There are two approaches to hiring a Formula One driver. The first is to go with a seasoned veteran, a driver who's already seen just about anything that is likely to come up on the track or off, and knows how to deal with it. The second is to grab an aspiring rookie who's eager to show his mettle, bereft of the caution that years of experience can impart. The same goes for test drivers, but once in a while a team finds itself having to promote a tester into the race seat.
A growing array of F1 teams have been developing young driver programs over the past few years. BMW ranked high among them while competing in the top-tier racing series, but in its absence, the teams it partnered with have picked up the proverbial mantle.
Established supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini have their own test drivers on permanent retainer, and have legions more on call should the need arise. But who does an upstart exotic automaker call when it needs to set up its new machinery? Loris Bicocchi. He's largely responsible for the dynamic performance on such exotica as the Koenigsegg, Pagani Zonda and Bugatti EB110 and Veyron. He's been doing it for decades, but now that he's turning 50, Bicocchi has come to the realizati