Scuderia Toro Rosso will run Formula 2 Championship driver Sean Galeal in FP1 sessions at the upcoming Grands Prix in Singapore, Malaysia, the United States and Mexico.
The 20-year-old Indonesian driver has previously tested for the team as one of its rookie drivers at the recent in-season tests at Bahrain and the Hungaroring (pictured above).
“I will use the opportunity to absorb like a sponge everything I can and learn as much as possible,” Gelael said of his upcoming appointment.
“I hope I can do a good job for Scuderia Toro Rosso and provide the team with good data from these important first sessions.”
“During the tests in Bahrain and Budapest Sean performed very well, helping the team in a very professional way, with a mature approach to the complex task of providing engineers with useful feedback,” Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost added.
“Everyone within the team was impressed by his performance, his technical understanding and his commitment.”
What Tost has not articulated is that Gelael’s appointment comes very much down to money, and how much of it the Indonesian brings.
While Gelael is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his countryman Rio Haryanto by breaking into Formula 1, his junior formulae credentials would not suggest he could make the grade on talent alone.
|WHO IS SEAN GELAEL?|
|Full Name||Sean Gelael|
|Born||1 November 1996, Jakarta (INA)|
|2011||Karting, Asian Karting Open Championship, 3rd overall in Formula 125 Senior Open Class|
|2012||Formula Pilota China, Eurasia Motorsport, 18 races, 1 win, 6 podiums, 4th overall|
|2013||British F3 Championship, Double R Racing, 12 races, 3 podiums, 8th overall
European F3 Championship, Double R Racing, 30 races, 28th overall
|2014||European F3 Championship, Carlin Motorsport, 33 races, 18th overall|
|2015||Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Carlin Motorsport, 17 races, 19th overall
GP2 Series, Carlin Motorsport, 9 races, 30th overall
|2015-16||Asian Le Mans Series, Eurasia Motorsport, 2 races, 2 wins, 3rd overall|
|2016||GP2 Series, Pertamina Campos Racing, 22 races, 1 podium, 15th overall
FIA WEC, Extreme Speed Motorsports, 3 races, 1 podium, 12th overall in LMP2 Class
|2017||FIA Formula 2 Championship, Pertamina Arden, 16 races, 20th overall*|
* Denotes season in progress
In a situation not too dissimilar to Williams’ Lance Stroll, his pathway could come in the form of his father Ricardo.
Mr Gelael heads the Fast Food Indonesia conglomerate that owns all of the country’s KFC franchises which achieves gross sales of almost $400 million a year. KFC’s logos have dominated the flanks of almost every car Gelael has raced in his career, and it may not be a surprise to see Colonel Sanders’ face featured somewhere on the Toro Rosso STR12.
It is a poorly kept secret that Red Bull would like to sell Toro Rosso – the question remains whether there are any serious bidders on the market.
Image via LAT Images