Ferrari has launched a school for young drivers, but, of course being Ferrari, this is no ordinary driving school. For a start the Italian supercar maker and Formula One legend is not teaching people how to drive on the road, it is selecting talented young racing drivers and training them with the aim of getting them into Formula One.
Nor is it just about learning behind the wheel, as is common with these schemes. Ferrari will select a group of young drivers and then support them as they progress, not just in terms of their racing activities, but also focusing on their personal and professional development.
The project, run by Luca Baldisserri, Ferrari Track Manager, 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, the Italian Motor sport organising body, which will collaborate on the programme through the Federation’s race school at Vallelunga.
“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,” said Stefano Domenicali, The Ferrari Formula One Team Principal.“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.”
The first youngster to be selected for this programme is 20 year old French driver Jules Bianchi (pictured above), who won this year’s Drivers’ and Teams’ titles in the Formula 3 Euroseries and made his debut at the wheel of an F60 in the recent Jerez test session on 1-2 December 2009.
With Ferrari Australia