Formula 1 | What happened to the members of the Ferrari Driver Academy? (Part 1)

What became of the members of the (...)

As Ferrari unveiled its promotion of young drivers for the 2023 season this week, let’s take a look at the most outstanding members of the Scuderia Academy.

Charles Leclerc is arguably Ferrari Driver Academy’s greatest success to date, having joined in 2016.

Crowned GP3 champion in 2016 and F2 in 2017, he joined the elite by signing for the Alfa Romeo F1 team in 2018. And the following year, he became a starter at Ferrari in place of Kimi Raïkkönen.

The Monegasque has won four Grands Prix so far and even led the world championship for a time in 2022, before the Italian team became entangled in operational and reliability problems.

But in addition to Leclerc, other pilots who were part of the academy have now left it, some having met with more or less success afterwards. We thus offer you a list of six former members, of which here is the first part.

Mick Schumacher

Son of legend Michael Schumacher, who won five consecutive titles with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004, Mick became a member of the academy in 2019 as he joined the F2 championship.

As has regularly been the case in his career, his first season in the antechamber of F1 was not brilliant and he had to settle for 12th place in the standings. On the other hand, he was much stronger during the second and won the title, beating Callum Ilot, also a member of the academy. This opened the doors to F1 for him and he joined Haas for the 2021 season.

This was complicated at the wheel of the worst single-seater on the grid, but he easily got the upper hand over his teammate Nikita Mazepin. But if last year’s VF-22 was much more efficient, this time he failed to dominate Kevin Magnussen and finally lost his seat to Nico Hülkenberg for the 2023 season.

Ferrari confirmed at the end of the season that Schumacher was no longer a member of its academy. The German has nevertheless bounced back to Mercedes F1, where he will occupy the role of reserve this season.

Lance Stroll

Signed by the academy in 2010 when he was 11 years old, Lance Stroll won the title in Italian F4 in 2014 with the support of the Scuderia. He was then crowned in the Toyota Racing Series in 2015, before evolving in the European Formula 3 championship the following year with the Prema team.

Williams F1 then expressed interest in the Canadian driver, who eventually severed ties with Ferrari to join the Grove team program. He will become a starter in F1 in 2017 and will explain his choice to have left the Scuderia.

« I was in Ferrari’s junior program, which was more basic with a training program and mental work. Williams does the same thing but at the same time I have a lot more time to be closer to the game. Formula 1 team: more time in the simulator and more involvement in the Grands Prix with the engineers. »

« I feel like we can be closer at the moment with Williams, and I’m working with them rather than being part of a training camp like at Ferrari. For the future, that’s the right thing to do. decision. »

After six seasons in F1, Stroll, who now drives for the Aston Martin team owned by his father Lawrence, has claimed pole position and three podium finishes. In 2023, he will team up with double world champion Fernando Alonso.

Enzo Fittipaldi

The Brazilian, grandson of legend Emerson and brother of Pietro, the current Haas F1 reserve driver, was part of the Ferrari academy between 2017 and 2020.

After winning the Italian F4 title with the Prema team in 2018, he finished second in the Regional European Championship in 2019.

But in 2020, a bad campaign in F3 saw his association with the Scuderia come to an end. He will try to revive in the United States in Indy Pro 2000, where he will only compete in one race before returning to Europe.

Fittipladi then played part of the 2021 F2 season and the entire 2022 financial year with the Charouz team (8th this year). And in November, he finally signed a contract with the Red Bull academy.

This year, he will play a new season in the antechamber of F1 with the Carlin team and therefore the support of the Austrian team.

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