14:37 Ferrari juniors Callum Ilott, Robert Shwartzman and Mick Schumacher will all get the chance this year to convince the top of the Scuderia of their driving skills. The three F2 drivers have been confirmed by the Scuderia for the first free practice sessions of the Grand Prix of the Eifel (Ilott and Schumacher) and the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi (Shwartzman).
Ilott gets on the Nürburgring with Haas and Schumacher gets a chance at Alfa Romeo that same race weekend. It has not yet been announced for which team Shwartzman will test in Abu Dhabi at the end of this season.
To prepare for their official Grand Prix debut, the trio will take a test on Wednesday at Fiorano, Ferrari’s home circuit. There they will drive the SF71H, the Formula 1 car of 2018. For Ilott and Schumacher, the test will be a renewed introduction to Formula 1. Ilott already drove 41 laps in the Alfa Romeo C38 and Schumacher came into action in Bahrain in an in-season test for both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo last year. Shwartzman has never been behind the wheel of an F1 car before. Sporting director Laurent Mekies about that test at Fiorano. “We are organizing this test session so that our top three young drivers are as well prepared as possible for the day they will always remember.”
The three drivers from the Ferrari Driver Academy have been very successful in Formula 2 this season. Schumacher leads the championship for Ilott, while Shwartzman follows in fifth place in his debut season. Ferrari would plan to let one or two of the three young talents move on to Formula 1 next year. They could then be stored at Alfa Romeo and / or Haas.
The name Schumacher in particular is regularly mentioned as the new driver for Alfa Romeo in 2021, but a final decision on this has not yet been taken and is also related to the driver market in Formula 1 and the wishes of Haas and Alfa Romeo. As part of the decision-making process, Ilott, Shwartzman and Schumacher will now have the opportunity to prove themselves in an official Grand Prix weekend.
Mekies is grateful to Ferrari’s two customer teams for their role. “I would like to thank Haas and Alfa Romeo for offering Callum, Mick and Robert this opportunity. We strongly believe in our Academy which has already proven its worth in Charles Leclerc. Callum, Mick and Robert have already proven themselves in Formula. 2 and this is the next step in their training. “
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