[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he first American to drive an American-owned Formula One car in nearly 40 years, Santino Ferrucci seems to have had the premonition about Haas’ death. The brave teenager,who ran 55 laps for Haas F1 Team in a test at England’s Silverstone Circuit last week Tuesday, couldn’t be better mistaken for a clairvoyant, especially on the wheels, going by the legacy his feat may soon be writing in the history of F1 in the United States.
Carl Haas, the legendary Indy Car owner’s death was made public on Thursday, two days after Ferrucci made history and might arouse deeper meaning if those who study about the extra-ordinary beam their searchlight into the spiritual orbit.
“Haas was a great man, he was a legend and whatever gift he gets on his dying days couldn’t mean better than an 18 year old setting new record at his own event and in his own sports where he had been very influential over the years. As his colleagues at IndyCar, we think that Ferrucci’s victory and Haas’ death could have some spiritual connection
“That is, if am really convinced that I know what am talking about. It could also be a coincident, a great one I must admitted and it is timely too, two a day and half interval or there about. Believe it or leave it, not many gifts would have been greater.”
A close friend of Haas in the company where he wielding much influence for several years noted that “His legacy especially in Indy cars will be his phenomenal record of victories and championships, thanks in part to the great supporting cast just mentioned.”
However, according to the F1 team, the 18 year old Ferrucci was the first American to get seat time in any American F1 team since Danny Ongais, in the 1977 Canadian Grand Prix. Ferrucci was the seventh-fastest of 11 cars at the Silverstone test.
Regardless of the historical significance, Ferrucci who hails from Connecticut said he was delighted by the opportunity to get one step closer to a lifelong dream of driving in F1 and perhaps, to have delighted the Legend, Carl Haas before his death.
The young man was thankful to say, “My first lap out was a radio check, and I was so like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening, that I totally forgot to do anything they asked the first lap,” Ferrucci said, chuckling. “They had to come on the radio and reminded me and I was like, Yeah, I got it, I got it. I’m just a little bit in shock here!”
Ferrucci was given the opportunity to test for Haas F1 in its first season of competition. Haas F1 has signed Ferrucci as a development driver earlier this year to complement its lineup of Romain Grosjean, who holds French and Swiss citizenship; and Mexico’s Esteban Gutierrez.
The test which was almost marred by rain in the early afternoon, showing the hand of nature in the history,was a big opportunity for teenage boy, Ferrucci to gain his FIA superlicense which is earned by driving 300 kilometers, about 186.4 miles in an F1 car to potentially race in Formula one in the future.
F1 rules require teams to use two days of in-season testing to train a young driver who has fewer than two races of F1 experience. That opened the door for Ferrucci’s test, which is the first step toward him getting a chance to race in F1 should he continue to progress.
“The car is on another level,” said Ferrucci, who currently races in a feeder series known as GP3. “I gotta say, to drive an F1 car is impressive. You really can’t explain it.
“I had an idea from the simulator, but to go from the sim to reality, it blew me away. How fast you go from over 200 mph to 60 is unbelievable. I mean, to experience over 5 G’s of force is not something you do every day unless you’re a fighter pilot.”
Photos by LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC
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