Haas F1 development driver, Santino Ferrucci was suspended by the FIA and let go by his team – Now, he enters a new stage in his racing career
20-year-old, Santino Ferrucci drove through the paddock at the Silverstone Circuit with his glove off. The reason for that was because the driver was holding a cell phone and he was further rumored to be texting as well. Having a wireless device in the cockpit resulted in a quick €6000 fine from the FIA.
In the same race, Ferrucci was suspended for hitting his Trident Motorsport teammate, Arjun Maini. On track contact during a fight for space the exit of the corner later led to post-race contact on the way back to the pit area.
In the days following the event, the team has let the driver go. Trident Motorsport stated on the day of the altercation, “Never in these 12 years of sporting activity has anything even close to this ever occurred.”
Ferrucci was called to a hearing with FIA officials following the event at Silverstone to discuss the wide range of infractions. However, the said he was forced to miss the meeting due to a family emergency back in the United States. He caught a plane and missed the meeting at the track.
The FIA tossed the book at the American racing driver. He has been suspended from anything sanctioned by the FIA for the next two rounds. He was also fined €60,000 for the post-race contact. That was on top of the €6000 fine for the cell phone escapade before the race begun.
“If you talk to a lot of people who know me, they know what’s true and what’s not,” Ferrucci said. “What happened in Europe was my fault. I made a mistake. I’ve learned from it. Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and to understand what I did wrong and how to change and what to do better.”
“I let emotions get the better of me. It cost me quite a bit. I’m ready to get back behind the wheel,” Ferrucci concluded.
Ferrucci has returned to the states. He’s set to enter competition in the Verizon Indycar Series.
Dale Coyne Racing will expand to a three car operation. Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi will be joined by Santino Ferrucci.
Ferrucci will field the machine in the Portland Prix of Portland on September 2nd in Portland, Oregon. He is scheduled to climb back into the cockpit for the race at Sonoma Raceway on September 16th in Sonoma, California.
This is not the first ride the driver has had with DCR. Ferrucci was a fill-in reserve driver for the team during the Dual in Detroit back in June. The rookie driver finished 22nd and 20th in the two races of the Detroit doubleheader. However, for the second event, he qualified 13th.
“He’d been in Europe running baby-smooth tracks and comes to Detroit, the bumpiest thing he’s ever seen and he’d never been in an Indy car, and he out-qualifies Sebastien the second day,” Coyne said.
This is a new opportunity. It’s also somewhat of a second chance for his racing career.
“I really want to be in this series full time,” he said. “That’s the idea, that’s the goal. These are just two races and (hopefully) a little more towards preparation to something that’s coming next year.”
“It’s not something I’ve been used to in a very long time,” Ferrucci said of close INDYCAR battles. “I think it’s the reason you see [Fernando] Alonso leaving F1. It’s very different to what we have in Europe. As a driver, you have a serious appreciation for it.”
“I really love INDYCAR. I love the racing here.”