of winning the title.


At the same time, he attracted attention in the racing school of former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve at Magny-Cours, "Feed Racing France". The winner of the training programme can hope for a place in a Formula 4 team. Villeneuve personally "ate a fool out of Swiss talent," according to well-informed sources. With his sponsorship project, the 48-year-old Canadian aims to give less financially well-off drivers a chance to gain a foothold in racing: "Talent must decide - not money," Villeneuve told the German «Motosport Magazine». Today, many young drivers would no longer dare to dream of a racing career.




At Ferati the dream lives. This was also noticeable during his first participations in the Formula V Championship. With only little preparation he drove to the respectable places 16 and 13. "The Evotek simulators come very close to real racing," he says. And yet his experience in karting and formula racing only helps him to a limited extent: "Drivers who specialise in simulator racing have a big advantage. So next Sunday he climbs into the cockpit without exaggerated expectations: "I'm going to Cham and just drive off. I can learn a lot and win a lot in the process. Ferati is thinking of the winner's cheque of 5000 Swiss francs.


It's money he could really use. Because the Swiss with Macedonian roots comes from an environment that could hardly afford the big racing sport. He is therefore all the more grateful that he has a highly networked manager in the form of the renowned motorsport journalist Peter Lattmann at his side: "Peter has already been able to put me in touch with several sponsors through his contacts". That this cooperation came about was due to the initiative of Jasin's grandfather. He convinced Lattmann to look at Jasin on the karting track. That was seven years ago. And what Lattmann saw back then: "A very talented boy. I gave him two tips: Try to always drive the rounds at the same speed - and measure yourself against adults."


Jasin took the advice and has been one of the fastest in his age group ever since. Whether his big Formula 1 dream will ever come true, however, depends on many factors. Lattmann: "You have to be in the right place at the right time - and also have some luck. If you stand out in Formula 4 and are signed by a large team, your chances increase." Regardless of that, he says: "Jasin has what it takes to make a living from racing. It's not just Formula 1."


Jasin Ferati can take a step in this direction next Sunday in Cham on the virtual circuit of Silverstone. His teacher Jacques Villeneuve has profitable insider information at hand. The Canadian celebrated two of his eleven GP victories in the English racing Mecca.


Thomas Renggli