By: Spencer Neff
March 1, 2019 | 7:06 AM
Santino Ferrucci’s road to the NTT IndyCar Series has been eventful, to say the least. His racing pursuits have taken the Woodbury, Connecticut-native around the world.
Ferrucci achieved success at an early age. At five years old, the American took up karting, and within three years, he won his first race. By age 10, he had won consecutive Florida Winter Tour Championships.
After winning the 2012 US Rotax National Championship, Ferrucci’s journey took him to the 2012-13 SBF2000 Winter Series. In 10 races, he scores three victories, six podium finishes and three pole positions.
In 2013, Ferrucci moved to the Skip Barber Racing Series. After winning his debut at Homestead, Ferrucci ends the season with another four wins and two pole positions. Additionally, he joined the F2000 field for eight races. During this time, Ferrucci earns four podium finishes and a pole position.
The following year, Ferrucci moved overseas to Formula 3 with Fortec Motorsport. There, the young American earned two victories in British Formula 3 at Brands Hatch. By taking victory, Ferrucci becomes the youngest winner in series history at 16 years, 2 months and 30 days.
He also appeared in German and European Formula 3 that year, earning a podium finish in his second German F3 race.
For 2015, Ferrucci transitioned to the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. Racing for Giles Motorsport, Ferrucci scored six podium finishes, including a win at Manfeild and finishes third in the points standings.
In addition, Ferrucci adds another campaign in the Formula 3 European Championship. This time, he does so with Mücke Motorsport, earning one podium and finishing sixth in the Macau Grand Prix.
By 2016, Ferrucci had moved up to GP3 with DAMS and earned a podium finish in the sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Another big step for Ferrucci came in 2016 when he was named Test Driver for Haas F1, later testing with the team at Silverstone in July. Ferrucci becomes the first American to test an American Formula 1 car since 1977.
Another high point of Ferrucci’s 2016 season comes in the sports car world. Racing in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America, he wins his debut at Circuit of The Americas.
In 2017, Ferrucci contests six GP3 races with DAMS. After this, he moves over to Formula 2 for 10 races with Trident. Continuing his role at Haas F1, Ferrucci tests at the Hungaroring in August of that year as well.
For 2018, Ferrucci’s season began with Trident in Formula 2, where he made 13 starts. He also continues as a test driver with Haas F1. By June, Ferrucci makes his IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne Racing at Belle Isle for the Dual in Detroit despite swirling bad press.
On Saturday at Detroit, he starts 18th and finishes 22nd after a Lap 56 crash in Race 1. The next day, Ferrucci starts 13th and finishes a lap down in 20th. In September, Dale Coyne Racing fields a third car for the final two events and Ferrucci is named the driver for each of them.
At Portland, Ferrucci qualified 18th and finished 20th, four laps down. Two weeks later, Ferrucci achieved his best performance yet. In the season finale at Sonoma, he works his way up from 20th on the grid to finish 11th.
On November 20, Coyne announced Ferrucci would return to contest the entire 2019 season in the No. 19 Dallara-Honda.
“I enjoyed the time I spent with the team this past year in the IndyCar Series and I’m looking forward to doing a full season with them,” he expressed in November.
Ferrucci is the only full-time IndyCar rookie with multiple previous IndyCar starts. Despite his prior experience, Ferrucci acknowledges the learning curve ahead.
“While I’ll still be considered a rookie, I feel like I’ve already gained valuable experience in IndyCar that will serve me well next season. However, I’m well aware that I still have a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to it.”
Team owner Dale Coyne was very complimentary regarding Ferrucci’s 2018 performances. For the upcoming season, Coyne looks forward to seeing more progress from his driver.
“He showed a lot of maturity and the desire to learn and to keep improving,” Coyne exclaimed.
“Had it not been for some unfortunate luck at Portland and again at Sonoma, he could have picked up even better results than what he did. We’re very excited to have him back full-time in 2019 and seeing how he continues to grow and perform throughout the season.”
So far, 2019 has gotten off to a solid start for him. In February’s Spring Training at Circuit of The Americas, Ferrucci placed ninth in two of the four sessions. Provided Ferrucci keeps improving, he could surprise people during the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season.
Header Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR