Four youngsters from Europe, Latin America and Oceania are hoping to get their hands on an admission ticket to join the Academy and one day to race a Ferrari in Formula 1.
The final evaluation and selection stage of the Ferrari Driver Academy’s Scouting World Finals starts today, featuring four talented youngsters from various parts of the world. They all share the same ambition of joining one of the best young driver training programmes.
How it works. As was the case last year, this season the FDA has looked to its scouting partners from around the globe, with Tony Kart monitoring the vast panoply of this essential first step in racing, while the ACI Sport has looked to the single-seater scene in Italy and Europe, with Escuderia Telmex and Motorsport Australia covering the whole of Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
The youngsters. Two come from Europe, Oliver Bearman from England, born in 2005, has spent this season racing in the Italian and German Formula 4 series, leading both of them with eight and five wins respectively. Finland’s Tuukka Taponen (born in 2006) has spent 2021 karting with Tony Kart. Brazil’s Rafael Chaves Camara (2005) had the same programme as Taponen and has been suggested to the Ferrari Driver Academy by Escuderia Telmex. Motorsport Australia put forward another kart racer, Australian Jesse Lacey (2006) for the trip to Maranello, who spent this year racing in national championships in his home country.
At Ferrari. The candidates arrived this morning at the factory at Via Enzo Ferrari 27. Awaiting them is a series of tests to evaluate their physical and attitudinal abilities and their mental suitability for a rigorous life in racing, both on and off the track. They will tackle simulator sessions and, as from Thursday, will take part in two test sessions at the Fiorano track at the wheel of a Formula 4 car, fitted with the same Pirelli tyres as those used in the Italian championship.
Reference and support. In the second part of the week, the four candidates will be joined by two current FDA drivers, Sweden’s Dino Beganovic and the Australian, James Wharton, the latter being the winner of the 2020 FDA Scouting World Finals. Last weekend in Mugello, Dino secured his first podium finish in Formula Regional and his job will be to set a reference time, first out on track on both days to give the youngsters a target to aim for. James, who is currently tackling Formula 4 for the first time, will be on hand to support the youngsters at what is a key moment in their career.
Choice. At the end of the week working in Maranello, the candidates will leave and the FDA engineers will meet to decide if any of the youngsters have what it takes to join the Academy and start out on a tough programme which has an ambitious goal, that of one day becoming a Scuderia Ferrari driver, racing for the Prancing Horse in Formula 1, a route that Charles Leclerc embarked on back in 2019.
Laurent Mekies, Scuderia Ferrari Racing Director
"The FDA Scouting World Finals are very important to us. Along with some amazing partners – ACI Sport, Tony Kart, Escuderia Telmex and Motorsport Australia – we have put together a selection process based on finding young drivers with talent and potential from around the world, giving them the opportunity to join a top class training programme, including to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity. Once again this year, four very young talented drivers, the best from their respective geographical areas, have come to Maranello to be assessed and possibly become part of our group.
The ultimate aim of the FDA is to train drivers who might one day get behind the wheel of a Scuderia Ferrari car to take part in the Formula 1 World Championship and the World Finals is the first step of this journey. Best of luck to all our talented youngsters!"