João Eduardo Conceição de Lima, nicknamed Mineiro (born on 17 September 2000 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais) is a Brazilian racing driver who will participate in the 2016 Formula 1 Rejects Development Series for Scuderia Alitalia.
His nickname "Mineiro" means someone from the state of Minas Gerais, as he was not only born there but also has the shy and quiet personality typical of those from the region.
Mineiro was born and raised in the Aglomerado da Serra favela in the city of Belo Horizonte. His upbringing was a difficult one, living in one of the most violent sub-districts of the area, Chácara. He lost his parents at a young age, who were killed in crossfire between rival drug gangs.
At the age of ten, Mineiro was discovered as having racing talent in a rather unusual manner - he broke into a nearby kart track and started driving around the circuit with some friends. The owner was impressed by the youngster's speed behind the wheel, and despite his misdemeanour decided to help him continue karting. With help from the Ayrton Senna Foundation, he continued to race in local events while attending school (despite many children from favelas opting not to), and was eventually spotted by a scout of the Il Barone Rampante organisation.
From then on, he was fast tracked to national level, participating in events all over the country, and eventually winning the Brazilian Karting Championship in both 2014 and 2015, along with the 2015 Seletiva de Kart Petrobrás.
Moving to Europe
After his domestic karting success, Mineiro moved to Italy and will participate in the 2016 F1RDS season with Scuderia Alitalia. He will live in the team's youth development sector within Il Barone Parco Tecnico, along with other foreign members of the Scuderia Alitalia Giovanile Squadra.