Alex Wurz has praised the work of the FIA Institute Academy after the opening day of the inaugural young driver support scheme in Austria.
Eighteen drivers from across the world will be narrowed down to a final 10, who will receive tuition from ex-F1 driver Wurz and former World Rally Champion co-driver Robert Reid throughout 2011. The opening day included a variety of driving, fitness and classroom-based team-building disciplines.
Wurz, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Peugeot last season, says he is delighted to be part of the program.
"This is the biggest advance in training in motorsport, because it is completely independent and not within any management structure; we're not after any of their money from their future earnings," he said. "We are totally neutral and they can be totally honest and open with us when we have no commercial interests with them.
"The other training schemes before have all focused on individual parts, nobody has gone so far as to teach the guys about vehicle dynamics, the laws of physics, road safety and these kind of things. This is the most comprehensive approach we have ever seen.
"The other great thing about this is that we're not in competition with anybody. If a driver is in the Red Bull scheme, it doesn't matter for us."
Wurz's fellow academy coach Reid added: "It's been a great day today, really successful. It's been very busy for the drivers, they've done some fairly intensive work on the track, in the classroom and in the gym. The way the work is coming together is really good, the drivers are enjoying it."
Asked whether he had any idea of the 10 drivers who would be confirmed in the academy after day one, Reid added: "We've had a couple of guesses, but the drivers who go well in one area on the track aren't going so well in all the disciplines. As a judge, this is going to be a really, really tough job. Today has been about the assessment of ability, tomorrow we take that forward with more learning and on Tuesday we go racing and make those tough decisions."