NEWS

F1 reserve driver Ferrucci set for INDYCAR debut in Detroit with Coyne

 F1 reserve driver Ferrucci set for INDYCAR debut in Detroit with Coyne

18.05.18

INDIANAPOLIS – Santino Ferrucci will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut during the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader weekend at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park next month

The 19-year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut, who currently competes in FIA Formula 2 and serves as Haas F1’s reserve driver, was announced as driver of Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Paysafe Honda Friday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With rookie Pietro Fittipaldi out with injuries suffered in an FIA World Endurance Championship qualifying crash in Belgium, Coyne has reshuffled the No. 19 car schedule – including the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – so Zachary Claman De Melo could race two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The situation has left openings in the schedule that may have been a bit of a concern until Ferrucci came calling.

“It came together quickly,” Coyne said. “His agent contacted us and said there was an interest in maybe doing an INDYCAR race or two this year. It kind of fit together all at the right time because we were trying to decide who was going to be the driver here (at Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and how are we going to move around and make that work logistically, financially, all the things that had to happen.”

A regular with Trident in Formula 2, the plan is for Ferrucci to have a test prior to heading to the Michigan in two weeks.

“Coming from F2 into INDYCAR, I’d say my race craft is going to be OK,” Ferrucci said. “Racing in Europe is very hard, just as it is in INDYCAR. There’s a lot of experienced drivers in both fields, so the feeling I will hope to be the same.

“I think the biggest challenge will be the power jump because in talking with Pietro (Fittipaldi), he said it was a lot more powerful and obviously, the tire is a lot different going from a Pirelli to a Firestone. So I think those will be some massive hurdles. Honestly, I just look forward to being on a street course. I have to bring my mouth guard to Detroit, as I’ve been told it’s very bumpy.”

Ferrucci isn’t ruling out the opportunities that lie ahead should his introduction to North America’s top open wheel championship go well, but for now he remains tempered in changing his overall focus.

“My long-term goals are still Formula 1,” he said. “It’s still where I want to be, but this is an opportunity to show a little bit more of my potential and to try something on different cars and see how I react with an Indy car.”

What looks to play in the favor of Ferrucci is being able to lean on veteran teammate and four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais, who ran 27 races in Formula 1 between his stints racing Indy cars in America. The two also share a common bond as both are alumni of DAMS, one of the more accomplished junior formula teams in Europe.

Coyne has become notorious in scouting young talent from all parts of the racing globe. In Ferrucci, there’s the belief that something could grow from this opportunity.

“The main thing is that he’s American,” said Coyne. “While he’s over there (in Europe) and you can tell by his tone that he wants to be in Formula 1, this is a more realistic goal here. Formula 1 is a tough place to get into and stay there. I think he’ll enjoy this and maybe he’ll change his mind and become an INDYCAR driver before he becomes a Formula 1 driver.”

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NEWS

F1 reserve driver Ferrucci set for INDYCAR debut in Detroit with Coyne

 F1 reserve driver Ferrucci set for INDYCAR debut in Detroit with Coyne

18.05.18

INDIANAPOLIS – Santino Ferrucci will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut during the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader weekend at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park next month

The 19-year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut, who currently competes in FIA Formula 2 and serves as Haas F1’s reserve driver, was announced as driver of Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Paysafe Honda Friday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With rookie Pietro Fittipaldi out with injuries suffered in an FIA World Endurance Championship qualifying crash in Belgium, Coyne has reshuffled the No. 19 car schedule – including the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – so Zachary Claman De Melo could race two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The situation has left openings in the schedule that may have been a bit of a concern until Ferrucci came calling.

“It came together quickly,” Coyne said. “His agent contacted us and said there was an interest in maybe doing an INDYCAR race or two this year. It kind of fit together all at the right time because we were trying to decide who was going to be the driver here (at Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and how are we going to move around and make that work logistically, financially, all the things that had to happen.”

A regular with Trident in Formula 2, the plan is for Ferrucci to have a test prior to heading to the Michigan in two weeks.

“Coming from F2 into INDYCAR, I’d say my race craft is going to be OK,” Ferrucci said. “Racing in Europe is very hard, just as it is in INDYCAR. There’s a lot of experienced drivers in both fields, so the feeling I will hope to be the same.

“I think the biggest challenge will be the power jump because in talking with Pietro (Fittipaldi), he said it was a lot more powerful and obviously, the tire is a lot different going from a Pirelli to a Firestone. So I think those will be some massive hurdles. Honestly, I just look forward to being on a street course. I have to bring my mouth guard to Detroit, as I’ve been told it’s very bumpy.”

Ferrucci isn’t ruling out the opportunities that lie ahead should his introduction to North America’s top open wheel championship go well, but for now he remains tempered in changing his overall focus.

“My long-term goals are still Formula 1,” he said. “It’s still where I want to be, but this is an opportunity to show a little bit more of my potential and to try something on different cars and see how I react with an Indy car.”

What looks to play in the favor of Ferrucci is being able to lean on veteran teammate and four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais, who ran 27 races in Formula 1 between his stints racing Indy cars in America. The two also share a common bond as both are alumni of DAMS, one of the more accomplished junior formula teams in Europe.

Coyne has become notorious in scouting young talent from all parts of the racing globe. In Ferrucci, there’s the belief that something could grow from this opportunity.

“The main thing is that he’s American,” said Coyne. “While he’s over there (in Europe) and you can tell by his tone that he wants to be in Formula 1, this is a more realistic goal here. Formula 1 is a tough place to get into and stay there. I think he’ll enjoy this and maybe he’ll change his mind and become an INDYCAR driver before he becomes a Formula 1 driver.”

« Back