Ferrari: Upcoming FP1 outings not a 'shootout' for juniors


Ferrari sporting director and FDA director Laurent Mekies says the upcoming FP1 outings of Mick Schumacher, Callum Ilott and Robert Shwartzman will not be the equivalent of a virtual shootout for the trio.

Schumacher and Ilott will take to the track in next week's first Eifel Grand Prix practice session at the Nürburgring, respectively with Alfa Romeo and Haas, while Shartzman will enjoy his first official F1 outing later this year in Abu Dhabi

Schumacher and Ilott are in contention for the FIA Formula Championship title while F2 rookie Shwartzman is fifth in the standings, with all three drivers having won three races in the junior series this year.

Ferrari therefore has an abundance of burgeoning talent on its hands as it prepares to select the happy one - or few - that will likely move on to the next level with of its affiliated teams in 2021.

"It’s a good problem to have and that’s the sort of thing we want to deal with," said Mekies last weekend in Sochi.

"The guys are doing a very good job, Mick and Callum have progressed significantly and they are solid leaders of the championship, Robert in his first year is pretty much playing with these guys straight away.

"It doesn’t give us a headache, it gives us a lot of possibilities and options for the future, and that’s exactly why we have the FDA for."

However, Mekies denied that Ferrari was pinning its juniors against each other in the successive FP1 outings.

"We are not in a shootout mood, we are in a mood where let’s find out to make sure they keep building.

"We have seen it with Charles [Leclerc], with many other exceptional drivers before him, it is about developing.

"The development certainly doesn’t stop when you are at the door of Formula 1, it is only the second chapter which will also involve development, so we need to make sure we support them in that development.

"It is with that in mind that we build our programme."

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