Ferrari’s top young protege Raffaele Marciello could compete in the DTM next season.
Ex-Ferrari Formula 1 chief engineer Luca Baldisserri, who is the boss of the Ferrari Driver Academy that mentors Marciello’s career, said that the 18-year-old would combine any DTM campaign with a step up the open-wheel ladder.
Marciello is in the fight for the Formula 3 European Championship title, and leads main rival Felix Rosenqvist by 9.5 points with six races remaining. Regarding the FDA’s plans for Marciello for 2014, Baldisserri said: “I think there are three options. One is GP2, because it’s the same tracks as Formula 1 and the same tyres, so he can get used to the Pirelli behavior.
“Then there is the World Series by Renault, which is a very good package, a lot of downforce, really good tyres with a lot of grip in the corners and a good championship. And then I think there’s DTM as well. In terms of professional qualities of the teams, it’s the closest to Formula 1. And for a young driver, having the possibility to have some rhythm with a really organised and professional team is important.
“A program in DTM would be a shame for a driver like ‘Lello’ on its own, but not if it’s coupled with another championship.”
Baldisserri added that the choice of manufacturer is not important, although Marciello’s Prema Powerteam-run F3 car is powered by Mercedes engines.
“For us it’s not a big deal,” he said. “We are focusing on the driver.”