American racer Santino Ferrucci extends Haas F1 development contract
At least one young American will remain part of Haas F1’s driver stable for the foreseeable future as development racer Santino Ferrucci re-upped with the organization for another season on Monday afternoon.
The New Englander will also continue full time in the GP3 Series for DAMS.
Ferrucci first joined the only American Formula 1 team on the grid last season after participating in a two-day test on July 12-13 at Silverstone Circuit in England. By piloting the Haas VF-16, Ferrucci became the first American driver to wheel an American F1 car since Oct. 9, 1977 when Danny Ongais drove a Penske PC4 in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario.
The 18-year-old will remain embedded with Haas F1 whenever he’s not obligated to DAMS, attending races and tests throughout the season while also making use of the team’s simulator programs. This is made easier by the fact that GP3 runs parallel to F1 in seven of its eight events, with the only non-companion event being the penultimate round Oct. 6-8 in Jerez, Spain.
“We’re very happy to have Santino back with us and look forward to his continuing development in GP3,” said Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 team principal. “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.”
Ferrucci hasn’t shied away from his dream of becoming an American F1 driver with an American team.
“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 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 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.”
Ferrucci began racing at 5 years old and was a multi-time champion by age 11. He graduated to open-wheel single-seaters by 2013 and raced in Formula 2000 and Skip Barber cars.
Ferrucci won his Skip Barber Racing Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway and collected five victories, two poles and three fastest-lap awards upon the conclusion of the season. 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.
For the 2014 season, Ferrucci was in British Formula 3. He won two races, both at Brands Hatch, becoming the youngest race winner in the history of British Formula 3 at 16 years, two 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 a win and five podiums. It was his first full season competing in an open-wheel championship.
Ferrucci’s ascension up the racing ladder 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.