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Armstrong Out, Ilott on ‘Gap Year’ as Ferrari Driver Academy Confirms 2022 Line-up

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Marcus Armstrong’s time with the Ferrari Driver Academy has come to an end as the line-up for the young driver programme of Scuderia Ferrari was revealed on Tuesday.

One-time FIA Formula 2 race winner Armstrong was the major casualty after four years in the programme, while Callum Ilott has been placed on a ‘gap year’ while he races in the NTT IndyCar Series with Juncos Hollinger Racing.

Ilott will not have the same support he has had in recent years due to racing in IndyCar full-time, with the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) feeling that the ride ‘falls outside the workable scope of the FDA as it would not be able to offer adequate support to the Englishman.’

Mick Schumacher is perhaps the biggest name on the 2022 list as he combines the role with his Formula 1 ride with the Uralkali Haas F1 Team, while former Formula 2 racer Robert Shwartzman also remains in the programme for another year despite not yet having any racing plans alongside his testing duties with Ferrari.

Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman will both race for Prema Racing in FIA Formula 3 in 2022 with FDA backing, while Dino Beganovic will remain in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, also with Prema.

James Wharton, Maya Weng and Rafael Camera will all race in Formula 4 in 2022, whilst Laura Camps Torras will race in Karts after becoming the second female – alongside Weng – to join the academy at the end of 2021.

“The 2022 Ferrari Driver Academy intake starts its journey today,” Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.  “It’s always a significant day for the girls and boys involved and also for Scuderia Ferrari, because this programme is an important part of what #essereFerrari means.

“The FDA’s role is not simply to get the best out of the most talented youngsters and lead them to race our cars in Formula 1, it is also about forming people and drivers who are able to make the most of the values that Scuderia Ferrari represents.

“This year, seven young men and two young women will work towards their ultimate goal of racing in Formula 1.  In 2022, 20% of the F1 grid is made up of past and present FDA students. The dream for them and for us is to do the same as Charles Leclerc, who is about to start his fourth season racing for the Scuderia.

“I wish each and every one of them the best of luck as they progress through the season, which I am sure they will tackle with the will to learn and above all with a smile, because being a racing driver is one of the best jobs in the world.”

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