Callum Ilott on a ‘gap year’ from Ferrari, but Marcus Armstrong departs the Academy
Ferrari have finalised their junior line-up for 2022, which includes cutting ties with Marcus Armstrong after five years.
The Scuderia boast one of the most talent-packed academies of all the Formula 1 teams, leaving quite the puzzle to piece together when it comes to deciding on their destinations for 2022.
For Armstrong though it is the end of the road, with the 21-year-old unable to do enough to retain his place in the Ferrari fold.
After first being picked up by Ferrari in 2017, Armstrong finished P2 in the 2019 Formula 3 Championship but could not carry over his success into F2, managing only P13 in the standings for both of his seasons and claiming only one race win.
The most senior member retained in the Academy is Mick Schumacher who, after contesting his rookie Formula 1 season with Haas in 2021, will remain with the American outfit for the upcoming campaign while also serving as a reserve driver for Ferrari.
He will share those duties with Antonio Giovinazzi, who lost his Alfa Romeo F1 seat at the end of 2021. Giovinazzi will compete in the upcoming Formula E season, with Schumacher set to serve as Ferrari reserve for 11 F1 rounds to cover the Italian’s absence.
Meanwhile, Callum Ilott, who was runner-up to Schumacher in the 2020 F2 standings, remains a part of the Ferrari programme as he heads to IndyCar full time for 2022 in what is being described as a ‘gap year’ with Ferrari not able to support the Englishman through the Academy in that endeavour.
Ilott is set to contest the full IndyCar calendar with Juncos Hollinger Racing.
Robert Shwartzman, runner-up in the 2021 F2 Championship, will serve as Ferrari’s test driver for 2022. He will not be returning to F2 for the forthcoming season.
It is a trip down to Formula 3 then for the next Ferrari juniors – Arthur Leclerc will continue with Prema, having taken two race wins in a strong rookie campaign, while 16-year-old Briton Oliver Bearman will join him, the Ferrari youngster having won the ADAC Formula 4 and Italian F4 titles in 2021.
Dino Beganovic will stay in the Formula Regional European Championship with Prema, while Maya Weug and James Wharton will compete in Italian Formula 4, as will a new recruit, Brazil’s Rafael Câmara.
Weug was the only female in Ferrari’s Academy, but that has changed with the arrival of Laura Camps Torras who, while remaining in karting, is expected to get the chance to test an F4 car.
In a statement to the media, Ferrari F1 team principal Mattia Binotto said: “The 2022 Ferrari Driver Academy intake starts its journey today.
“It’s always a significant day for the girls and boys involved and also for Scuderia Ferrari, because this programme is an important part of what #essereFerrari means.
“The FDA’s role is not simply to get the best out of the most talented youngsters and lead them to race our cars in Formula 1, it is also about forming people and drivers who are able to make the most of the values Scuderia Ferrari represents.
“This year, seven young men and two young women will work towards their ultimate goal of racing in Formula 1.
“In 2022, 20% of the F1 grid is made up of past and present FDA students. The dream for them and for us is to do the same as Charles Leclerc, who is about to start his fourth season racing for the Scuderia.
“I wish each and every one of them the best of luck as they progress through the season, which I am sure they will tackle with the will to learn and above all with a smile, because being a racing driver is one of the best jobs in the world.”
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