The Island country of Cyprus has never had a Formula One driver before, but there is one up-and-coming driver from Larnaca that could change all that in the next few years, a twenty-one year old named Eftihios Ellinas, Tio for short.
He made his open-wheel debut for the JTR team in the British Formula Ford series back in 2010, doing very well and winning three times on his way to a respectable fourth place in the championship standings. He also finished a total of 8 times on the podium in the 25 races that made up the season. He also competed in the Formula Ford Festival that year, finishing third with two race wins.
He progressed into the Formula Renault UK series with the Atech Reid GP team for 2011. Two wins & 15 podiums saw him finish a fantastic third in the standings, only losing out to two British drivers in Alex Lynn and Oliver Rowland.
He impressed so much that 2012 saw him reach the GP3 series with the Marussia Manor Racing team, alongside teammates Dmitry Suranovich & Fabiano Machado. Whereas the Russian & Brazilian failed to score a single point between them all season, Ellinas scored 97 of them, winning the final race of the season at Monza, a race where he dominated, a result that denied German driver Daniel Abt the championship. One other podium finish saw the Cypriot finish a respectable 8th in the championship.
He remains with the Marussia Manor Racing team in the series for 2013, and has already won a race, the season opener in Spain, and finished fourth in the reverse-grid second race. He currently leads the championship standings ahead of Swiss driver Patric Niederhauser and Finn Aaro Vainio.
From what has been seen of Tio Ellinas, he has won races in every season he’s competed in and in every car he’s driven in, he should be regarded highly. He is under the wings of the Marussia F1 team and will be testing for them in the 2013 Young Drivers test as a reward for his efforts in the 2012 GP3 series. He has a lot of talent behind the wheel of a racing car, and should be in GP2 next season, and possibly F1 not long after that. He must keep his momentum going & his confidence up, and then we should see Cyprus’ first ever Formula 1 driver.
Its up to you Tio.