When it comes to competing in Formula 1, the list of American drivers isn’t a long one. Some of the better known names include Mario and Michael Andretti, Roger Penske, Dan Gurney, Skip Barber, Bobby Rahal and Phil Hill, but most of these drivers competed decades ago.
In fact, there hasn’t been an American driver in Formula 1 since Scott Speed drove for Toro Rosso in 2006 and 2007. Worse, there hasn’t been an American F1 champion since Mario Andretti captured the title in 1978.
Last week we told you about Alex Rossi, a young American driver who’s competing in GP2 and was scheduled to test with Team Lotus (soon to be the Caterham F1 Team) at last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Now comes word from Ferrari that another young American driver has earned a test in the Ferrari F60 (the Italian team's 2009 F1 car) for earning “Rookie of the Year” honors in the Italian F3 racing series.
Michael Lewis will climb into a Ferrari F60 on Tuesday, November 15, for a day-long test session with Scuderia Ferrari. Lewis will test alongside Italian F3 rival and series champion Sergio Campana, who narrowly beat Lewis in the final race of this year’s championship, as first noted by Autoblog.
Lewis began his racing career in Quarter Midget competition at the age of 13. Now 21, Lewis’ racing resume includes seat time in everything from karts through formula cars and even late model NASCAR stock cars.
Remarkably, he’s also enrolled as a student at California State University, which makes us wonder how he finds the time to be both a college student and professional racer.
There’s no way of knowing what will come from Lewis’ test with Scuderia Ferrari, but it puts him on the map for Ferrari and other F1 teams looking to acquire new talent. We wish Lewis (and Alex Rossi) the best, and we’d love to see both drivers competing in Formula 1 in the coming years.
Image credit: Michael Lewis Racing