Three of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) students - Callum Ilott, Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman – will take part in Friday practice for a Formula 1 Grand Prix before the end of this season.
Scuderia Ferrari has announced today that three of the FDA drivers will get the chance this year to get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car at a grand prix weekend. Schumacher and Ilott will be the first and will drive in Free Practice 1 at the Eifel Grand Prix on Friday 9 October at the Nürburgring.
The German will drive an Alfa Romeo Racing C39 and the Briton a Haas VF-20. The Russian youngster will get his chance at the final Friday of the 2020 championship in Abu Dhabi with the Scuderia yet to decide whether Shwartzman will drive an Alfa Romeo or a Haas.
The three drivers are competing in the FIA Formula 2 championship this year. Schumacher and Ilott are currently first and second in the championship standings with 22 points separating the duo. Following his disappointing races at Mugello and Sochi, Shwartzman has slipped down the order to fifth with only four races left in 2020.
In preparation for their Formula 1 debut, the three FDA drivers will test at the Fiorano track tomorrow, Wednesday 30 September, at the wheel of an SF71H, the Formula 1 car with which Scuderia Ferrari competed in the 2018 season.
FDA Director & Scuderia Ferrari Sporting Director Laurent Mekies thinks the test will play a pivotal role as the F1 cars are far more compliacted that the F2 machines.
"We wanted to organise this test session so that our three best youngsters would be as well prepared as possible to tackle an event that will always be a special moment for them. It will be a chance to get to grips with a Formula 1 car, which is much more complicated than the car they are currently used to driving.
„I would like to thank Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing for offering Callum, Mick and Robert this opportunity. We believe strongly in our Academy, which has already proved its value, with Charles Leclerc, a driver on which the Scuderia can build its long term future,” he said.
At the moment, there are nine FDA students. Apart from Schumacher, Ilott and Shwartzman, Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong are also racing in Formula 2, Enzo Fittipaldi has just finished his first Formula 3 season, Gianluca Petecof and Arthur Leclerc are currently first and second in the Formula Regional Championship and Dino Beganovic is racing in Formula 4 in Italy and Germany.
Track walk, briefing, seat fit... Quite a busy day at the office for the guys 💼👊 ready for getting into the cockpit tomorrow! #RoadToF1 #FDA @callum_ilott @ShwartzmanRob @SchumacherMick pic.twitter.com/hpHZ4IUvEV— FerrariDriverAcademy (@insideFDA) September 29, 2020