Motorsprort: Two titles, 20 wins and 59 podiums in a year to remember for the FDA

This was definitely a more than satisfactory year for the Ferrari Driver Academy. The Maranello young driver programme enjoyed some great results on track with the highpoint being Mick Schumacher and Gianluca Petecof winning titles this weekend.
Mick Schumacher , Copyright: Mandoga Media
( | Press Release | 2020-12-07 00:00:09 )
The nine FDA drivers delivered a season to remember with 91 races, 20 wins, 59 podiums and 20 pole positions. Worth noting there were just 16 retirements, a race percentage of just 7.84. They scored points 125 times, which is 61.27%, almost two thirds.

Formula 2. In F1’s feeder series, Mick Schumacher took the title and almost all the drivers on the programme improved. Of the debutants, Marcus Armstrong and Russia’s Robert Shwartzman, it was the latter, the reigning Formula 3 champion who proved to be immediately on the pace and he took four wins, more than any other driver. The FDA took nine wins from 24 starts: apart from Shwartzman, Callum Ilott won three and Mick two. These last two took the top two places in the classification while Robert finished fourth. Marcus Armstrong had a very difficult second part to the season but still finished on the podium twice and had seven points finishes. Giuliano Alesi took a great sixth place in the season opener and then did the same in the final race.

Formula 3. In the “school” formula par excellence, in 2019, Shwartzman and Armstrong finished first and second. This year, Maranello’s only representative was Enzo Fittipaldi who was runner up in the European Formula Regional Championship in 2019. He had to deal with what is a very complicated category featuring some of the most talented youngsters in the world and very little track time. The Brazilian raced for HWA Racelab and struggled mainly in qualifying but he continued to improve, taking a fourth and a fifth place at Mugello.

Formula Regional. The other championship that went to an FDA driver this year was the European Formula Regional, in which Gianluca Petecof and Arthur Leclerc went head to head from start to finish. Both FDA students, both Prema team-mates, Leclerc had the most high notes, with a memorable weekend winning all three races at Mugello, but Petecof was very consistent, finishing in the points in all 23 races. Arthur had six wins to Petecof’s four and the Monegasque also had more podiums, but motor sport championships are usually won through consistency and in that respect Gianluca was peerless.

Formula 4. Lastly, Dino Beganovic, the youngest FDA student had a brilliant maiden season in single-seaters. The Swede raced in the Italian Formula 4 championship with the Prema Power Team and in a few rounds of the German series. Dino soon showed what he can do, finishing on the podium in his debut outing in Misano. At the second round he took his first pole and in the penultimate round, again at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola, he took his first win on a weekend when he always finished on the podium.

Scouting. There were some great results this year for the youngsters in the Maranello Academy and 2020 was also the year in which it consolidated its structure so as to ensure it always has access to the most talented young drivers. Along with regular partners, ACI Sport, the Italian federation and Tony Kart, one of the most important karting manufacturers in the world, Motorsport Australia came on board in May, monitoring the Asia-Pacific region. In July it was also announced that Escuderia Telmex would take on this role for Latin America. In October, each partner sent its most promising youngsters to Maranello for the FDA Scouting World Finals Camp. The winner of that assessment will be announced shortly, the prize being a place in the Ferrari academy. There was also another camp for the Girls on Track-Rising Stars programme run in conjunction with the FIA, aimed at finding the most talented young women racing drivers. But it had to be cancelled as one of the four participants tested positive for Covid-19. A new date will be fixed soon, also to choose one winner to join the FDA.

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