The members of the Ferrari Driver Academy are already three to have or be eligible for the Super License – Mick schumacher, Robert shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong – and Callum ilott should join them shortly. Armstrong is not really a candidate for a seat in the elite for next year, his first campaign in the antechamber of Formula 1 going relatively badly: after two podiums in the first four races, the ART Grand Prix driver scored just four points out of the next 16.
On the other hand, repeaters Schumacher and Ilott lead the Formula 2 championship with 191 and 169 points respectively, and rookie Shwartzman is not far behind, fifth with 140 units despite a zero point over the last four events in dated. All three have legitimate F1 ambitions for 2021, and Ferrari now has some complicated decisions to make. An Alfa Romeo seat is reserved for the protégés of the Scuderia, currently occupied by Antonio Giovinazzi, while Haas steering wheels are currently available – and highly coveted.
"It's not a puzzle, it's a good problem to have", put Laurent Mekies, Ferrari sporting director and director of the Ferrari Driver Academy, just before the races in Sochi. "That's the kind of problem you want to have."
"The drivers are doing a very good job. Mick and Callum are improving significantly from last year, and they are leading the championship comfortably. Robert, in his first year, is right off the bat on these guys' level. . We are therefore very happy with the performance of these three. It is certainly a little more difficult for Marcus and for Giuliano [Alesi, 17th with eight points for his second season in F2, note]. But as regards the first three, we are very happy. "
“This is not a headache, it gives us a lot of stability and options for the future. This is exactly what we have the FDA for. So obviously we are aware that promoting three pilots who reach the necessary position almost at the same time is not always possible. But I think we have the necessary tools to give them the opportunity to express their potential as best as possible, whether it is today in F2, maybe in tests tomorrow or a little more next year, or the year after that. It is our objective, to build the program in such a way as to allow them to express themselves at best. "
“We're not pitting them against each other, we want to make sure they keep developing, because at the end of the day, and we've seen it with Charles and many other great riders, it's all about development. this development certainly does not stop when you are at the gates of F1. This is only the second chapter. So we have to make sure we support them in this development, and it is with that in mind that we let's design our programs and plan the next few weeks for them, to make sure we put them in the right atmosphere for them to express themselves. "
Mekies also indicated that these three young wolves could be evaluated during the tests reserved for young pilots in Abu Dhabi, but these will not take place until December. Thus, we have since learned that Schumacher, Ilott and Shwartzman will all be entitled to a Free Practice 1 session, the first two from October at the Nürburgring, the third in Abu Dhabi. They will prepare for it by making their ranges in Fiorano at the wheel of the Ferrari SF71H of 2018.
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