Santino Ferrucci will be racing in his first full season of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2015 with Mücke Motorsport, having debuted mid-season last season with EuroInternational before finishing the season with Fortec Motorsports.
Although the American was signed to EuroInternational ahead of the start of the season in 2014, he was forced to wait until the round at Spa-Francorchamps in June to make his debut, due to the regulations that he had to be sixteen to race – he turned sixteen on May 31st.
Talking to The Checkered Flag, he admitted that the wait for his debut was lengthy, and he had not been in a car for over six months before he made his first start, although he was happy with the choice of circuit.
“It was a really long wait,” said Ferrucci. “I was not in a car from December 19th until Spa, and it was my first time in the FIA F3 car. [It was] rather crazy.
“I could not have picked a better track for my European career to start [though]. Spa has always been one of my favourites. My Dad took me there four years ago after a karting event at Genk and we walked the circuit. It was awesome.”
Mere weeks after making his debut, Ferrucci put in a stirring performance around the streets of the Norisring in Germany, taking two top five finishes, both of which earned him visits to the rookie podium.
“It was only my second race in the series so it was pretty awesome to get a few pieces of hardware,” asserted Ferrucci.
During 2014, Ferrucci switched from EuroInternational to the Fortec Motorsports team for the final two events at Imola and Hockenheim, and for the Macau Grand Prix where he finished a very creditable eighth. He also spent some time with 2015 team Mücke Motorsport, and believed he started to learn the F3 car with his new team.
“It was always the plan to try different teams so I could make a better choice for 2015,” insisted Ferrucci. “I also did a day with Mücke [Motorsport] and each team is very different. I got a good taste. Italian, British and German!
“Getting seat time on the circuits [during 2014] will be very helpful [for my career] but I honestly didn’t start to understand how to drive the car until my time with Mücke and my [new] engineer. I am learning [with] every session.”
Ferrucci admitted he has been racing in Europe since an early age, and it had always been his intention to race in single-seaters over here when he was old enough. His debut at Spa meant the American took his first steps in single-seaters, and he is also currently racing in the Toyota Racing Series for Giles Motorsport to gather some more experience ahead of his first full-time season in European F3 in 2015.
“Europe has always been my road since I was eleven, racing karts in England,” said Ferrucci. “I started karting at age five, and the FIA F3 was my first [single seater] series. The Toyota Racing Series will be the first championship I can do every race.”
When asked about the new Superlicence rules introduced recently by the FIA with regards making it into Formula 1, Ferrucci admitted he had no problem with the new format, although he expects it will be a while before they affect his ambitions.
“I really like the new rules; earn your licence,” said Ferrucci. “I have no problem with that, [but] that is too far ahead of me! I know the final goal is F1.
“[For 2015 I am aiming for] more learning and hopefully many trips to the podium! I am still young – [I will still be] sixteen for half the year!”