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What makes Ferrari's junior programme a success? 'Don't just look at talent'

What makes Ferrari's junior programme a success? 'Don't just look at talent'

18-10-2020 08:25 Last update: 09:11


Ferrari's junior programme has expanded enormously this year, with drivers such as Callum Illott, Mick Schumacher and Robert Schwarzman. However, there aren't enough seats for all three drivers in Formula 1 for 2021, so Ferrari will have to decide who will drive where next year. One of the indicators should have been the free practice during a real F1 weekend, but this was cancelled for Ilott and Schumacher due to bad weather. 

The plan was that they would drive on the Nurburgring for Haas and Alfa Romeo. However, due to the thick fog on Friday, both practice sessions were cancelled and their debut was postponed. "It was a pity they couldn't practice because of the fog, but it won't slow down the development. We will make sure they have some sort of path towards F1. I think it's just a small delay in the whole programme", sports director of Ferrari, Laurent Mekies explained to the F1 Nation podcast.

What should Ferrari do with its talents?

Ferrari's junior programme is stronger than in other years. Whereas in previous years there were some talents like Charles Leclerc, there are now three drivers who are all F1 material. Mekies explains the way Ferrari works, which makes it enormously strong now. "We believe that it is not just talent. Of course we already have a lot of real talent, but we also think there's room to develop and that's what our academy is all about. Success and failure are close and difficult to measure. In the end, the only goal we have is to find drivers who can win for Ferrari".

Because Schumacher and Ilott were unable to test at the Nurburgring, there is only one option left, according to Mekies. "The only other option is actually Abu Dhabi. New circuits are not really an option. What's more, they have to drive in Bahrain themselves and we don't want to disturb them these weekends, because they themselves are fighting for the title. The only other option is not Abu Dhabi, so we will discuss with Haas and Alfa Romeo what is possible," said Mekies.