Simona de Silvestro, Jules Bianchi entering Ferrari’s winter series

IndyCar standout Simona de Silvestro and Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi will each take part in at least one race during the inaugural season of the Florida Winter Series that’s run by Ferrari’s Driver Academy.

The Florida Winter Series has been brought to life as a championship aimed at professional drivers looking for the best way to prepare for the competitive demands of the 2014 season. The championship will enjoy the support of the Ferrari Driver Academy and will take place in Florida over four rounds straddling the months of January and February next year.

The 15 drivers who will be admitted to take part in the Florida Winter Series will have a Tatuus FA10B at their disposal. Thanks to its technical characteristics this single-seater fulfils the performance demands required to train and fruitfully prepare for a wide range of competitions. The FA10B is built to FIA Formula 3 safety standards and offers an outstanding level of reliability.

The organization model is “keys in the hand": every driver will have a high-level team of engineers and mechanics available. They will ensure the best possible efficiency of the car and equality in the basic technical performance in order to showcase that of the drivers and their ability to improve the car’s behavior.

The choice of Florida as the base for the new series is linked to the ideal conditions that the region offers in the first part of the year in terms of weather, sport and logistics. The three tracks chosen to host races are Homestead, Sebring and Palm Beach. There will be four rounds on the calendar, preceded by a collective test that is scheduled for January 22 at Homestead. Here is the provisional list: it starts at Sebring on January 25-27 then heads to Palm Beach on February 3-5 before the championship concludes at Homestead – where there will be races on two different track layouts on February 12-14 then February 17-19.

Shakedowns of the Florida Winter Series cars took place last month at Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit in Italy.