Ferrari adds Charles Leclerc and Giuliano Alesi to Driver Academy

Charles Leclerc will become a development driver for the Ferrari Formula 1 team in 2016 having joined the Scuderia's Driver Academy, along with GP3 rival Giuliano Alesi

Ferrari adds Charles Leclerc and Giuliano Alesi to Driver Academy

The long-rumoured Ferrari deal for Leclerc follows confirmation that he will switch from the Formula 3 European Championship to the GP3 Series with ART Grand Prix this year.

The Ferrari announcement said Leclerc would also be "on the books" of its F1 customer team Haas. Autosport understands this deal could involve Friday practice outings at grands prix.

Alesi, 16-year-old son of 1991-95 Ferrari F1 driver Jean, is moving up to GP3 with Trident this season having finished fourth in French Formula 4 in his first year in car racing in 2015.

Ferrari has also retained Antonio Fuoco and Guan Yu Zhou in its young driver programme.

Fuoco, who made his F1 testing debut with Ferrari last year, is staying in GP3 for a second year but switching from Carlin to Trident. He will also have an F1 development role again.

Chinese 16-year-old Zhou will be the only Ferrari junior racing in F3, joining the European series with Motopark after finishing second in Italian F4 last year.

The arrivals of Leclerc and Alesi complete a number of changes for the FDA over the winter.

It is now run by Ferrari's former sporting director Massimo Rivola following the departure of Luca Baldisserri, who followed former FDA member Lance Stroll to Williams when the Canadian secured a role at the rival F1 team.

Long-time FDA member Raffaele Marciello was dropped by the scheme after the 2015 season, but will remain in GP2 with Russian Time.

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