Oliver Bearman and Rafael Camara are the latest recruits to the Ferrari Driver Academy. They were chosen at the end of the second running of the FDA Scouting World Finals, which took place from 11 to 15 October in Maranello. The standard was very high this year, proving the effectiveness of the Ferrari programme aimed at finding the most promising young drivers.
An effective programme. The fact that two of the four candidates taking part in the World Finals have been taken on by the FDA demonstrates the quality of the selection process it has put in place. An interesting point is that over the first two years of this initiative, three drivers joined the Academy from three different continents, thanks to the FDA’s ability to monitor drivers across the globe through its partners: ACI Sport and Tony Kart for Europe, Escuderia Telmex for Latin America and Motorsport Australia for the Asia-Pacific region, including Oceania. Last year, the winner was James Wharton, selected by Motorsport Australia. The Ferrari Driver Academy’s scouting partners play a vital role and during 2021 monitored over 150 drivers at race meetings to choose the most promising.
Dominant in F4. Oliver Bearman was born on 8 May 2005 in Chelmsford, England and has just enjoyed an excellent season in Formula 4, winning the titles in both the Italian and German series, with eleven wins, five pole positions and two fastest laps in the former and six wins, five podiums, five pole positions and three fastest laps in the latter. He also won a race in the GB series at Snetterton. He is the second British driver to join the FDA after Callum Ilott.
Karting talent. Rafael Chaves Camara is Brazilian, born in Recife on 5 May 2005, making him three days older than Bearman. Racing karts, he has shone several times this year: at Adria (Italy) he won the WSK Champions Cup and the WSK Super Master Cup, while in May in Gand (Belgium,) he won a European championship race as well as a Champions of the Future race. He also finished on the podium several times, which got him to the FDA World Finals with a recommendation from Escuderia Telmex. Despite his limited experience at the wheel of a Formula 4 car his performance was outstanding. He is the third Brazilian to join the FDA after former alumni, Enzo Fittipaldi and Gianluca Petecof.
Interesting prospect. Another driver in the finals who made a strong impression was the Finn, Tuukka Taponen, who looks like an interesting prospect, having gone well in the track test days at Fiorano and then a couple of weeks later, winning the world title in the OK karting class at the Spanish Campillos circuit. Tuukka, born on 26 October 2006 has decided to continue with karting, the schooling category par excellence for one more year, racing for scouting partner Tony Kart. The Ferrari Driver Academy will monitor his progress closely next season, with a view to involving him in further evaluation camps.
I am really happy to have been selected to join the Ferrari Driver Academy. It is a great way to end what has been a really good racing season for me. Just spending a week in Maranello was in itself an amazing experience, especially getting to drive at the Fiorano track.
Now, I can’t wait to start working at the Academy and to be part of the Ferrari family and to see what the future holds for me.
Rafael Chaves Camara
I am very happy to have been chosen by the Ferrari Driver Academy. It is a unique opportunity for me and I will do my best to repay the faith shown in me.
It is a dream to be part of this big Ferrari family and I just have to thank everyone who has always supported me, especially my parents who are always by my side.
Marco Matassa, Head of Ferrari Driver Academy
I am very happy to welcome Oliver and Rafael to the Ferrari Driver Academy. During the days spent at Maranello and Fiorano, Bearman showed all the aptitude he so clearly demonstrated during his Formula 4 season. Apart from his basic speed, he has other important qualities, such as the ability to give good feedback to the engineers, as well as understanding in which areas he can improve, while putting into practice what he was told to do before going out on track for the first time.
We were impressed by Rafael’s natural speed at the wheel, his understanding of braking as well as the fact he is clearly being a quick learner, given his limited experience at the wheel of a single-seater. Both guys have a straightforward approach and the right work ethic to be part of the FDA. Our thanks must go to our scouting partners, who have helped us put together a really efficient scheme. The FDA Scouting World Finals has helped us identify three of the last four drivers to join the Academy. They all come from different continents, which we are able to monitor thanks to the excellent selection system we have got in place with ACI Sport, Tony Kart, Escuderia Telmex and Motorsport Australia.