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A new star is born at Ferrari
Posted By:   |  28 Nov 2008   |  5:15 pm GMT  |  8 comments

With all the fuss about medals, you might not have paid much attention to the story of the three young Italian drivers, who got to test a Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano this week. But digging into what happened, it seems the test was a minor revelation.

The top three finishers in the Italian F3 championship were invited to drive Kimi Raikkonen’s 2008 car on Wednesday and the guy who won the F3 championship, 18 year old Mirko Bortolotti, went two tenths under the lap record for that car at Fiorano, setting a 59.111s lap. Now this needs qualifying; the car hasn’t done much running there this year and the lap record was set by sometime test driver Andrea Bertolini, but in only 14 dry laps (after 26 on a damp track), the fact that this 18 year old could do that time is hugely impressive. The other two, Eduardo Piscopo and Salvatore Cicatelli were and second and two seconds behind respectively.

Luca Baldiserri, who took over Ross Brawn’s operational role at Ferrari and whom I respect enormously said, “These boys have stunned me. The extraordinary thing is that they didn’t make a single error, they went fast straight away and showed enormous potential. It’s also lovely to hear comments and views from boys who are not yet prejudiced..”

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8 Comments
  1. Nic Maennling says:

    Thrilling news – forza Bertollotti

    Nic

  2. Ace Best says:

    Now,this is more reasonable then Alonso-Ferarri speculation.

  3. Matthew Villari says:

    Ferrari have two world class drivers at the moment, Raikkonen and Massa. But just watching the body langauge from photographs etc of the Ferrari mechanics, and team as a whole, you can’t help but feel the team looked a lot happier in terms of the teams ambience, when Rossi and Bertollotti were in the car and around the garage. Massa and Raikkonen may be capable drivers, but theyre missing Michael, and in the regard, still missing “their” team player, and a leader.

  4. NumberTwo says:

    Luigi Hamiltoni –> great one there :)

    It all depends how will that kid drive in gp2. If you got Ferrari backing, you got hell of a backing, everyone knows that, so the kid just has to drive good. If he wins gp2 next year or the year after that, i could see him taking Kimi’s vacant seat in 2011, but then he wouldn’t be a good pair with Alonso there, we all know alonso doesn’t want any good rookies in his team. So maybe Vettel and that new kid (if he delivers ofcourse) could be good combination for 2011 in Ferrari.

  5. Gabriel says:

    What does everyone think of Santander sponsoring Ferrari from 2010. Does this make it inevitable that Alonso will be there then? I think so. After all, that was why they sponsored McLaren in the first place.

  6. Phil Waddell says:

    “it reminds you that Ferrari has not hired an Italian in a full race seat since Michele Alboreto in 1988 – 20 years ago! ”

    …apart from Ivan Capelli in 1992 (well, it was a full race seat until he was sacked). Sorry James, it’s just me being petty.

    Well done to Mirko Bortolotti. It would be nice to see Ferrari take a gamble on a really young driver, in the same way McLaren did with Hamilton.

  7. speedmerchants says:

    JA writes: Cheers Phil ! Remember that Ferrari do not give rookies a race seat. They placed Massa at Sauber for a year then made him a test driver for another year before he got a race seat. They tend to hire drivers with at least three years experience. In that context it makes you realise what a huge punt McLaren took with Hamilton. The burden is even greater on an Italian in a Ferrari as the pressure is on from day one. The team would need to know that the driver was strong enough in the head.

  8. Rich says:

    If being a successful F1 driver was only about speed it’d be dominated by teenagers and 20-somethings, who as we all know, are immortal.

    But the fact is that F1 drivers have to bring in BIG money to the team with personal sponsors.

    This pretty much rules out the callow youth of the world who generally have no people skills and a poor grip on reality.

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