The next F1 generation

I’m not just a Formula 1 fan. Oh no. I like to keep an eye on drivers who, with a bit of luck, should make it to Formula 1. Here is a list of drivers who I feel are good enough to potentially reach the dizzy heights of Formula 1 in the next few years or so!

  • Antonio Felix da Costa – Portugal. Looks like the real deal, impressed in GP3 and then took Formula Renault 3.5 by storm when he joined mid-season.  Likely to be the next driver from the Red Bull family to get into Formula 1, remaining in Formula Renault 3.5 for 2013.

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  • Robin Frijns – Netherlands. Formula Renault 3.5 champion.  Now signed as the test & third driver for Sauber.  The Netherlands have not had many drivers in Formula 1, though the lack of an actual race seat might harm his progress after two championships in two years in Formula Renault 2.0 & 3.5.

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  • Felipe Nasr – Brazil. Looked very strong in his first GP2 season, and now signed up for a second season, switching from DAMS to Carlin, a team he is familiar with having raced for them in British Formula 3.  Should be one to watch.

Felipe-Nasr

  • Patric Niederhauser – Switzerland. First year in GP3 and won a few races, and was strong in other races too.  Returning to GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport and should be one to watch out for and potentially a championship favourite.

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  • Mitch Evans – New Zealand.  Current GP3 Champion.  Signed for Arden International in GP2, after winning the championship in GP3 with them in 2012.  One of Mark Webbers proteges and is more than likely going to be within the Red Bull family sooner rather than later as hes in GP2 with Christian Horner’s team.

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  • Tio Ellinas – Cyprus. Up and coming GP3 star, winning season finale in Monza, one to look out for if he, as expected, remains in GP3.  Cannot think of another Cypriot in motor sport, let alone one that has talent, and is certainly worth keeping an eye out for.

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  • James Calado – Great Britain. Looked very impressive in his first GP2 season, winning a few races and making his highly rated teammate look pretty ordinary.  He should be a championship favourite as he’s re-signed with the ART GP2 team for a second season.

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  • Sam Bird – Great Britain. Should be there already, has looked good in both GP2 & Formula Renault 3.5 in the last few years.  Grabbed a late deal with the new RUSSIAN TIME team in GP2 and will hope to prove himself once more in the main support serie for Formula 1.  Mercedes still have him as their test driver so there is still hope for Sam that he’ll make it to F1.

GP2 BARCELONE 20-22 march 2011 © CLEMENT MARIN

  • Kevin Magnussen – Denmark. Son of Jan, looks better than his dad. A few race wins in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2012, joining DAMS for 2013. Tested for McLaren in the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers test in 2012.

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  • Alexander Rossi – United States.  The closest the United States have to a Grand Prix driver.  Highly rated by the Caterham set-up and has been given the third driver role within the Caterham F1 team for 2013.  Lack of racing though, like Frijns, could affect his career prospects.

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  • Robert Wickens – Canada.  Like Rossi for the USA, Wickens is possibly the closest Canada has for a GP driver right now.  Highly rated by many, winning the Formula Renault 3.5 series and being runner up in GP3 before advancing to the Mercedes DTM set-up.  Could follow Paul di Resta into F1 via DTM.

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  • Luciano Bacheta – Great Britain. Potentially the last Formula 2 champion, and was well deserved.  Had options for 2013, and chose to compete in AutoGP World Series rather than either Formula Renault 3.5 or GP2.  Earned a Williams test drive for winning the F2 title and impressed the team during it.

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  • Daniel Abt – Germany.  Runner up to Mitch Evans in GP3 in 2012, and advances to GP2 as James Calado’s teammate at Lotus in 2013.  Could be one of the next top German drivers to enter F1 in a few years.  Must keep his momentum however, and will need to impress against one of the GP2 championship favourites.

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  • Alexander Sims – Great Britain.  Seems to have given up on single seaters, but one of the quickest drivers out there when he’s driving.  Only the cost of getting to F1 is hindering him.  Racing in the sportscar scene but was willing to test a GP2 car at the end of 2012, perhaps indicating that a return to open wheel racing could be on the cards if the right offer came along.  Very talented.

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  • Conor Daly – United States.
  • Fabio Leimer – Switzerland
  • Stefano Coletti – Monaco
  • Matheo Tuscher – Switzerland
  • Arthur Pic – France
  • Nico Muller – Switzerland
  • Albert Costa – Spain
  • Marco Sorensen – Denmark
  • Jack Harvey – Great Britain
  • Adrain Quaife-Hobbs – Great Britain
  • Roberto Mehri – Spain
  • Richie Stanaway – New Zealand
  • Sergey Sirotkin – Russia
  • Stoffel Vandoorne – Belgium
  • Alice Powell – Great Britain
  • Lewis Williamson – Great Britain
  • Brendon Hartley – New Zealand
  • Tom Dillmann – France
  • Robert Visoiu – Romania
  • Daniel Juncadella – Spain
  • Christian Vietoris – Germany
  • Aaro Vainio – Finland
  • Nick Yelloly – Great Britain
  • Sergio Canamasas – Spain
  • Jolyon Palmer – Great Britain
  • Christopher Zanella – Switzerland
  • Will Stevens – Great Britain
  • Nathanael Berthon – France
  • Dino Zamparelli – Great Britain
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