Raffaele Marciello, nicknamed Lello, is an Italian racing driver who most recently won the championship title in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series. In the same year, he also won the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours race.
Marciello started his GT racing career in 2017, following three seasons in the GP2 Series from 2014 to 2016. He came close to Formula 1 as a test driver for Ferrari in 2014 and for Sauber in 2015. Earlier in a career, he was European Formula 3 champion in 2013.
Member of the Ferrari Driver Academy
Born in December 1994, Raffaele Marciello started his racing career in karting competitions in 2005. He graduated to formula racing in 2010, competing in the Italian Formula Abarth series with JD Motorsport. After scoring two wins, he finished third in the points. That year, Marciello became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
In 2011, he joined Prema Powerteam in the Italian Formula 3 Championship. He was among the front-runners, scoring two wins and six podiums to finish third in the points.
Raffaele Marciello has won 2013 European F3 Championship with Prema Powerteam
European Formula 3 champion in 2013
Next year, he stayed with Prema in the European Formula 3 Championship and Formula 3 Euro Series. He scored seven victories in the F3 Championship but lost a championship title to Dani Juncadella. In the F3 Series, he won six times to finish third in the points.
Then, in 2013, Marciello finally captured his first championship title by winning the European F3 Championship. He was driving the #1 Dallara-Mercedes for Prema Powerteam to thirteen victories in thirty races.
In three seasons in GP2 Series, Marciello scored one victory and fourteen podiums
Three seasons in the GP2 Series
With F3 championship trophy in his hands, Marciello made a step up to the GP2 Series in 2014, driving the #5 car for Racing Engineering. He was a race winner once, at Spa, finishing 8th in the points. In the same year, he made a debut in Formula 1 car during the post-season test at Yas Marina, driving a Ferrari F14T.
In December 2014, it was announced that he will serve as a test and reserve driver for Sauber F1 Team in 2015. He continued to race in the GP2 Series with Trident, scoring four podiums to finish seventh in the points. In 2016, his third GP2 season, he joined Russian Time and finished fourth in the points after scoring six podiums.
Raffaele Marciello as Sauber test driver
Switching to GT racing in 2017
Finding no future in the open-wheel racing, Marciello switched to GT racing in 2017. He became Mercedes factory driver and spent the season in the Blancpain GT Series, driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the French team Akka ASP both in the Endurance Series and Sprint Series.
He also raced in the Blancpain GT Series Asia and FIA GT World Cup with Gruppe M Racing. He was on podiums many times but scored no wins.
Raffaele Marciello became Mercedes GT driver in 2017
Blancpain GT Series champion in 2018
Marciello continued with a similar programme in 2018, driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for different customer teams all over the world. His main job was in the Blancpain GT Series, in the cockpit of the #88 Akka ASP Mercedes. He and Michael Meadows won two races and the championship title in the Sprint Cup.
In the Endurance Cup, he was sharing a car with Tristan Vautier and Dani Juncadella, finishing second in the points. A total amount of point made Marciello an overall champion of the Blancpain GT Series.
He also raced successfully with Mercedes in the Blancpain GT Series Asia and North American SprintX GT Series but the highlight of the season was a victory in the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours race in August. In that race, he was sharing the #888 Mercedes with Maro Engel and Tristan Vautier.
Raffaele Marciello - 2018 Blancpain GT Series champion