American Teenager Flirts With Formula One

Looks like kids are taking over the Formula One roster. Starting with Max Verstappen, another teenager driver for Red Bull Racing who stunned everyone at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year, making him the youngest ever driver to ever win a Formula 1 Grand Prix at the very young age of 18 years and 227 days. Now there’s another teenager potentially joining the fleet of Formula One drivers. 18 year old Santino Ferrucci from Connecticut was signed onto the Haas F1 team as a development driver earlier this year and has recently ran 55 laps in the Formula One car at the Silverstone Circuit in England.Santino-Ferrucci-haas-f1USA Today Sports interviewed Ferrucci and he mentioned the shock and awe of sitting in a Formula One car:

My first lap out was a radio check, and I was so like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening,’ that I totally forgot to do anything they asked the first lap. They had to come on the radio and remind me and I was like, ‘Yeah, I got it, I got it. I’m just a little bit in shock here!

The car is on another level.

I gotta say, to drive an F1 car is impressive. You really can’t explain it.

I had an idea from the (simulator), but to go from the sim to reality, it blew me away. How fast you go from over 200 mph to 60 is unbelievable. I mean, to experience over 5 G’s of force is not something you do every day unless you’re a fighter pilot.

Ferrucci further comments on the Haas F1 Team website:

It was great to get out in the car this morning, especially to run over 300 kilometers. The Haas VF-16 was a very different experience from my GP3 car, and a lot of fun to drive. Unfortunately, there was a lot of rain in the afternoon. We didn’t really want to run too much in the wet, especially with the aero testing we had planned. Hopefully we’ll get better weather tomorrow and we can achieve all our goals. I’ll spend tonight looking at my driving and I’ll work on gaining even more confidence in the car. We’ll be focusing on the car tomorrow if the engineers are happy with my driving. It was really nice to work with everyone at Haas F1 Team, and now I’m hungry for more.

Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal for the Haas F1 team also stated:

Santino did a very good job. We’ve all been impressed with his professionalism. He was prepared for the test. He was well set up to be able to handle the car. These cars are very complicated, but he adapted quickly, was reliable and he didn’t put a foot wrong all day. Unfortunately, it rained in the afternoon. We were meant to be doing some aero testing, but there was no point while it was so wet. We only ended up doing a couple of laps as a result. We go again tomorrow and hope that it’s dry so we can let him drive and learn even more.

The completion of the test qualifies him for the FIA Super Licence, allowing Ferrucci to compete in the Formula One World Championship as a driver. His ability to compete marks the return of an American to drive for an American-owned Formula One team, something that hasn’t been done since 1977, when Danny Ongais piloted a Penske PC4 car in the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario.

(Source: USA Today & Haas F1 Team)


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