American driver Santino Ferrucci will continue his role as development driver for the Haas F1 Team for a third year in succession.
Ferrucci, who made ten race starts in the second half of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 season with Trident Racing, is set to compete in his first full season in Formula 1‘s premier feeder series – having made the permanent step away from the GP3 Series for 2018.
In 2016, the 19-year-old became the first American driver to drive an American Formula 1 car in almost 39 years when partaking in a two day test with Haas at the Silverstone International Circuit. Ferrucci also assumed testing duties for Formula 1’s newest team at the official tyre test at the Hungaroring last August, setting the eighteenth fastest time out of 21 drivers over the two days.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner welcomed Ferrucci’s retention, expressing his desire to see the teenager develop further over the Formula 2 season and affirming the hope that Haas hold for him, as he looks to become the first American driver in F1 since Scott Speed 11 years ago.
“We’re pleased to have Santino back with Haas F1 Team and we look forward to his continuing development in F2,” said Steiner in a statement released today.
“Santino is a young, American driver with plenty of potential and we’re very supportive of his desire to make it to Formula One.”
Ferrucci, who impressed in the 2015 Toyota Racing Series New Zealand championship, said that he feels suitably prepared for his F2 campaign and hopes that he will eventually get his chance in Formula 1, believing he is currently in the best place to achieve that aim.
“I said it when I first became a part of Haas F1 Team,” Ferrucci reflected. “My goal since I began racing is to become a Formula One driver, and to be an American who is part of an American team is something I take a tremendous amount of pride in.
“My time with Haas F1 Team has really prepared me for my first full F2 season with Trident, and between the two teams I feel like I’m in the best position to succeed and, ultimately, get to Formula One.”
Last week, Ferrucci set the fastest afternoon time on day two of Formula 2’s second and final official winter test at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain. The season proper starts in Bahrain on the weekend of 6-8 April.