Ilott, Schumacher and Shwartzman prepare for their debut on the weekend of a Grand Prix
Three of the best talents of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) – Callum Ilott, Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman, in strict alphabetical order – will make their official debut in the weekend of a Formula 1 Grand Prix by the end of 2020. The first two to debut will be the drivers currently leading the Formula 2 championship, namely Schumacher and Ilott. In fact, both will compete in the first free practice session of the Eifel Grand Prix, scheduled for Friday 9 October at the Nürburgring: Mick will be at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo C39 while Callum will drive a Haas VF-20. Robert, currently fifth in the F2 standings, will imitate them at the last Grand Prix of the championship, that of Abu Dhabi.
Test. In preparation for their debut, the three FDA drivers will be busy on Wednesday this week, on the Fiorano track for a day of testing with a Formula 1 single-seater, the SF71H that competed in the 2018 season for Scuderia Ferrari. It will therefore be an important day for all three, another stage of the # RoadtoF1 project, aimed at preparing our drivers in the best possible way for their F1 debut. After having made the necessary seat tests on the eve of the trip to Sochi, Callum, Mick and Robert engaged today in a series of preparatory meetings for tomorrow’s test.
Protagonists.The three FDA talents are among the absolute protagonists of the Formula 2 championship. Mick, who has made constant performance his strength, leads the standings with 191 points, the result of two wins, nine podiums and 17 placings in the points area. 20 races disputed. Callum is second at 169, thanks to three wins, with five podiums overall 16 places in the points, to which four pole positions must be added. Robert, making his Formula 2 debut this year, has been the author of a dazzling start to the season and so far has three wins, five podiums, 11 points in the points and one fastest lap. In the standings the Russian is fifth, 41 points behind Mick, when four races remain at the end of the season. For Callum and Mick it will not be the absolute debut at the wheel of a Formula 1 car. The British driver last year had the opportunity to cover 41 laps (191 km) at the wheel of the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo C38 in the Barcelona test session immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix. Mick instead completed 126 laps (682 km) of the Sakhir circuit in the test following last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix: the German was able to drive the Ferrari SF90 on the first day of testing, while the following day he had lapped in the Alfa Romeo C38. Robert, on the other hand, is making his absolute debut with a Formula 1 car. Mick instead completed 126 laps (682 km) of the Sakhir circuit in the test following last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix: the German was able to drive the Ferrari SF90 on the first day of testing, while the following day he had lapped in the Alfa Romeo C38. Robert, on the other hand, is making his absolute debut with a Formula 1 car. Mick instead completed 126 laps (682 km) of the Sakhir circuit in the test following last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix: the German was able to drive the Ferrari SF90 on the first day of testing, while the following day he had lapped in the Alfa Romeo C38. Robert, on the other hand, is making his absolute debut with a Formula 1 car.
Organization.The test day in Fiorano for Callum, Mick and Robert is just one of the activities that the FDA makes available to its students. In fact, within the Maranello academy the boys have a complete work program that prepares them both for driving and for everything that is not competitive life. The traditional lessons related to the world of racing (updating the FIA sporting regulations, fundamentals of motoring, the basis of vehicle dynamics and strategy) are accompanied by courses that prepare you for other key aspects of the profession of driver, such as managing your image, both through the use of social media and through the more traditional communication channels; collaboration with sponsors and partners as well as a diet that is attentive to the athlete’s needs.
Reference.At the moment of the FDA there are nine students. In addition to the three drivers already mentioned, there are Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong, both involved in Formula 2; Enzo Fittipaldi, fresh from the first season of Formula 3; Gianluca Petecof and Arthur Leclerc, currently in the first two places in the Formula Regional standings; and Dino Beganovic, engaged in the Formula 4 championships in Italy and Germany. In addition, the FDA has begun building a worldwide scouting network, working together with partners such as the Automobile Club of Italy, Motorsport Australia and Escuderia Telmex in Latin America. The goal is to select the best young promises from around the world from which to choose the most talented to include them in the FDA. The first selection cycle will end by the end of October in a camp that will take place in Fiorano.
Laurent Mekies FDA Director & Scuderia Ferrari Sporting Director
“We wanted to organize this test to put our three talents in the best possible conditions to face an event that will still be special for their career. It will be useful for them to become familiar with a Formula 1 car, which is much more complex than the one they are used to racing with now.
We are delighted that Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing offer three young people like Callum, Mick and Robert this opportunity and I take this opportunity to thank both teams. We strongly believe in our Academy, which has already confirmed with Charles Leclerc that it can give the Scuderia a driver on which to build the long-term future.
Callum, Mick and Robert are proving their worth this season of Formula 2 and this test is another step in their growth process. ”