Ferrari Driver Academy: Which young drivers are currently signed to the Scuderia?

Henry Valantine
Arthur Leclerc with brother and Ferrari driver Charles. Bahrain March 2022.

The Ferrari Driver Academy line-up has been confirmed for the 2023 season, with eight drivers looking to make their way up the ranks within the Scuderia.

The youngsters will be split across four series for the season ahead, with the team confirming they met at Maranello to begin a week-long training camp based on their individual needs ahead of their planned schedules, alongside physical and psychological tests.

New Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur met the young drivers along with racing director Laurent Mekies, and the full Driver Academy line-up was officially announced.

So, let’s take a look at the drivers who will be looking to impress and move up within the Scuderia this year:

Oliver Bearman

Still too young for a Formula 1 seat aged 17, young British driver Oliver Bearman will be making the step up to Formula 2 with Prema after impressing on his way to third in the Formula 3 standings last season.

The 2021 season was only Bearman’s second in cars, but he raced his way to both the ADAC Formula 4 and Italian Formula 4 titles, taking 11 wins in the latter championship and including a phenomenal run of seven in a row, before stepping up and becoming a race winner in Formula 3 last year, winning the sprint at Spa during a run of five podiums in his final seven races of the year.

He will still be one of the youngest drivers racing in F2 in 2023, so he will be one to watch for the year ahead.

Arthur Leclerc

Arthur Leclerc will be the Ferrari youngster who will have the tag, wanted or not, of being Charles’ younger brother, though his older sibling is often seen trackside as he goes about his racing – and he too will have the chance to impress in Formula 2 against Bearman this season, as he races for DAMS this time around after moving from Prema.

The 22-year-old finished sixth in the Formula 3 standings last time around, taking victory in the feature race at Silverstone as he looks to forge his own path in motorsport.

Away from his F3 running, he also took the Formula Regional Asian Championship title last season, beating competition including the likes of Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar to take that particular crown.

Dino Beganovic

Dino Beganovic was also in the same Formula Regional Asian Championship field as Leclerc last season, coming home fifth alongside a sterling campaign in the Formula Regional European Championship, which saw the 18-year-old Swede take four victories (and five more P2 finishes) on his way to the title.

Beganovic started his career with multiple national titles in karting in Sweden, before making the step up to cars in the Italian and ADAC Formula 4 series in 2020, finishing third in the Italian championship that year.

He will make the step up to the Formula 1 support schedule this year with a planned drive with Prema in Formula 3, after a dominant FREC campaign last season which saw him take title glory by 40 points.

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Rafael Camara

The Ferrari-Prema partnership will continue with Rafael Camara behind the wheel, as the 17-year-old will move into Formula Regional this year.

Camara made his single-seater debut last year in Formula 4 and impressed Ferrari with six wins across the categories in the German, UAE and Italian F4 Championships, earning him a promotion up a category this year.

Maya Weug

Joining Camara in Formula Regional will be Maya Weug, the first female driver to have been signed by the Ferrari Driver Academy when she joined the programme in 2021.

The 18-year-old competed for the Iron Dames as she finished 14th in the Italian Formula 4 standings last season, with a season-high finish of P6 at Imola early in the year, and will take the step up to Formula Regional to race for KIC Motorsport in 2023.

Aurelia Nobels

One of two new recruits to the Ferrari Driver Academy this year, Brazilian driver Aurelia Nobels was the winner of the 2022 FIA Girls on Track Rising Stars programme.

She competed sporadically across different Formula 4 series last season, but the 16-year-old will be placed into the famously competitive Italian Formula 4 series this year as her single-seater career takes shape.

Tuukka Taponen

The other new driver to don Ferrari colours this season, young Finnish driver Tuukka Taponen will be racing alongside Nobels in Italian Formula 4 this year.

Also 16, Taponen comes into the Ferrari Driver Academy having been put under ‘special observation’ by the Scuderia in 2022, after reaching their Scouting World Finals in 2021 but not quite making the grade last time around.

He has already been on track this year in the Formula 4 UAE Championship, taking two second-place finishes in three races before he turns his focus to Italy for the bulk of the season.

James Wharton

James Wharton appeared with Taponen in the Formula 4 UAE race earlier this month, and the 16-year-old Australian is preparing for his second season in F4 cars after making the step up from karting last season.

He took four race victories in 2022, and will continue his development in F4 cars with Prema this year as he gains single-seater experience.