SJann Mardenborough has just been plucked by Red Bull — the biggest F1 team — to race for Arden International in GP3, which is the most direct line to racing in Formula One. Why's that news? Because this guy learned how to race by playing Gran Turismo.
According to The Guardian, 22-year-old Mardenborough from Darlington, England will be the first person who learned how to race on a game console via Sony's GT Academy to be on Red Bull's team. Mardenborough says he feels ready.
In 2011, Mardenborough beat out 90,000 other drivers who attended GT Academy to get instruction from Nissan on how to actually drive on a track. For the 2014 season, he'll join Robert Vișoiu and Patric Niederhauser at Arden.
Red Bull's driver development manager, Andy Damerum, told The Guardian he's interested in seeing how Mardenborough does, adding:
"The traditional route to F1 of karting and single-seaters is a tried-and-tested success, but Nissan and PlayStation have gone down a very different road and started to find some very talented drivers who have been doing all their practicing on a games console."
On the basis of what's already been seen from Mardenborough, Gran Turismo has helped him become quite good.