Mattia Binotto says a decision to which of the Ferrari Driver Academy drivers will make the jump up into Formula 1 next season is imminent, and he can the announcement being made prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix later this month.
Scuderia Ferrari have three drivers all contending for the FIA Formula 2 Championship crown in 2020, with Mick Schumacher currently leading the way ahead of Callum Ilott, with Robert Shwartzman not far behind the leading pair.
Schumacher currently has the advantage, sitting twenty-two points clear of Ilott, while Shwartzman has dropped to fifth after two poor weekends at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello and the Sochi Autodrom. He is fifty-one points behind his Prema Racing team-mate with just four races remaining.
Binotto, the Team Principal of Ferrari, acknowledges that there is not space in Formula 1 for all three drivers, with one of the trio likely to make the jump up to the sport next season. Rumours are rife that it’ll be Schumacher, with the German set to join the Haas F1 Team for 2021.
“I don’t think we will wait for the final race in Bahrain or for Abu Dhabi,” said Binotto on Formula1.com. “I think it’s something we’ll decide within the next couple of weeks. As we said, there is not place for all of them.
“I think they are all doing well in F2 at the moment, if we are considering Mick, Callum and Robert. They’ve got a season to finish, they are all currently focused on the next race in Bahrain – they are challenging for the championship, which is very important for them.
“There will be an opportunity to run again in FP1 in Abu Dhabi, and then there might be young driver tests still in Abu Dhabi, but we make our own decision and the decision will be done on how they’ve done so far, [how] they’ve developed – their potential.
“Our objective is not to bring them into F1; it’s to bring them one day into Scuderia Ferrari – in the red cars – and whatever will be the path to achieve it, that’s less important.
“There will be one of those drivers that will have a seat in F1 next year, the others will have opportunities and that’s down to us to organise it and give all of them an opportunity.”