Maranello, 13 December –The list of participants for the first Florida Winter Series is beginning to take shape. It’s a championship supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy, aimed at professional racing drivers who want to prepare as well as possible for the challenges that await them in the 2014 season.
Naturally enough, among the first to put their names down were drivers from the Maranello Academy, such as Lance Stroll, Antonio Fuoco and Raffaele Marciello. Jules Bianchi will also take part in one of the four events, fitting it in with his duties linked to the development of the Marussia F1 car. The event runs in Florida from 22nd January to 19th February. Also taking part in one of the races will be Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro, who is a front runner in Formula Indy.
Also planning to tackle the new and original way of preparing for the coming season are a handful of talented youngsters such as the winner of the Spanish F3 Open Series, Ed Jones, and drivers from the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, Dennis Van de Laar, Nicola Latifi and Louis Sa Silva. Also there will be Alex Bosak, who raced against Fuoco in Formula Renault 2.0 Alps and Leonardo Pulcini from the world of karts.
What makes this programme special is that the drivers are not just involved in the usual activities linked to track action, such as briefings with the engineers, free practice, qualifying and the race, but they also get to know just what makes their car tick, as the FDA’s director, Luca Baldisserri explains. “By taking part in in the Florida Winter Series, we want the drivers to increase their experience in all sectors and that, particularly for the very youngest, they start to tackle all the difficult aspects of this job. For example, we will ask them to support the mechanics as they work on assembling and dismantling their cars, thus increasing their practical mechanical knowledge. It’s the best way to understand how what they do out on track can affect the work that goes on in the pits.
Furthermore, in between races there will be time not only to fine tune their physical preparation in pleasant weather, but also to work with the engineers on analysing the data and, no less important, to share their experiences with drivers from different backgrounds.”