The FDA (Ferrari Driver Academy) is pleased to announce the first of a series of partnerships with national and local motor sport authorities around the world which will allow the Maranello marque’s training programme for young drivers to be more widespread in regions where motor sport is more common, with the aim of affording the most talented youngsters the opportunity to progress in the world of motor sport.
The agreement between the FDA and Motorsport Australia will see the best drivers in the 14 to 17 age range come to Maranello for a training camp that could lead to a year at the academy and the chance to participate in one of the European Formula 4 championships, the category that, over the past few years, has proved to be the perfect way into single-seater racing for those coming from karting.
The FDA will therefore have a special observation role in the new Motorsport Australia Centre of Excellence in the Sydney Motorsport Park, located within the Eastern Creek race track facility. In collaboration with the local authority, the FDA will be able to monitor the best drivers from countries in the Oceania and Asia-Pacific regions. The agreement follows on from the one already in existence with Italy's ACI and Tony Kart, one of the most influential companies in the world of karting.
Motorsport Australia will run the initial selection phase, scouting out new talent and watching drivers taking part in camps and racing activities run in Australia. The best will go forward to a further selection stage, leading to two candidates per year going to Maranello.
Once in Italy, those selected will take part in a special Camp. They will drive Formula 4 cars at the Fiorano track, going up against youngsters from other continents and will be able to compete for a year’s placement with the Ferrari Driver Academy, that will give them the chance to take part in one of the Formula 4 championships held in Europe.
Various drivers from the Antipodes have achieved great things in motorsport, including in Formula 1. And when it comes to Ferrari, one thinks of Chris Amon and Tim Schenken who won many endurance races with the Maranello marque. Then there are the three world champions, Jack Brabham, Denis Hulme and Alan Jones, and another constructor-driver, Bruce McLaren. In more recent times we have seen Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo come into Formula 1.
Laurent Mekies Head of FDA and Sporting Director of Scuderia Ferrari
"Today’s signing with Motorsport Australia, after the partnerships already established with the Italian Motoring Federation (ACI) and with karting world powerhouse Tony Kart, is a key step forward in our scouting strategy in order to ensure that we continue to secure the best talent of the future.
We have a long standing relationship with our friends at Motorsport Australia, and we trust that together we will build a fantastic selection programme for the region that will inspire and attract many young drivers."