Ferrari Driver Academy’s Antonio Fuoco says the Scuderia’s young driver programme can help provide its members with a Formula One chance, as long as “we do a good job in our championship”.
The FDA underwent a management overhaul over the winter with Ferrari’s former sporting director Massimo Rivola appointed as the new head of Maranello’s junior programme.
While the FDA has helped bring to the fore F1 talents such as Sergio Perez and the late Jules Bianchi, it has not had the same strike rate as the Helmut Marko-led Red Bull scheme.
Asked whether Max Verstappen’s record-breaking Spanish Grand Prix win at the age of 18 could open the doors of F1 to more youngsters, Fuoco, who tested for Ferrari on the second day of in-season testing in Barcelona replied: “Yes, I think it is good.”
“But I have the FDA program – we have our program – so we have to do a really good job in our championship, and then if we are good, then we do a really good job, then we have the possibility to go into F1. So we have to do a good job in our championship and then we can think about the next step.”
A member of the FDA since 2013, Fuoco is competing in this year’s GP3 Series alongside fellow stablemates Charles Leclerc, who recently enjoyed a successful F1 test debut with Ferrari, and former grand prix winner Jean Alesi’s son Giuliano. The fourth Ferrari junior is Guanyu Zhou, who contests the European Formula 3 championship. Ferrari has yet to promote one of its protégés to its works outfit.