Ferrari Driver Academy: Single-seater round-up

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Ferrari Driver Academy 2020
Image: Scuderia Ferrari

We’ve covered five of the Ferrari Driver Academy roster, but at the start of 2020, there were actually nine of them.  And in 2021, a new name was signed.  Here at GP Grandstand, we focus on F2, F3 and W Series so here is a summary of the five FDA drivers vying to reach those series – Leclerc, Petecof, Fittipaldi, Beganovic and Weug.

If you’re looking for insight into the others, you can read up on Mick Schumacher, Robert Shwartzman, Callum Ilott, Giuliano Alesi and Marcus Armstrong all on GP Grandstand.

Ferrari Driver Academy: Arthur Leclerc

Arthur is the brother to the brilliant Charles Leclerc, who just so happens to be a Ferrari F1 driver and FDA graduate.  Clearly hoping that lightning does strike twice and that speed is in the genes, Ferrari have Arthur on the books.

Leclerc graduated from karting to French F4 in 2018, winning 2 races on his way to 5th in the championship.  Venturi signed him as test and development driver for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

As part of the Sauber junior programme, Arthur Leclerc competed in ADAC Formula 4 in 2019.  A race win and an additional 8 podiums saw him finish 3rd overall.

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Leclerc was signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy for 2020 and competed in Formula Regional with Prema Powerteam.  He would finish the season as runner-up with 6 wins.

We’re expecting to see Arthur in FIA F3 for this season and he is definitely one to watch for the future.  Imagine both brothers driving for Ferrari in the future.  I just hope his career doesn’t go the way of Arthur Pic’s…

Update 2nd February 2021 – Arthur Pic has been confirmed as one of Prema’s three drivers in FIA F3 for 2021.

Ferrari Driver Academy: Dino Beganovic

Dino Beganovic is from Sweden and began karting at the age of 7 in 2011.  After a glittering kart career, he was recommended to the Ferrari Driver Academy by Tony Kart who act as a talent scout for the Scuderia.

Beganovic graduated to single-seaters in 2020 driving for that other Ferrari stalwart; Prema Powerteam.  Across ADAC and Italian F4, Beganovic competed in 27 races winning once and scoring 6 podiums.  2 poles and 4 fastest laps show that he has plenty of natural talent.  Third overall in the Italian series is a great result for the youngster.

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At 16 years old (17 if you are reading this after January 19th), Dino is the youngest of the FDA roster.  Beganovic will move up to Formula Regional European Championship for 2021, as well as enjoying the first two races of F3 Asia.  He looks to be on the fast-track to FIA F3 and F2.  Watch this space.

Update 2nd February 2021 – Maya Weug is now the youngest member of the FDA at 16 years old.

Ferrari Driver Academy: Enzo Fittipaldi

Just his name should send Tifosi hearts fluttering.  Grandson of the legendary Emerson. and brother to recent F1 driver Pietro, Enzo was born in Miami Florida but is Brazilian.  In common with Jamie Chadwick, Enzo started car racing in the British Ginetta Junior Championship in 2016.

Fittipaldi was invited to try out for the FDA in November 2016.  He was announced as a member in December that year.

Following the same career path as many of his FDA teammates, Fittipaldi competed in ADAC and Italian F4 in 2017 and 2018.  He won the Italian championship in 2018.  Remaining with Prema, Fittipaldi was runner up in Formula Regional in 2019.

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Fittipaldi joined HWA Racelab to compete in the 2020 FIA F3 championship.  It was a disappointing season by his own high standards so expect to see a second campaign in the series in 2021.

Ferrari Driver Academy: Gianluca Petecof

Hailing from Sao Paulo in Brazil, 18-year-old Petecof started karting at the age of 8.  After scooping multiple championships and racing for Scuderia talent scouts, Tony Kart in 2017, Petecof was signed to the FDA at the end of the year.

Petecof joined stablemate Fittipaldi at Prema for 2018 racing in ADAC and Italian F4.  He picked up a win at Ferrari’s own Mugello circuit in the Italian series.  2019 was an even better year finishing 2nd overall in the Italian series with 4 wins and winning once in the German ADAC series to finish 5th overall.

Formula Regional awaited Petecof in 2020, again with Prema.  Gianluca won the title at the final round from teammate Arthur Leclerc.  Petecof won the title aided by 4 wins and a further 10 podiums.

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We’re expecting to see Petecof make the step up to FIA F3 for 2021, probably with Prema once again.

Update – 2nd February 2021 – Petecof sadly announced on the 1st February that he was parting ways with the Ferrari Driver Academy.  The young Brazilian had had to fight to secure additional funding midway through 2020 and it appears that those funding options have now dried up.

Ferrari Driver Academy: Maya Weug

On January 22nd 2021, Weug was announced as the first female member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.  She is of Belgian, Dutch and Spanish descent and will be racing under a Spanish flag. Weug began karting at the age of 7 and trained with the Richard Mille Talent Academy. She then won the FIA/FDA Girls on Track – Rising Starts initiative against three other drivers.

Weug will be racing in F4 this season so expect to see her in ADAC F4, Italian F4 or both.

Ferrari Driver Academy: The likely 2021 pathway

So there you go, five promising young drivers.  Leclerc will be in FIA F3 for 2021, along with Fittipaldi who will be looking for a much better season than 2020’s low key campaign. Beganovic’s Formula Regional Europe campaign looks like he is following the same career path as his academy peers.  Weug is of course a year behind Beganovic in F4.  We wait to see if an angel investor will enable Petecof to resume his career.

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