It’s August but it’s not yet holiday time at the Ferrari Driver Academy, even if some students have headed home for a few days off. Tuukka Taponen is not one of them, as the Finn, who joined the Ferrari young driver programme last year after the Scouting World Finals, is on duty as the reference driver, setting times to aim at, for the youngsters taking part in the first of two of this season’s Scouting Camps. It’s an important event to evaluate potential candidates for the final selection process later in the autumn.
The youngsters. The Camp which got underway today is part of the collaboration that has been in place for several years now between the FDA and ACI Sport, which occasionally brings talented youngsters to Maranello to evaluate their potential, using the resources of the Ferrari young driver programme. Two Polish drivers, born in 2007 and 2008, have been selected by the FDA on advice from Tony Kart, a long-time FDA scouting partner: Maciej Gladysz, who won the 2021 FIA Karting Academy Trophy and Jan Przyrowski, who actually turns 15 today. ACI Sport has brought along two Italians, Francesco Marenghi, 2021 Italian Junior Kart champion and Giacomo Pedrini, a kart racer who is also taking his first steps in single-seaters.
Extensive evaluation. The four youngsters arrived at the Scuderia headquarters, home to the Ferrari Driver Academy, this morning and started work immediately with sessions looking at various aspects of a racing driver’s life: physical training, lessons on the theory of motorsport and how to manage stress. They also walked the Fiorano track and tried a Formula 4 simulator in preparation for tomorrow when they will take to the track in a Tatuus Formula 4 car fitted with the very same tyres used in the Italian championship of this category, the tyres being provided by the FDA’s Scouting Camp Technical Partner, Pirelli. The Camp ends on Friday when the FDA experts will meet to decide if any of the four youngsters have done enough to earn a place in the Scouting World Finals which take place later this year. Currently, there are two young women and six young men in the Academy.