Monday, March 22, 2010

Ferrari Young Guns on the Tarmac

Ferrari got its new Driver Academy young talent programme underway in earnest on Friday when it gave three of its proteges a day of testing in its 2008 Formula 1 car.
The Italian squad has launched its most concerted driver development scheme yet, and has taken Formula 3 Euro Series champion Jules Bianchi, current and past Italian F3 champions Daniel Zampieri and Mirko Bortolotti, and star karter Raffaele Marciello under its wing.
Bianchi, Zampieri and Bortolotti are all set to get several outings in older Ferrari F1 cars this year as part of their training programme, and this started with their day in an F2008 at Fiorano on Friday.
Academy boss Luca Baldisserri said the test had been a culmination of a successful week of working with the Scuderia's young guns.

"Today was the first of five tests this year," he said on Friday evening.
"It's about physical and mental training, but we also made a physical check-up to check the drivers' health and their training level.
"On Wednesday we started working on the track with Raffaele Marciello driving in Fiorano with a Formula Abarth single-seater.
"Today's test was very intense, because three drivers took turns behind the wheel of a F1 single-seater.
"We're very satisfied, because we could see their first impressions and it was very interesting to see how young men, without real experience in F1, were doing with high-performance cars.
"The drivers gave it their all, but also had fun."
All three drivers had already experienced F1 Ferraris before - with Bortolotti and Zampieri getting prize tests after winning Italian F3, and Bianchi invited to last winter's young driver test at Jerez following his F3 Euro triumph.

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