Ferrari Driver Academy adds Shwartzman to line-up

Robert Shwartzman, Ferrari Driver Academy
© Ferrari

Ferrari's driver development programme has added Robert Shwartzman to its line-up of up and coming talent.

Shwartzman is the first driver from Russia to be selected for the Ferrari Driver Academy. The programme supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.

"Developing as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy is a fantastic opportunity for myself to reach a new level," Shwartzman told Russian news agency TASS. "I will do everything I can, and I'm sure that the results will already be evident in 2018."

Currently backed by SMP Racing, the 18-year-old started kart racing when he was five years old. He graduated to single-seaters in 2014 in Italian Formula 4.

He competed full time in the championship the following year with Mücke Motorsport. On the way to third place in the overall standings, he successfully clinched two race wins.

Shwartzman then moved to Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and NEC in 2016. He initially raced for reigning series champions Josef Kaufmann Racing while also competing in the NEC series, and moved to R-ace GP in 2017.

He has won four races so far this season, celebrating victories at Monza, Silverstone, Pau and the Nurbürgring. He's currently in fourth place in the driver standings with one round in Spain remaining.

In September Shwartzman tested a Euro Formula 3 championship car with Prema Powerteam, the squad that took Lando Norris to this year's championship.

Last week the Academy added its first British driver. Callum Ilott was selected after competing in Euro F3 with Prema Powerteam.

The newly crowned Formula 2 champion, Charles Leclerc, is also currently part of the Ferrari programme. Since winning the title he's been taking part in Formula 1 free practice sessions, with a view to a full time race seat at Sauber in 2018.

Leclerc's F2 team mate Antonio Fuoco is another driver backed by Ferrari. Ilott's Prema teammate Guan Yu Zhou and GP3 driver Giuliano Alesi are also part of the line-up, along with F4 racers Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi

In previous years, Jules Bianchi was supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy on his way into Formula 1 in 2013.

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