Italian drivers Mirko Bortolotti and Daniel Zampieri have been dropped from Ferrari's driver development programme.

The pair signed up for the Ferrari Driver Academy on the back of strong performances in testing for the Scuderia, having been given the chance to sample F1 machinery through success in the Italian F3 Championship.

However, while fellow Academy driver Jules Bianchi has been promoted into the role of test and reserve driver behind Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, both Bortolotti and Zampieri have been released by Ferrari, with Bortolotti in particular insisting he was surprised by the move.

"The change of course in the Ferrari Driver Academy hit me unexpectedly, as I had always received a positive feedback from my technicians during the tests in F1 and it was pretty obvious that they were happy with my performance and with the job I did," he said. "I am still very thankful to Stefano Domenicalli that Ferrari brought me back, as it has always been my dream to be part of their team.

"Generally speaking, I thing that it is much better to take the positive from it than to mull over possible backgrounds."

Sauber driver Sergio Perez is one of the drivers signed up to the Academy for 2011.



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