Following on from final month’s profitable look on the successes and failures of Purple Bull’s Junior programme, we now flip our consideration to Ferrari’s Driver Academy and take a look at 4 success tales.
As Mick Schumacher turns into the most recent graduate from Ferrari’s Driver Achereademy to achieve System One this season with Haas, we check out 4 of the programme’s brightest skills who’ve damaged by way of into F1.
For the reason that academy launched in 2010, 22 drivers previous and current have been members on the junior pathway of certainly one of F1’s iconic groups, so with Schumacher set to change into the fifth full graduate, we check out the 4 drivers whose footsteps he can be following in and their journeys past the academy.
Sergio Perez (2010-12)
After ending runner-up within the 2010 GP2 Sequence, Perez was signed by Ferrari as a part of their driver academy and promoted into F1 at Sauber, the place he loved a optimistic rookie marketing campaign regardless of an enormous crash in Qualifying at Monaco side-lining him for the race and Canada simply two weeks later.
2012 nevertheless would mark a shock breakthrough season for Perez by which he picked up three podiums together with at a rain-soaked Malaysia the place he pushed Fernando Alonso for victory till a minor mistake noticed him blow his alternative.
McLaren nevertheless took be aware and signed Perez to switch Lewis Hamilton in 2013 though issues didn’t work out, with Perez transferring on to Pressure India in 2014 the place he spent seven seasons on the crew regardless of a change of crew title to Racing Level in mid 2018 after being taken over by Lawrence Stroll.
Throughout that interval of his F1 profession, Perez managed seven podiums together with his first-ever F1 victory in Bahrain final season on the outer-circuit monitor format, after carving his manner by way of the sector following a primary lap incident to learn from errors and scraps elsewhere to grab an unlikely win.
That victory plus robust consistency finally sealed his transfer to Purple Bull for 2021, the place he’ll companion Max Verstappen following the crew’s determination to demote Alex Albon after a troublesome season.
Charles Leclerc (2016-17)
Leclerc has unquestionably been certainly one of Ferrari’s largest success tales ever as a result of the Monaco teenager loved instantaneous success upon becoming a member of the academy, profitable the GP3 title in 2016 earlier than following up with the inaugural F2 crown in 2017 in dominant style.
Sauber subsequently was his subsequent step in 2018 the place he impressed in his rookie marketing campaign, managing 30 extra factors than teammate – Marcus Ericsson to earn himself a promotion to Ferrari for 2019 in a swap with Kimi Raikkonen who returned to his former stomping floor.
The younger Monegasque nevertheless shortly took to his new Scuderia as he pushed Sebastian Vettel exhausting in a scrap for fourth on debut in Australia, solely to right away comply with his spectacular debut up with pole in Bahrain and a managed drive to 3rd after a engine cylinder failure value him victory.
Errors quickly started to slowly creep in from each driver and crew with shock early Qualifying exits in Baku and Monaco, though these points quickly settled earlier than returning within the type of teammate collisions in 2019 Brazilian and 2020 Styrian Grands Prix as Leclerc continued to develop in expertise.
Leclerc nevertheless confirmed wonderful braveness throughout his first season in Ferrari colors to ship a breakthrough maiden F1 victory in Spa towards a backdrop of heavy emotion, having misplaced his shut buddy – Anthoine Hubert in a F2 crash slightly below 24 hours earlier on the identical venue.
The Monegasque then only a week later went on to change into the primary Ferrari driver since Fernando Alonso in 2010 to win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, having fended off each Mercedes all through the race in a managed however assured method.
Leclerc ultimately went on to complete his first season for Ferrari in fourth place and 24 factors forward of Vettel, though 2020 then noticed Ferrari wrestle as Leclerc by some means dragged his automotive to eighth general within the standings and 65 factors away from Vettel, who departed the crew for Aston Martin at finish of season.
2021 will now see Leclerc be joined at Ferrari by Carlos Sainz as he seems to be to proceed his improvement and information Ferrari again to profitable methods forward of a serious guidelines change in 2022.
Jules Bianchi (2009-14)
Embed from Getty Photos
Bianchi turned Ferrari’s first academy signing in late 2009 after a formidable younger drivers check, having received F3 Europe that season to go along with 2007 French System Renault 2.0 and 2008 Masters of F3 titles received throughout his early single-seater days.
The Frenchman quickly proved his credentials with a pair of third-placed finishes in 2010 & 11 GP2 seasons, plus completed 2011 GP2 Asia Sequence as vice-champion behind compatriot – Romain Grosjean, earlier than ending runner-up in 2012 System Renault 3.5 Sequence.
2011-12 additionally noticed Bianchi act as reserve driver for Ferrari then Pressure India earlier than being handed his F1 likelihood at Marussia, partnering Max Chilton the place he typically outperformed the Brit throughout their time collectively and clinched Marussia their first-ever F1 factors on the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix in ninth place.
Bianchi’s life nevertheless got here to a tragic finish in July 2015 after dropping a 9 month struggle for his life, following an incident by which his Marussia hit the rear of a tractor crane and slid beneath in the course of the Storm Phanfone affected 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
We subsequently are left to ponder how totally different F1 might of been if Bianchi was nonetheless alive and probably even partnering Leclerc at Ferrari now, but Bianchi will at all times be a particular member of Ferrari’s historical past as their maiden signing for Ferrari Driver Academy which continues to be going robust to this very day.
Lance Stroll (2010-15)
Stroll joined Ferrari’s Driver Academy in 2010 while nonetheless in karting however as soon as he graduated to single-seater racing, Stroll proved he was a high quality driver with titles in 2014 Italian F4 and 2015 Toyota Sequence earlier than departing the academy following a fifth positioned end in F3 Europe.
This younger Canadian nevertheless wasn’t out of the F1 circus for too lengthy as he was snapped up by Williams as their Take a look at Driver for 2016, while persevering with in F3 Europe the place he took the title with Stroll revealing in an unique with us final 12 months that he was ‘grateful’ to have ‘nice individuals’ assist him to the title.
Stroll consequently earned himself a F1 race seat at Williams from 2017-18, the place he endured two powerful seasons regardless of ending third in 2017 Azerbaijan GP after being pipped to second on the road by initially deliberate teammate – Valtteri Bottas who joined Mercedes that season after Nico Roberg’s retirement.
2019 noticed Stroll transfer to Racing Level after his father – Lawrence introduced the crew after getting into administration below the Pressure India title, the place he has loved stronger campaigns within the final two seasons plus two third-placed finishes in 2020 alongside his maiden pole place in Turkey.
2021 now sees Stroll race for Aston Martin following the crew’s rebrand from Racing Level to the long-lasting automotive model title, with him having a brand new teammate in ex Ferrari driver – Vettel.