Maranello, 28 January 2010 – At the convention centre at the Fiorano race track, after the appearance of the Chairman, the drivers and the technicians, talking about the F10 single-seater on the day of its presentation, Ferrari presented a new and very important initiative for young drivers: the Ferrari Drivers Academy – a programme Ferrari uses to invest in the future.
“For the first time Ferrari is concentrated on the precise goal of looking for new talents,” Luca Baldisserri said in front of numerous journalists, interested in this new project. “The programme, which will start this year, includes several activities – from scouting to training to a driving school, to find new talents and let them grow to be part of Formula 1 with Ferrari one day. At the moment we have 12 young drivers and a further selection will follow.” Where is Ferrari looking for the future drivers? “We’re starting with karts and then other formulas such as Abarth, Formula 3, GP3, but also Formula 2, GP2 and the World Series.”
Very important for the scouting is the close collaboration with CSAI. “CISAI organised a first meeting with the 12 drivers this week in Forlì, where the drivers will take a first medical and psychological check up, which is the base of our selection process.”
“We are also relying on many prestigious consultations,” Baldisserri continued, “such as Minardi, Andrea Bertolini in the area of karts and other professionals in Italy and abroad. Ferrari is the last team taking part in projects dedicated to young drivers and I really believe in this project, because the drivers’ motivation is fundamental as of the start of the career. It’s worth a lot that the drivers not only learn how to drive but also how to talk to the sponsors, to the press and that they know several languages. The programme for professional drivers also includes 5 training periods during the year in Fiorano, Mugello and Vallelunga as well as a final event of the season and an evaluation at the end of the year.”
The programme will last for 5 or 6 years, but it’s not said that a driver, who starts with the Ferrari Drivers Academy will stay in the course over the whole period; the contract is renewed every year.
Is there a name of a driver taking parting in the current programme Baldisserri could mention? “There’s Jules Bianchi, who will race in GP2 next year, but there are several drivers we’re looking at and not only in Italy."