F1, Ferrari narrows the field for the driver of the future

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F1, Ferrari narrows the field for the driver of the future

From October 24 to 28, the FDA World Scouting Finals will be held in Maranello. The final selection will be made from the best six who have passed the previous stages, held in various parts of the world. They are aged between 14 and 16 and will compete in Maranello and Fiorano, with the goal of joining the FDA (Ferrari Driver Academy).

As in past years, the FDA’s global scouting effort relied on the support of various partners: Tony Kart covered the huge field of candidates from the world of karting, the most popular form of junior racing; ACI Sport monitored single-seater racing in Europe; Escuderia Telmex covered all of Latin America; and Motorsport Australia was tasked with scouting in the Asia-Pacific region.

The six drivers: one is European, Finland’s Tuukka Taponen, class of 2006, who has already participated in last year’s World Scouting Finals and finished second in the OK class world championship this year. From the United Arab Emirates, Rashid Al Dhaheri, class of 2008, is currently showing great form in karting. Australians Jack Beeton (14) and Gianmarco Pradel (16) raced karts and Formula 4 in their home country this year and were the two nominees who stood out at an event in Sepang organized by scouting partner, Motorsport Australia. Also in Maranello, chosen along with Escuderia Telmex at an event in Puebla, Mexico, were Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi Jr. (15), who races in Formula 4 in Italy, and Mexican Jess Carrasquedo (15), who made his debut this year in the Spanish Formula 4 series.

The youngsters will arrive at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters on Monday, Oct. 24, where they will be evaluated in a series of tests to assess their physical abilities, aptitude and mental fitness for life as a professional driver, both on and off the track. A highlight will be driving a Formula 4 car at Fiorano, with the same Pirelli tires used in the Italian championship. At the end of the event, Ferrari engineers will meet to decide if any candidates are suitable to join the Academy, to begin a very challenging but also very ambitious path, with the ultimate goal of joining Scuderia Ferrari and racing in Formula 1 for the Prancing Horse, as in 2019 with Charles Leclerc.

Marco Matassa, Head of Ferrari Driver Academy, told Ferrari’s official website, “The FDA world scouting finals are very important for us. Together with our scouting partners – ACI Sport, Tony Kart, Escuderia Telmex and Motorsport Australia – we chose six young people from four continents and five countries, based solely on their talent, ability and potential, regardless of their financial situation. After three years of waiting caused by the pandemic, it was particularly pleasing to see how the method we devised for our scouting could be put into practice, with the youngsters actually evaluated on the track at the Sepang and Puebla events, just as we did at Maranello with the Europeans on at least a couple of occasions during the year. I can’t wait to welcome the finalists here in Maranello and start working with them.”

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