Having debuted in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship just after turning sixteen for the EuroInternational team at Spa-Francorchamps in June, American Santino Ferrucci will contest the final two rounds of the season for the Fortec Motorsports team.
He joined Fortec initially for the British Formula 3 round at Brands Hatch, and despite it being the first time at the circuit and with a car and tyres new to him, he took two wins and a third place, and two fastest laps.
He admitted his delight at joining Fortec, a team with a great pedigree in single seater motorsport, but also praised EuroInternational for giving him his break in the European Formula 3 Championship this year.
“I am thrilled to be joining [Fortec] and am excited about the rest of the season – I hope to grow as a driver and I know this will happen with Fortec,” said Ferrucci. “I first met [Team Owner] Richard [Dutton] five years ago and always wanted to race for his team. I have been to the team’s headquarters a number of times and it is impressive.
“Fortec has a strong history in other junior categories so I am hoping to find a home at Fortec. “I started with EuroInternational one year ago [when I tested their Formula 3 Mygale] and owe a ton of thanks to Antonio [Ferrari] for guiding me through the last 12 months.
“I always felt that EuroInternational did their very best to work around a rookie and a driver just learning. A driver’s first team is always special and the guys at Euro have been awesome.
“I felt that I would need to experience another team for so many reasons, a spot became available at Fortec and I decided to make the switch so I can gain more experience and learn from a new team for the remainder of the year.
“Additionally, I will be contesting Macau with Fortec so the coming weeks in Europe will help develop my relationship with a new engineer, driver coach and mechanics.”
Russell Dixon, Fortec Motorsports’ FIA Formula 3 European Championship Team Manager and Chief Engineer admitted the team had been interested in Ferrucci for a while, and he was happy to finally see the American join the team for the remainder of the season.
“Fortec has been interested in Santino for quite a while and tried to sign him last December for this year’s FIA F3 Euro series so we are very happy to finally get him in to our car,” said Dixon. “He raced with Fortec in a British series one-off at Brands Hatch recently and enjoyed a successful weekend and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with this exciting young driver.
“I’m sure he will develop and we will see him getting the results he is capable of and deserves.”
Looking back at his weekend at Brands Hatch, Ferrucci admitted it was a last minute decision to race there, but was delighted how his weekend went, especially with his two race wins.
“I didn’t have big expectations going into Brands Hatch as we only decided to race there on the Thursday afternoon in Richard’s office,” said Ferrucci. “Racing in the famous British Formula 3 Championship on a whim, with a new team, new to me Cooper tyres, a gearbox different to that I’m used to and on my first-ever visit to Brands, the team got me up to speed quickly – I was thrilled.
“I learned so much in those two days that I felt like a different driver on the Sunday evening and just shows how much more in driving technique I have yet to learn and that excites me.”