Three days of testing ended today for the Ferrari Driver Academy drivers, who were taking part in English lessons, mental training, physical preparation and last but not least in test sessions on the Fiorano circuit.
On Monday Brandon Maisano and Raffaele Marciello took turns in the Formula Abarth, while the other drivers of the Ferrari academy - Jules Bianchi, Daniel Zampieri and Mirko Bortolotti – were driving behind the wheel of a F2008 from the F1 Clienti department today.
Luca Baldisserri, Head of the project, explained that the goal of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) is foremost developing a project for young drivers, who, one day, will debut in Formula 1: This programme is organised with the support of high-qualified technicians, who are working to offer a series of services, helping the young drivers expressing their talent and their potential.”
The physical and mental preparation as well as the capacity to concentrate and manage stressful situation is part of the same context: “We’re offering to every single driver programmes with the simulator, always accompanied by a test session on the track, giving them the possibility to express themselves with a car with a superior performance compared to the one their usually using in the championships they are participating in,” Baldisserri explained. “We’re trying to teach them the right method for the track and indirectly improving the way they are relating to the team in the classes they are racing in.”
Determination is the common factor for the drivers participating in the Driver Academy. For 15-year-old Marciello being part of the Ferrari project is just satisfaction and no stress at all: “I want to keep exactly this approach to life, I’ve had until today. In this context I don’t feel that I’m being examined, but that I’m living an experience like great opportunity.”
Meanwhile for Maisano it was a unique experience: “Passing from karts to Formula Abarth was incredible, especially on a legendary track like here in Fiorano.”
The drivers behind the wheel of the F1 single-seater know about their progress and achieved results. Jules Bianchi, racing in the GP2 Series with the ART team, said: “I’m not focused on improving my lap times, but I want to improve my driving techniques.”
Daniel Zampieri, a World Series driver, admired the working ethos of the Academy: “The drivers are free to indicate anything to the technicians regarding the single-seaters set up, improving the communication with the team.” Mirko Bortolotti, at his third experience with a Ferrari Formula 1 single-seater after testing in Fiorano in November 2008 and as a member of the Academy last March, was very clear about his goal: “I want to make the best out of it, continuing working on it.”