Saturday, April 20, 2024

Top 5 young drivers fighting for an F1 seat

We at Paddock Magazine collected the top 5 most exciting young talents pushing for F1 seat in 2025.

Liam Lawson

The 22-year-old driver from New Zealand currently serves as a reserve driver for both Red Bull Racing and RB. Following Daniel Ricciardo’s injury at the Dutch GP in 2023, Lawson has 5 F1 races under his belt as he was designated as Ricciardo’s replacement.

It’s fair to say that Lawson has already proven himself and he didn’t deny the fact that he feels frustrated by having no timeline over his F1 return. However, there are some rumours circulating in the paddock that Daniel Ricciardo is under pressure at RB and he could be replaced by Liam Lawson if the Aussie driver doesn’t show improvements over the next couple of races.

Oliver Bearman

Bearman had a brilliant season as a rookie F2 driver last season, helping Prema to finish second in the team’s championship. Bearman is back at Prema in 2024, racing alongside Andrea Kimi Antonelli of the Mercedes program.

After Carlos Sainz had appendix surgery at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Friday, Ferrari reserve driver Bearman made his F1 debut in Jeddah. The 18-year-old impressed the whole paddock by finishing seventh and scoring points in his first ever F1 race.

Since Ferrari signed Hamilton for 2024, it’s quite unlikely that Bearman would wait for a Ferrari seat to open up. On the other hand, Berman could be a very valuable asset for other teams on the grid.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli

The 17-year-old Kimi is the youngest driver on our list, the Italian talent made his F2 debut this season. Kimi is considered as a special talent, he won several titles in lower categories and he is also part of the Mercedes Junior Programme.

The highly rated junior driver will test with Mercedes at Imola and Austria this year. As no testing is allowed with the current Formula 1 cars, Kimi will use the W13, Mercedes’ 2022 Formula 1 car. The German marque has yet to decide who will fill Lewis Hamilton’s seat and their young Italian talent is surely one of the contenders.

Theo Pourchaire

The Reigning Formula 2 champion, Theo Pourchaire currently competes in Japan after securing a seat in Super Formula. In addition to his Super Formula commitments, the Frenchman serves as reserve driver for Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber.

Pourchaire secured the 2023 Formula 2 title following an intense on track battle between himself and Prema’s Frederik Vesti. Despite his success in F2, Pourchaire missed out on an F1 seat for 2024, however, he mustn’t be overlooked by any Formula 1 teams.

Felipe Drugovich

Drugovich clinched the Formula 2 title in 2022 and joined Aston Martin’s driver academy just 2 days after he won the F2 championship. At the beginning of the 2023 season, he stepped in for the injured Lance Stroll during the pre-season testing, however he hasn’t participated in an actual F1 race yet.

As several drivers will be out of contract at the end of 2024, it could be a great chance for Felipe to try and find a permanent F1 spot.

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