It's just amazing how quickly things can happen! Just last week, Francesco Pizzi (15, Italy) won the Formula 4 championship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in his first season in a single-seater, and now, Dutch outfit Van Amersfoort Racing have announced that the young Italian has got a cockpit at VAR for the 2020 season.
Unlike many other drivers, 15-year-old Pizzi does not come from a motor racing family, so it is really surprising that he first got started in karting aged seven. Just two years later, Francesco, who was by then nine years old, put his skill to good use in the Italian championship for the first time. His success was then followed by many other triumphs in major national and international karting championships.
He made his single-seater debut in 2019, racing in the UAE F4 Championship. His successful start in the series when he swept the board, winning all three races at the season opener, certainly caused a stir. He subsequently dominated the season, winning eight of the 19 races, and then, just last week, he won the F4 UAE championship title at his first attempt, finishing in front of his fellow competitors by a good margin.
"We are delighted to have Francesco on board this season. He was already on our radar and we knew we wanted him in our team at VAR, especially in view of his performance in the UAE F4 series," said Rob Niessink, CEO at Van Amersfoort Racing. "The Italian championship is hotly contested and so, is the perfect place for him to take the next step, plus, he will gain further experience in the German ADAC Formula 4."
"I'm on an incredible roller-coaster ride," said Pizzi, who has the backing of ex-Formula 1 driver, Gianmaria Bruni. "I achieved the highlight of my career to date last week by becoming F4 champion in my rookie year and am now packing my bags to compete in the Italian F4 series with Van Amersfoort Racing and will also contest some races in the German championship! Winning the title has given me an incredible boost for the new season, so I'm well up for the challenge and can't wait to get started. Being part of VAR is simply the best and motivates me even more!"