Home » FEATURE STORY, Formula 1

Young Yank Back At Great Gig With Haas F1

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 9 2017

Young Connecticut native Santino Ferrucci is back with the driver development program at Haas F1. (Photo courtesy of Haas F1)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

The American teenager with the all-Italian name will continue to chase his Formula One dream with Haas F1 Team during 2017.

Santino Ferrucci has been re-signed as a Haas F1 Team development driver while simultaneously competing in his second fulltime season in the GP3 Series for DAMS.

Ferrucci, 18, joined Haas F1 Team last year and participated in a two-day test with the Kannapolis, N.C.-based organization July 12-13 at Silverstone Circuit in England. By piloting the Ferrari-powered Haas VF-16, Ferrucci became the first American driver to wheel an American Formula One car since Oct. 9, 1977. That was when Danny Ongais, a native of Hawaii, drove a Penske PC4 in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

A native of Woodbury, Conn., Ferrucci is embedded with Haas F1 Team at every opportunity, attending races and tests throughout the year while also participating in the organization’s simulator program.

“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.”

DAMS is an accomplished team that has helped graduate numerous drivers into the FIA Formula One World Championship, including Haas F1’s current lineup of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Frenchman Grosjean earned three championships with DAMS _ the 2010 Auto GP title, the 2011 GP2 Asia Series crown and the 2011 GP2 Series championship. Magnussen, of Denmark, 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. Led by Grosjean, Haas F1 finished eighth in the constructors standings with 29 points.

Ferrucci is back with DAMS for his sophomore year in GP3, the series running in conjunction with Formula One in seven of its eight events.  The only non-companion race weekend is the penultimate round Oct. 6-8 at Circuito de Jerez in Spain.

The GP3 Series will run in conjunction with Formula One this weekend 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. 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 drive in British Formula 3. He won two races, both at Brands Hatch in England, becoming the youngest race-winner in the history of British Formula 3 at 16 years, 2 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 one win and five podiums. It was his first full season competing in an open-wheel championship.

Ferrucci’s ascension up the ranks 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.

As was the case during its inaugural season, Haas F1 Team is a technical partner with Scuderia Ferrari, F1’s oldest and most glamorous organization. That arrangement with the factory in Maranello, Italy, includes the power unit, gearbox and mechanical components such as suspension and brake systems on the second generation VF-17.

Founded by businessman Gene Haas, Haas F1 Team is based on the same North Carolina campus as his championship-winning NASCAR organization, Stewart-Haas Racing. The chairman of Haas F1 Team, Haas also is the founder of Haas Automation, largest CNC machine tool-builder in North America. 


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, May 9 2017