Russian racer Shwartzman joins Ferrari's junior programme

Russian junior driver Robert Shwartzman has joined the Ferrari Driver Academy, it has been announced.

Russian racer Shwartzman joins Ferrari's junior programme
Winner Robert Shwartzman
Robert Shwartzman
Robert Shwartzman
Race winner Robert Shwartzman, Josef Kaufmann Racing
Robert Shwartzman

The Scuderia has snapped up the 18-year-old during his front-running second campaign in Formula Renault 2.0.

Shwartzman, who is backed by SMP Racing, is the second recent addition to the Ferrari programme, the Italian manufacturer having signed Formula 3 star Callum Ilott earlier this month.

“Developing as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy is a fantastic opportunity for myself to reach a new level,” Shwartzman told Russian news agency TASS.

“I will do everything I can. And I'm sure that the results will already be evident in 2018.”

A promising driver back in his karting days, Saint Petersburg native Shwartzman is currently in his third year of full-time open-wheel racing.

He was third overall in Italian Formula 4 in 2015 and tackled a dual campaign in two-litre Formula Renault last year, finishing eighth in the Eurocup and sixth in the NEC series.

Fourth in the standings in his sophomore Eurocup season, the Russian has been tipped for a move to European F3 next year – and has enjoyed a “very positive” test in the F3 car with Prema.

SMP Racing boss Boris Rotenberg said: “It is important that the Italian academy has taken an interest in a driver from our programme.

“Shwartzman is a talented racer and they saw his potential, so a joint decision was made for him to participate in the programme.

“Russian drivers are in demand abroad, and for us this is a small victory.”

The Ferrari Driver Academy has had six of its recruits compete in various junior categories in 2017, with F1 2018 hopeful Charles Leclerc and Marcus Armstrong delivering drivers' titles in F2 and Italian F4 respectively.

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