Ferrari struggles to find F1 opportunities for junior drivers – Binotto


Ferrari has a place at Haas which is currently used by Mick Schumacher, but the contract which guaranteed a place at Alfa Romeo – used by Charles Leclerc in 2018 and then by Antonio Giovinazzi – has been changed for 2022.

While Alfa boss Fred Vasseur hasn’t ruled out keeping Giovinazzi, he’s considering other options to take the seat alongside Bottas – and in the absence of other available drives, Giovinazzi would be out of the seat for 2021 if it was abandoned.

At a time when Red Bull managed to get Alex Albon to Williams and Mercedes-backed Esteban Ocon pilot for Alpine, Ferrari lost the game trying to define the career path of its youngsters.

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Callum Ilott, who served alongside Robert Kubica as a reserve driver this year, has already started taking an alternate route in IndyCar.

There is no clear path for Robert Shwartzman, who currently sits third in the F2 Championship for his second season in the category. Marcus Armstrong, who is only 14th, is one shot away from F1.

On a positive note, next year all teams will be required to provide FP1 races to young drivers on race weekends under a proposed new rule.

“It’s certainly a shame that obviously there are very few opportunities for seats in F1,” Binotto said when asked about the future of Ferrari’s junior drivers by TUSEN.

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Robert Shwartzman, Prema Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“And there aren’t a lot of alternatives. I think a driver is really, really strong, he always somehow finds an opportunity, but that’s something we have to help on, the introduction of rookies into F1.

“Certainly as Ferrari we try to promote young drivers, we have our own Ferrari Driver Academy, we give them as many opportunities as they can get to drive an F1.

“So it is also important to try to create opportunities in F1. That is why the discussion with F1 and the FIA ​​is important.

“Between the teams, F1, FIA, we are always discussing how we can help them through additional sessions, additional tests, participating in certain race weekends.

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“This is definitely an important discussion we need to have. And to conclude, because we certainly need to promote young drivers in our cars.”

Regarding Shwartzman’s outlook, he said: “I think we have to wrap up the championship first and stay focused on it. It has not been an easy season for him so far.

“But he’s very focused, trying to finish well, so we won’t distract him from the performance, and keep him focused, and we’ll encourage him to try to do the best he can by the end of the season. .


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