New Ferrari junior Tuukka Taponen will race for Ferrari in next year’s Italian Formula 4 championship.
Taponen was named winner of Ferrari’s World Scouting Final in November, having been under observation by Ferrari this year after starring in the 2021 World Scouting Final, and has spent the last few months doing F4 testing with Prema.
The 16-year-old will be going into his third, and most complete, year in single-seater racing having competed part-time in Formula Academy Finland’s last two seasons. He won on his debut in 2021, and won all five of the races he did in the first-generation F4 series in 2022.
“I’m very happy to join Prema and start the first [full] single-seater season of my career,” said Taponen.
“I had only heard positive things about the team, and they have achieved so many great results in the past. I felt very comfortable since my first test, and while it wasn’t easy to move up from karting, the team was very professional in helping me to adapt myself to the [second-generation] F4 car. I’m looking forward to 2023.”
Alongside F4, Taponen has been a frontrunner on OK karts over the past two years. In 2021 he was CIK-FIA World Karting champion, won WSK’s Open Cup and came fourth in its Super Master Series and Champions Cup, and was also fourth in the Champions of the Future series.
The factory Tony Kart driver followed that up this year with second in the world championship, third in WSK’s Euro Series and fourth in its Super Master Series, sixth in the European championship and then stepped up to KZ shifter karts and came ninth in the world championship and 11th in the European championship.
“Tuukka achieved outstanding results in karting and was impressive in his first testing outings,” said Prema team principal Angelo Rosin.
“I think he’s a great addition to a team that is shaping up quite well. We will rely on many talented and hard-working racers, and we are looking forward to honing their skills as they progress in their quest to become high-profile motorsport professionals.”
Taponen’s primary campaign with the team will be Italian F4, but he will race elsewhere in F4.