Maranello, 21 December –This is also the time to review the activities of the Ferrari Driver Academy, the structure created by Ferrari to help develop talented young drivers chosen from the global motor sport arena, with a view to training them for an eventual future in the world of F1.
Apart from his duties as third driver with Sahara Force India, Jules Bianchi had a great season as a contender in the World Series 3.5, eventually finishing second overall: the Frenchman took three wins, eight podium finishes and five pole positions. Jules’ objective for 2013 is naturally to find a firm place in Formula 1. “That is fundamental for our project,” said Luca Baldisserri, the head of the FDA, “that he reaches this target: it could see him have a great future in Red.”
“By the time he had signed for McLaren, Mexico’s Sergio Perez had already left the Academy, as did Brandon Maisano, who did not reach the progress goals established for him at the start of the season. However, he finished third in the Italian Formula 3 Championship, with three wins, 15 podiums and two pole positions.
There was a more positive outcome for the other two youngsters, Lance Stroll and Raffaele Marciello. The very young Canadian raced in karts, winning the Las Vegas Trophy, finishing fourth in the WSK Masters, fifth in the CIK-FIA World Championship, eighth in the Euro CIK-FIA and twelfth in the WSK Euro. Next year, Lance will compete in the KF category with the Chiesa Corse team.
Marciello was very much a front runner in the FIA F3 Euroseries, finishing second in the Championship with eight wins, thirteen podium finishes and four pole positions from the thirty races he contested. In 2013, Raffaele will again contest this championship for Team Prema.
There’s a new arrival in 2013, in the shape of Antonio Fuoco. Born on 20 May 1996 in Cosenza, Italy, Antonio began his career in karts when he was only four years old and already, in 2007, he secured his first international win in the 60 mini category. In 2009, the promising driver moved up to KF3 where he took third place in the Italian championship, improving by one the following year, when he finished second overall in the series. At the end of 2011, Antonio won the Supercorso prize, organised by the CSAI in collaboration with the FDA, which included some tests at the wheel of a Formula Abarth. The great results on his debut in KF2 in 2012, when Antonio finished third in the WSK Euroseries, along with the progress he showed in testing in the Formula Abarth means the young Italian is now officially part of the Ferrari Academy.
Apart from supporting talented youngsters, the FDA programme also includes initiatives aimed at promoting motor sport in general, in Italy and other countries, with partnerships that see it support junior championships in Europe, America (Panam GP Series:) 7 events with 24 participants, the 2012 winner being the Ecuadorian Sebastian Merchan and in Asia (Formula Pilota:) 18 races and 14 drivers, the 2012 winner being Italy’s Antonio Giovanazzi.
The process begun in 2011 continues for selecting young kart racers taking part in the Italian KF3 and KF2 Championships for the Supercorse CSAI-FDA. The winners of the Formula Abarth Championship, Italy’s Luca Ghiotto and from Uruguay, Santiago Urrutia, took part in the Supercorso CSAI-FDA. The winners of the Italian F3 Championship, Riccardo Agostini (ITA) and Eddie Cheever (ITA) tested an F1 car at Vallelunga, along with the winner of the FIA F3 Championship, Daniel Juncadella (ESP.) For 2013, there will be some changes in the integration of working methods of youngsters from the FDA and the Federation School.