The FDA (Ferrari Driver Academy) is pleased to announce a partnership agreement with Escuderia Telmex, which aims to identify young, promising motorsport talents in Mexico and Latin America, giving them a pathway to becoming part of the young driver programme of the Maranello-based team.
This partnership follows those already in place with some other national federations and motorsport bodies and will allow the FDA to enhance further its scouting capabilities in territories where motorsport is most widespread.
The FDA was born over ten years ago with the aim of finding the motorsport talents of the future and giving them the opportunity to grow within the Ferrari family. The partnership agreement with Escuderia Telmex will see a number of young, talented drivers aged between 14 and 17, given the chance to attend a training camp in Maranello and thereafter, the possibility of being selected to join the Academy for a year. The drivers will also be able to drive in a European Formula 4 Championship, the category that, in recent years, has proven to be the best access point in the world of single-seaters for those coming from karting.
FDA will therefore have a privileged monitoring position of drivers in Mexico and other Latin American countries through which it will be able to source the best talents from that geographical area, one of the most generous in terms of motorsport champions. The agreement follows those already in place in Italy with the Automobile Club of Italy (ACI) and with Tony Kart, one of the most traditional teams in the world of karting; with Motorsport Australia for the Asia-Pacific area and with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) as part of the "Girls on Track - Rising Star" programme, which aims to support girls who intend to embark on a competitive path in the world of motorsport.
In similar fashion to the agreement with Motorsport Australia, Escuderia Telmex will take care of the scouting phase, observing and evaluating the most promising young drivers through track activity and other bespoke opportunities. The ten most promising talents will take part in a further phase, ultimately leading to the top two candidates being invited to come to Maranello.
Once in Italy, the young drivers will have the opportunity to take part in a dedicated FDA evaluation camp. On the Fiorano track, at the wheel of a Formula 4 car, Latin American drivers will join other guys from different continents and will compete to win a motorsport scholarship, which includes a year of attendance at the Academy and the opportunity to take part in a European Formula 4 championship.
In the history of the FDA, there have been students from four different continents, including three drivers from Latin America. The first was Mexican Sergio Perez, an FDA student in 2011 and 2012, now in Formula 1 with Racing Point, while Brazilians Enzo Fittipaldi and Gianluca Petecof continue to be part of FDA. Enzo is racing in the FIA Formula 3 championship with HWA Racelab team, while Gianluca will compete in Formula Regional with the Prema Powerteam.
Mattia Binotto Managing Director and Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari
"We are really pleased to start this collaboration with Escuderia Telmex, a name that in the last twenty years has established itself in the world of motoracing.
We know the competence, the rigour but, above all, the passion in raising young talents that characterise Escuderia Telmex and we rely on them to help us identify the drivers of the future for Scuderia Ferrari."
Carlos Slim Domit Chairman Escuderia Telmex Telcel
"The partnership with Ferrari Driver Academy represents a great achievement but above all a great responsibility for Escuderia Telmex. Young talents have a fundamental challenge ahead of them: not only they must know how to drive but they also need to be hungry for success, they have to show a lot of discipline, intelligence and mental strength to overcome the difficulties and pressure that this path of growth entails.
The opportunity to go to Maranello and have the chance to fight for the dream of racing in Formula 1 is there, but you have to work hard to earn it..."
Laurent Mekies Head of FDA and Sporting Director Scuderia Ferrari
"This agreement is a further milestone in our development strategy, aimed at covering the whole world with top-level scouting programmes and completes the target we set ourselves to achieve in 2020.
Escuderia Telmex has already shown a proven ability to identify potential champions, managing to get talents such as Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez into Formula 1, two drivers we at Scuderia know well, having had them with us for part of their career. Working together with a team with extensive experience in raising young talents will allow us not only to monitor crucial geographical areas such as Mexico and Latin America but also to acquire further experience in the selection process."