Ferrari Drivers’ Academy have added an additional driver to their F1 Esports squad for the 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series, with more names soon to follow.
The Italian giants within Formula 1 have joined the F1 Esports scene, a year when the teams’ championship for F1 Esports was introduced. Nine of the ten teams joined the programme in 2018, with Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports winning the championship with the helping hands of Brendon Leigh and Daniel Bereznay.
Ahead of the 2019 season, Ferrari finally agree to join the series, meaning all ten official F1 teams will compete in the series altogether. In preparation for the series, Ferrari took part in the Pro Draft where they selected their first driver.
Possessing the first overall pick in the draft, Ferrari selected Italian gamer David Tonizza to become the team’s first driver in their roster. Tonzilla finished second in his heat race ahead of qualifying for the final pool of 30 drivers to be picked in the live show. FIA Formula 3 points leader and Ferrari academy member Robert Shwartzman attended the event as a representative for the Italian team.
Tonizza becomes the first Esports gamer to become part of the Ferrari Drivers’ Academy, an honour the Italian feels is special and unique.
“Being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy is something special and unique,” said Tonizza on being picked by Ferrari.
“Every team has a history, but Ferrari is bigger than that. Representing this brand through the academy for young drivers is a great privilege, but at the same time, it comes with an enormous responsibility.
“We are talking about one of the most famous brands in the car world, both road and racing. I feel greatly honoured and I assure everyone that I will do my best to bring home some top results.”
After the Pro Draft, Ferrari announced their second driver to join Tonzilla for the 2019 season. Another Italian named Amos Laurito becomes the second driver to join the team.
Laurito took part in the heat races prior to the Pro Draft, but never finished in the top eight of his heat race, eliminating him in the process. However, the Italian was picked up by Ferrari after the live show to partner alongside countryman Tonzilla.
The twenty-three year old participated in last year’s Pro Draft, but left London that year empty handed. Now ahead of the 2019 season, Laurito is achieving a child-long dream of being part of Ferrari.
“I have always wanted a career in the world of Esports and to be with Ferrari is a dream come true for me,” commented
“I know I am joining a big family made up of extremely talented people, whose aims are always very ambitious. I am sure I will have very strong team-mates who will help me progress. I am ready to give it my all.”
Ferrari have confirmed that a third driver will be announced to their roster in the summer prior to the start of the season on September 11. Rumours speculate that former Force India Esports driver and runner-up in the 2017 season Fabrizio Donoso Delgado is set to join the squad.