Monday, March 4, 2024

Shwartzman Bidding for AF Corse Hypercar Drive Alongside 2024 Ferrari Reserve Commitments

Robert Shwartzman will remain with Scuderia Ferrari as their reserve driver for the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, but the young Russian-Israeli is likely to add a drive within the FIA World Endurance Championship alongside his Maranello commitments.

Shwartzman has been a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2017 but last raced in single seaters back in 2021 when he competed in FIA Formula 2, and only raced sporadically in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup last year having sat out racing completely in 2022.

The twenty-four-year-old has tested in various categories in recent times, including in the NTT IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with DS Penske and the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the latter in the Ferrari 499P Hypercar in Bahrain.

He has been Ferrari’s go-to driver for their young driver free practice sessions across the past two years, and he is expecting this to continue in 2024, although he hopes this also includes more running in Formula 1 machinery in private testing sessions, as well as a possible drive with AF Corse in WEC.

“Anything could happen — at the moment, it’s nothing defined as 100%,” said Shwartzman to “I just know that I’m staying with Ferrari for next year doing reserve and FP1s.

“Then hopefully we will have more testing with a Formula 1 car — I really hope so. They’re going to push further, and we’re going to get some more drive time.

“And, yeah, the endurance program is not fully defined, but I really hope that I’m gonna be racing with [the] Ferrari Hypercar.  I always dreamt of driving in Formula 1, and at the same time, I dreamt of doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Because you know, when you watch the movies, and, and yes, as kids, we were mostly watching Formula 1, but everybody knew what the 24 Hours of Le Mans is. So if you participate and hopefully you win, it’s something very, very special.

“Not many F1 drivers have it, so it’s a very big thing. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Regardless of where he ends up driving next year, Shwartzman has the belief that he would be competitive as he feels it does not take him long to get up to speed and find the limit, as he proved in all his testing roles in the past twelve months.

“I gained quite a lot, because I think I tried all of the most-known series,” he added.  “So I’m happy that in most of them, I went really fast and I straight away got how to drive the car.

“So I’m happy with myself in that sense that I learn quick. And yeah, most of the cars were really nice to drive. So I feel confident that in any category that I’m going to be racing in I’m going to be competitive and strong and bringing results. So I’m very happy with that.

“IndyCar went really well; the team was really good, with Ganassi. Then I did the rookie test in Berlin with DS Penske and went really well as well there — I was fastest most of the day — and also with the Hypercar we did the fastest lap time there in Bahrain. So I think overall I got a very good feel with all of these cars.

“And in F1 also, I was happy that generally I wasn’t doing any mistakes, because I was focusing more on that side of things. Because I knew that the team is searching not just for performance, they just want the consistency to get the information to learn something.

“So I’m happy that from that side, everything was spot on. And we got everything we wanted.”

Robert Shwartzman participated in two free practice sessions in 2023 – Credit: Ferrari Spa