Maranello, 31 July – There is no holiday for the Ferrari Driver Academy, but the young students in Maranello needn’t worry, as no re-sits are necessary, just a lot of work to ensure that a season which has got off to a promising start continues in the same vein. Specifically, there’s the seventh round of the European FIA Formula 3 championship at the Nurburgring from16 to 18 August, which Raffaele Marciello will be contesting as the current leader of the Drivers’ classification.
The end of July is therefore an opportune moment to review the first half of the racing year with Luca Baldisserri, the head of the FDA.
Luca, are you pleased with the first indications of the season?
“The evaluation is definitely positive: if I had to give it an overall score, it would be an eight. Raffaele Marciello and Antonio Fuoco lead their respective championships, while Lance Stroll and Jules Bianchi have made a very good job of moving up a category. It is in line with the targets we set ourselves at the beginning of the year.”
Let’s start at the top, namely Formula 1 and obviously Jules Bianchi. He joined Marussia at the very last minute, but he seems to have settled in really well in what is a very competitive and difficult environment.
“Jules has completed the move to Formula 1 without any problems. He has become the benchmark driver for the team, gaining its confidence at the track. I consider it a fundamental move, especially in Formula 1. Recently we spent a bit of time together in Maranello to assess the situation. We will continue to concentrate on stress management, an aspect where he has already made great progress, even if there is still room for improvement. Clearly, currently Jules is not in a situation where he can fight in the mid-field and for the future, it will be important to know if his presence in Formula 1 will have some continuity and in that case, what could be the potential of his team.”
Could it be said that Antonio Fuoco has been the surprise of 2013?
“The move from karts to single-seaters is never straightforward. Antonio is only seventeen years old and it was not easy for him to settle in to a very competitive environment such as Formula Renault. I’d say he’s overcome the obstacles in brilliant fashion, winning four races and leading the Alps championship. Furthermore, he has also done well when up against opponents from the European series, taking a pole position at Spa. He has shown that it has taken him a very short time to get a good feeling with the car and that is cause for hope for the future.”
Raffaele Marciello is leading the European Formula 3 series. Is all going to plan?
“Raffaele had a great start to the season, proving to be competitive at the highest level. In the last few races his results have stalled a bit and we are carefully analysing the situation to avoid the problems we already saw last year. If Raffaele can maintain the necessary level of concentration, I think all the signs are there for him to finish the season in the best possible way.”
Lance Stroll faced a demanding leap up in terms of category in the world of karting. How has it gone?
“Last winter, we decided that Lance should move up to the KF category, where he would take on professional opponents with a lot more experience than him. The approach was great, but unfortunately, the results were affected by technical problems. Lance did a brilliant job of coming out on top against his team-mate, who has much more experience and if, too date, the outright results are missing, he is certainly not to blame. However, we are confident that we can do well in the remaining part of the season.”