A second test driver for the Scuderia Ferrari
On November 16, 2001 Brazilian Formula One pilot Luciano Burti signed a contract with
Ferrari as a second test driver for the Scuderia through the 2002 season. Burti does not
act as a replacement for the long-time test driver Luca Badoer, but as an additional
colleague. According to the Scuderia Ferrariís sporting director Jean Todt, a second test
pilot had become necessary since the Scuderia is the only top team to use Bridgestone
tyres. Thus Ferrari does not only the development work for the car, but also has to gather
useful information on the tyres. SoÖ lots of tests are scheduled.
Burti was born on 4th March 1975 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His motor sport career began in
1991 and like many of his fellow racers, his first form of competitive four wheeled action
was in karts. In 1994, Luciano concentrated full-time on karting, winning the South
American Championship. In 1996, Burti moved to Europe, joining the existing "colony" of
Brazilian racers living in Cambridge/UK, where he shared a house with Rubens
Barrichello, Mario Haberfeld and Ricardo Rosset. His first competitive car drive was in
Formula Vauxhall and the following season, he took the title, driving for Paul Stewart
Racing. On 10th August 1998, Luciano had his first taste of Formula One, running at
Silverstone in his friend Barrichello's Stewart. It went so well that the team then used
him for further testing. In 1999, Burti raced in the British Formula Three series, while
also working as a test driver for Stewart. His real Formula One debut came in 2000, with
Burti concentrating full-time on his role as test driver for the Jaguar team. In that year's
Austrian GP, Eddie Irvine was taken ill with a stomach complaint and Burti stepped in,
starting in the Saturday morning free practice session and qualified 21st. In the race the
next day, things went much better and the Brazilian finished eleventh. For 2001, Burti
was given a full time race drive with the Jaguar team. However, after four races with the
English team (best result, eighth place in Melbourne,) he switched to Prost, where he
made his first contact with a Ferrari engine ó the Tipo 049 which won both titles in
2000. He was due to stay with the French team to the end of the year, but his 2001
season came to an abrupt end in Spa, where Burti had a very bad accident, which
caused severe facial trauma.
Luciano Burti stated: "From a personal point of view, all I can say is that I am very happy.
It is fantastic to be able to work with a team like Ferrari. I am really very pleased. From a
professional point of view, I am aware of the importance of the role of test driver in a
team like Ferrari, which is fighting for the championship title."