American Santino Ferrucci will continue as a Haas F1 Team development driver in 2017 while simultaneously competing in his second fulltime season in the GP3 Series for DAMS.
Ferrucci first joined Haas F1 Team last year and participated in a two-day test with the American organization July 12-13 at Silverstone Circuit in England. By piloting the Haas VF-16, Ferrucci became the first American driver to wheel an American Formula One car since Oct. 9, 1977 when Danny Ongais drove a Penske PC4 in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario.
The 18-year-old Ferrucci, a native of Woodbury, Connecticut, is embedded with Haas F1 Team at every opportunity, attending races and tests throughout the year while also participating in the team’s simulator program.
Ferrucci is back with DAMS for his sophomore year in GP3, with the series running in conjunction with Formula One in seven of its eight events, with the only non-companion race weekend being the penultimate round Oct. 6-8 at Circuito de Jerez in Spain.
DAMS is an accomplished racing team that has helped graduate numerous drivers to the FIA Formula One World Championship, including Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Grosjean earned three championships with DAMS – the 2010 Auto GP title, the 2011 GP2 Asia Series crown and the 2011 GP2 Series championship. Magnussen won the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship with DAMS.
“We’re very happy to have Santino back with us and look forward to his continuing development in GP3,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “We liked what we saw of him last year in our test at Silverstone and his maturity inside and outside of the car is impressive. Santino is a young, American driver with plenty of potential who is learning a lot with DAMS and us.”
Haas F1 Team made its debut in 2016, becoming the first American Formula One team in 30 years. Now in its second season, Haas F1 Team is looking to build upon its impressive debut, where it finished eighth in the constructors standings with 29 points.
“I said it last year when I became a part of Haas F1 Team – my goal since I first started racing is to become a Formula One driver, and to be an American who is part of an American team is something I take a tremendous amount of pride in,” Ferrucci said. “I learned a lot last year in GP3 with DAMS and with Haas F1 Team. The combination of the two allowed me to learn more and at a faster rate. I feel so much more prepared this year. I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
The GP3 Series runs in conjunction with Formula One May 12-14 at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya in Spain,July 7-9 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, July 14-16 at Silverstone, July 28-30 at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Aug. 25-27 at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Sept. 1-3 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy and Nov. 24-26 at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Ferrucci began his career in karting. At age 5, he was touring the United States and Europe and by the time he was 11, Ferrucci was a multi-time champion.
In 2013, Ferrucci graduated to open-wheel racing, competing in Formula 2000 and the Skip Barber Racing Series. Ferrucci won his Skip Barber Racing Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway and collected five victories, two poles and three fastest-lap awards upon the conclusion of the season. In Formula 2000, Ferrucci never finished outside of the top-four in the six races he started, with each field featuring 37 or more cars.
The 2014 season saw Ferrucci in British Formula 3. He won two races, both at Brands Hatch, becoming the youngest race winner in the history of British Formula 3 at 16 years, two months and 30 days.
In 2015, Ferrucci continued to advance in open-wheel, competing in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Ferrucci finished third in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand point standings on the strength of a win and five podiums. It was his first full season competing in an open-wheel championship.
Ferrucci’s ascension up the racing ladder continued in 2016 in his first season with DAMS, highlighted by a third-place finish Aug. 27 at Spa-Francorchamps. He also made his sports car debut, winning his first outing in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America race Sept. 15 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!