The Haas F1 Team will look to develop homegrown American talent after announcing that it has signed 17-year-old racer Santino Ferrucci to its development driver program.
Ferrucci, who hails from the state of Connecticut, will attend the races and test sessions throughout the season and conduct a number of sessions in the team’s simulator to support its maiden Formula 1 season. He will dovetail this with a full-time campaign in the feeder GP2 Series, racing for the DAMS squad.
Ferrucci started out racing in karts before moving to single-seater racing in 2013, competing in the US Formula 2000 championship and Skip Barber Racing series. He won on his debut in the latter at the Homestead-Miami Speedwat and scored a further four victories; he also finished in the top four in all six Formula 2000 races in which he competed.
He moved to Europe in 2014 and raced in the British F3 championship, becoming the series’ youngest ever winner with a double-victory at Brands Hatch. He went on to finish third in the 2015 Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand against a strong field before contesting a full-time campaign in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Mücke Motorsport.
“My goal since I first started racing was to become a Formula 1 driver, and to be an American who is part of an American team is something I take a tremendous amount of pride in,” Ferrucci says of his new role.
“There is still a lot of work I need to do, but being paired with Haas F1 Team will allow me to learn more and at a faster rate. It’ll allow me to make the most of my GP3 drive with DAMS and, ultimately, prepare me for F1.”
Haas F1 Team Principal Günther Steiner added: “Santino Ferrucci has done a very good job of proving himself in each of the racing series he’s competed in, and his maturity outside of the race car is impressive.
“His opportunity [to race in GP3] with DAMS is an excellent way for him to further his development while positioning Haas F1 Team for future success.”
Image via Haas F1 Team