Gianluca Petecof announced his departure from the Ferrari Driver Academy despite having won the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship.
Even though Petecof beat Arthur Leclerc for the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship as teammates at Prema, the budget issues were posing a threat to derail the Brazilian’s career in Europe. He had to dig deep to even complete the full season.
It was his second successful season with Prema after finishing second in the Italian F4 in 2019, as he followed it up with a title in Formula Regional – the latter as a rookie. It was a close fight with Leclerc, though, which went to the final round but the Brazilian took it.
Having been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2017, his position in the academy looked shaky despite having shown the results. With Leclerc confirmed to step up to F3 for 2021 season, speculations about Petecof not being part arose immediately.
The Brazilian eventually confirmed the news on Monday. He is the second confirmed driver – after Giuliano Alesi – to leave the Ferrari Driver Academy. In his parting message Petecof said he is working on his future but it could be outside Europe.
“Today I announce that I won’t continue my collaboration with the Ferrari Driver Academy for the 2021 season,” wrote Petecof. “10 wins, 10 pole-positions, F-Regional European Title and 40 FIA points. These were my first 3 seasons in Europe in which together I developed as a driver and as a person. Feels good to conclude this as a CHAMPION.
“Thank you to everyone in the Ferrari Driver Academy and all Ferrari but specially the Tifosi who have supported me since Day 1. Ci vediamo presto, Grazie Mille! Now it’s time for a new chapter in my career and I can say that I’m as hungry as never before! GP Out,” summed up Petecof.
With Mick Schumacher promoted to F1 and Callum Ilott becoming the Ferrari test driver, the academy has four drivers out and two new added so far, in the form of Maya Weug and James Wharton. Also to continue are Leclerc, Robert Shwartzman, Marcus Armstrong and Dino Beganovic, where the only one looking dicey is Enzo Fittipaldi.
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