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Haas sign 17-year-old development driver

10 Mar 2016

Formula One racing’s newest team, Haas, have signed 17-year-old Santino Ferrucci as their development driver for 2016.

The American racer, who is set to compete in GP3 with DAMS this season, will be embedded with Haas at every opportunity, attending races and tests throughout the year while also participating in the team’s simulator programme.

“My goal since I first started racing was to become a Formula One driver, and to be an American who is part of an American team is something I take a tremendous amount of pride in,” Ferrucci said.

“There is still a lot of work I need to do, but being paired with Haas F1 Team will allow me to learn more and at a faster rate. It’ll allow me to make the most of my GP3 drive with DAMS and, ultimately, prepare me for Formula One.” 

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner added: “In Formula One, developing your personnel is as important as developing your racecar. You can’t have one without the other.

“Santino Ferrucci has done a very good job of proving himself in each of the racing series he’s competed in, and his maturity outside of the racecar is impressive. We see Santino as a young, American driver with a lot of potential. His opportunity with DAMS is an excellent way for him to further his development while positioning Haas F1 Team for future success.”

Like many drivers, Ferrucci, from from Woodbury, Connecticut, began his career in karting before graduating to open-wheel racing in his homeland in 2013. In 2014 he became, at 16, the youngest race winner in the history of British Formula Three, before going on to compete in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand and the FIA Formula Three European Championship last season.

At this season's opening Grand Prix in Australia, Haas will become the first American team in 30 years to start a world championship Grand Prix.