Ferrari Create Young Drivers' Academy

Ferrari has finally joined other Formula One teams in launching a young drivers’ programme aimed at finding new talented racers that can one day debut in the world of Formula One. As announced by the Italian team on their official site, the new programme will bear the name of the “Ferrari Driver Academy” and will “find and support talented young racing drivers from around the world, with the eventual aim of getting them into the Formula 1 arena.”

In order to make it even closer to Ferrari’s F1 operations, the academy will be ran by none other than Luca Baldisserri, chief track engineer for the Scuderia’s F1 operations. Unlike other such programmes, the group of racers picked by Ferrari will not only benefit from racing support, but also personal backing.

(The Academy) will evolve gradually, over a period of several years, starting with kart racing and continuing through the intermediate formulae, before finally reaching the goal of Formula 1. Playing an important part in this initiative will be the ACI-CSAI, which will collaborate on the programme through the Federation’s race school at Vallelunga,” said a press release from Ferrari.

This programme has a very clear goal: to help youngsters develop to the point where, one day, they could fly the Ferrari flag in the Formula 1 World Championship. We plan to take an original approach, covering every angle with them, so that they are as well prepared as possible to tackle every aspect of modern day motor sport,” said Ferrari’s team principal Stefano Domenicali.

Needless to say, the academy’s first pupil will be French driver Jules Bianchi, who recently signed a contract with Ferrari following his impressive outing in the FIA rookie test session at Jerez. Bianchi is reigning champion in the Formula 3 Euroseries and will next year debut in the GP2 Series alongside French outfit ART Grand Prix.
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