The talented drivers of the Ferrari Driver Academy agreed with Prema to take part in the 2017 GP2 season.
Both arrive with similar trajectories, both fight for the GP3 championship, both hope to arrive to F1 and race with Ferrari to become World Champions someday. And they have reached the bottom step, although it should be said that the Monegasque is the one that is much closer to being able to reach the maximum category.
This year, Prema was the most successful team of GP2, the champion, the best rookie and the best team will be from Prema. 16 podiums, 8 wins, 6 poles. No doubt for next year they aim to stay on top. This year generated more uncertainty since it was the first year of the team and they had bought the modest team Lazarus.
Thus, they will have two rookies but talented ones. For now, Fuoco is losing the challenge against Leclerc but he can redeem himself in GP2. It is well known that Ferrari always wanted an Italian superstar, and Fuoco is very capable of becoming it.
Is this the last chance for Fuoco?
Despite having Giovinazzi and Ghiotto, Ferrari still relies on Antonio Fuoco.
After very good results in karting, Ferrari invited him to try Formula Abarth. He got the best time ever recorded in Fiorano with that car, even surpassing coach Luca Badoer. They immediately signed him.
He then made his debut in single-seater in the unknown Panam GP Series (Latin American championship) becoming the runner-up. His first high-level competition was the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS in which he became champion. But the highlight of Fuoco in its 2013 season was in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, which at that time enjoyed a great level and where more experienced drivers competed.
Fuoco in the Eurocup took the pole in his first weekend in the category, in Spa, and achieved solid P5 and P4.
But later they rushed his promotion to F3 and he could only be fifth in the championship, above Antonio Giovinazzi. Then, they promoted him to GP3, ending sixth in the final standings.
In Ferrari, they have given the confidence, expelling Marciello, keeping Fuoco in the team, and announcing that he would test the F1 SF15-T in the test post GP of Austria. But Fuoco crashed in the tests and once again doubts about his performance appeared.
“Unfortunately I made a mistake on Turn 1, I lost the back of the car and I could not recover, and I hit the tire wall, until then I think I had done a good job. The mistake does not mean that the car is difficult to drive.”
This year, he has recovered a bit and still has chances to take the title of the GP3 although becoming the runner-up seems more realistic. Next year will be key: he will surely have more opportunities to test in F1 with Ferrari, but it will be crucial to do well in GP2.
Meanwhile, Leclerc is doing everything right. He has two free practices (Brazil and Abu Dhabi) in F1 still to drive to keep accumulating kilometers and stands as the most likely young talent to get a seat in 2018.