Exciting Young F1 Drivers To Look Out For In 2020
Formula One teams are always on the lookout for their next generation options, and right now, the focus is on the class of 2020-2021. With the likes of Lewis Hamilton making the sport of motorcar racing even more enticing to young fans over the past few years, all desperate to follow in his footsteps, so the excitement amongst teams, sponsors and enthusiasts of the sport, has been building over who will emerge to try and steal his crown.
The future stars are the young drivers who are currently on the verge of being elevated to the top echelons of the sport, and who are already winning championships. Some of the brightest rising stars are;
Lando has been making a huge impact since 2017 when he won a total of 9 races alongside 8 pole positions on his way to winning the European F3 title in his rookie year. Lando is the current McLaren F2 reserve/test driver for 2018-19 and has more than lived up to the hype surrounding him over the years, which at just 18 years of age is no mean feat. His display of resilience and strong natural ability has helped him to rise quickly up the single-seater ladder. With the F1 belt already in his hand, he is definitely destined for a top place in the F1 drivers’ hierarchy in the near future.
He is currently with the team that he won the F3 with, and he will be racing this year against some of the finest F2 giants. He has been a fantastic driver in the last three seasons and will surely become a strong contender for 2020 F1 glory.
George Russell is another top young driver who has had a fantastic run since 2017. The 19-year-old Briton put in an impressive performance in the GP3 series, defeating fellow teammate, Jack Aitken, to the title by a cool 79 points, despite having a slow start to the 2018 season.
His GP3 performances earned him his first F1 test with Mercedes at the Hungaroring before the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. He impressed at the Brazil FP1 tournament where he set a record time driving a car he had never driven before. He has already graduated to F2 and in 2020 is surely going to be one of the youngest drivers to look out for.
This young Italian F1 driver is definitely one to watch out for in 2020. He spent most of 2018 on the F1 sidelines, but he remains the third Sauber driver. The young Italian made his debut in F1 when he stood in for Pascal Wehrlein who was injured and he performed well in the 2017 opening rounds. His impressive run to finish 12th in the Australian Grand Prix was followed by a crash in the Chinese, though he didn’t allow the minor setback to stop him in his tracks.
Since Antonio finished as runner-up to Pierre Gasly in the 2016 GP2 championship, he has not really contested for a full-time racing program. Despite the fact that he missed out on being a top driver for Sauber in 2019, the Ferrari CEO seems to have a soft spot for Antonio and has said he is determined to find a driving spot for him.
Nyck De Vries
Many pundits see Nyck as an outside bet but his prospect of becoming one of the youngest new F1 drivers in 2020, is high. He won the 2010 and 2011 Karting World Championships and in 2014 he also won the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps and Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championships. He was signed to the McLaren young driver programme from January 2010 until May 2019, and went into the 2018 F2 championship as one of the favourites, and didn’t disappoint.
In his first season in F2, he finished second behind Charles Leclerc but moved into Leclerc’s vacant seat later that year. If Vries can make a title charge in 2019 at F2 level, he will surely be one of the most promising potential Formula 1 drivers to watch out for in 2020’s intake.
Pietro Fittipaldi is a young, up-and-coming Brazilian racing driver. He is the brother of Enzo Fittipaldi and the grandson of two-time F1 champion, Emerson Fittipaldi. He is one of the hottest young drivers to watch out for in the year 2020. The 21-year-old has impressed with his Formula V8 3.5 title in 2018, where he won 6 races and secured 10 poles from a possible 18. He ended the year as the quickest LMP1 newcomer but will need to perform excellently at the F2 level if he hopes to keep Brazil’s hope alive in F1 in 2020.
His chances in 2020 may not be as bright as many on this list but he is definitely one of the youngsters to look out for in the future. Callum went into 2018 with the support of Ferrari, and before that, was the first Briton to be inducted into the Scuderia Young Driver Academy.
In 2018, he recorded 6 wins and 10 poles in the highly competitive European F3 championship. In the same year, he qualified to race in the difficult Macau series; the point at which his talent was spotted and nurtured by Ferrari who signed the 19-year-old straight into the Scuderia’s Academy.
There are a number of other youngsters that Formula 1 enthusiasts should watch out for, including Joel Ericsson who won 7 titles at F3 level and was promoted to the BMW DTM seat in 2018. The Swede has ventured into the German Touring championship, which is a clear route to Formula 1.
Mich Schumacher is another youngster to watch in 2020. He is contesting his second season in the European F3 championship. At the age of 18, he has won 10 races across several championships. But Mich will need an impressive showing in 2019 in order to move to the prestigious F1 stage.
With so much new talent emerging, 2020 is sure to be an exciting season in F1.