The last Italian to compete for Ferrari in F1 was Giancarlo Fisichella, who raced for the team during the 2009 season as a replacement for the injured Felipe Massa. Of the current crop of drivers, Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo is the sole Italian, and before him the last of his countrymen to join the F1 grid was Vitantonio Liuzzi who drove an HRT in 2011.
However a country with such racing pedigree can’t be held down for long, and there are plenty of up and coming talented drivers who we could see in an F1 seat in the near future. Here, RacingNews365.com breaks down the contenders.
Giovinazzi is closest to the coveted Ferrari seat of any Italian currently competing in the sport, given he is under contract with Ferrari until the end of this year.
But the driver has now been with the junior Alfa Romeo team for three full seasons in F1 and is yet to leave a substantive mark on the sport, finishing behind his veteran teammate Kimi Raikkonen. He was also passed over in the search for Sebastian Vettel’s replacement in favour of Carlos Sainz moving from McLaren, and Ferrari have lined up F2 driver Callum Illot as its test and reserve driver for the next season.
Verdict: Giovinazzi may be the closest Italian to a Ferrari seat, but barring a drastic improvement in the coming season remains some way off securing his spot with the Scuderia.
The nephew of former F1 driver Alessandro Nannini shot through the junior open wheel classes with a string of successes including a win in the Formula 4 Championship in the UAE in 2019.
The 17-year old drove for Jenzer Motorsport in Formula 3 last year and is set to make his Formula 2 debut partnering Alessio Deledda at HWA Racelab in the coming season while maintaining double duties in F3.
Verdict: He has the right last name and that often does well in Italy, but still needs to develop considerably before being in contention for the top table. A small chance, for the moment.
At just 16-years old and in his first season in the sport, Gabriele Mini took victory in the competitive Italian Formula 4 championship in style, coolly dispatching his rivals in a manner bound to have impressed many team bosses.
The young gun makes the switch from Prema to race for ART in the Regional Formula 3 championship for next season, and is set to be immediately among the top contenders in that series as well.
Verdict: The cool-headed and lightning fast Italian has all the ingredients for a Ferrari seat in the future, but as of yet does not have a place in the marque’s driver academy with his management instead opting to keep their options open.
Just like his compatriot Nannini, Pizzi also won the Formula 4 championship in the UAE and last season pushed Mini all the way in the race for victory in the Italian Formula 4 series driving for the Dutch Van Amersfoort Racing squad.
The 16-year old looks set to continue the battle with his domestic rival next year as he steps up to the Regional Formula 3 championship.
Verdict: Seems to fall just behind his compatriot Mini in head to head battles but still has plenty of time to prove himself at just sixteen years old.
Another driver with a storied surname, Enzo is the son of ex Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli who made his racing debut this month in the Formula 4 championship in the UAE. He has won two races to date and is competing at the top of the grid alongside other promising juniors such as Duch talent Dilano Van’t Hoff.
Later this year he is scheduled to race in the Spanish Formula 4 class where he will drive for FA Racing, the team owned by Alpine F1 driver Fernando Alonso.
Verdict: Trulli has gotten off to a flying start in single seater racing in the UAE, but just a few races into his career it is far too soon to say whether he can reach the dizzying heights of F1. The season in Spanish Formula 4 will give a better indicator of where he stands for the future.