Top 50 Drivers of 2022
Topic

Top 50 Drivers of 2022

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #24 Raffaele Marciello

1st in GT World Challenge Europe; 1st in Spa 24 Hours; 1st in ADAC GT Masters

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #24 Raffaele Marciello

The accolades just kept coming for Raffaele Marciello in 2022.

Four pole positions from five GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup sessions, converted into three routine wins by Timur Boguslavskiy (a fourth at Valencia was only lost on the final lap amid changing weather), helped secure the overall GTWCE crown.

A first 24-hour race victory at Spa contributed to a long-awaited GTWCE Endurance Cup title. He added the ADAC GT Masters crown, and led the Macau GT Cup until suspension failure put him out.

For the Mercedes ace, the year underlined his status as a benchmark GT3 driver.

Marciello’s best moments

Having worked with Marciello every year since his switch from Formula 2 to GT cars in 2017, ASP team boss Jerome Policand has plenty of evidence behind his claim that the Italian, who these days competes under a Swiss license, is capable of qualifying laps beyond many of the world’s top drivers. Take the Zandvoort GT World Challenge Sprint Cup round, where he took pole by a resounding 0.567s in changeable conditions.

“And on the first set [of tyres] he was one second quicker than anybody else,” says Policand with audible glee. “Quali in sprint, it’s 9am in the morning, which is difficult for everyone. But the very first lap of the day he is always able to set a laptime, very few drivers I think even in the world are able to do. When the conditions are getting worse, he is over the moon.”

When conditions were tricky at Zandvoort in GTWCE Sprint, Marciello blew the field away in qualifying

When conditions were tricky at Zandvoort in GTWCE Sprint, Marciello blew the field away in qualifying

Photo by: SRO

With Marciello in the car, Policand says the team can “never get lost” as he always finds the car’s true potential – even when the set-up is “average”. He cites Misano this year, when Marciello lost his Sprint qualifying clean sweep to a trio of Audis, and the ultimately fruitful 2018 Nurburgring Sprint title-decider as examples of this.

PLUS: How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

“It’s happened I think two or three times per year with ‘Lello’,” explains Policand. “When you are struggling for the last three or four tenths, sometimes instead of staying calm and trying to improve little by little, you change completely your point of view and it’s getting worse and worse all weekend. Instead of going in the right way, you make it worse. With a driver like Lello, it never happens.”

Policand adds that Marciello also has a knack of getting the best from his co-drivers. Jules Gounon and Dani Juncadella, his Endurance Cup co-champions and victorious team-mates at Spa, “were exactly on the same pace during all the race” after Marciello had snared his third consecutive pole at the blue ribband round in the qualifying shootout.

“It’s like they know that this guy will set the benchmark and they are able to reach this,” Policand says. “And now Lello is in the team since seven years with the same engineers and mechanics, same car, most of the time you didn’t need to talk, it’s so easy to work with him because we know exactly what he wants.”

ASP team boss Policand says Marciello gets the best out of his co-drivers, which proved key in securing victory at Spa

ASP team boss Policand says Marciello gets the best out of his co-drivers, which proved key in securing victory at Spa

Photo by: Mercedes AMG

shares
comments

Related video

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #23 Esteban Ocon
Previous article

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #23 Esteban Ocon

Next article

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #25 Sebastien Loeb

Autosport 2022 Top 50: #25 Sebastien Loeb
The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad Plus

The 2022 Autosport Awards winner using Esports as a launchpad

A trail blazed in Esports has inspired a revamp of the annual prize that aims to discover the best young engineering talent. Autosport met Autosport Williams Engineer of the Future winner Michael Preston

General
Jan 18, 2023
The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right Plus

The plug in and play stand-ins who got their timing just right

Nyck de Vries’s Italian GP exploits weren’t the first post-eleventh-hour call-up in motorsport history, and won’t be the last either. Here are some offbeat tales from the past

General
Dec 26, 2022
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021