In recent years, Formula 1 has recorded a record number of graduates from youth series. This year came George Russell (21), Alexander Elbon (23), Lando Norris (19 years), against whom Daniil Kvyat (25), Anthony Giovinazzi (25) and Carlos Sainz (24) already look "grandfathers". And Max Verstappen (21) with Pierre Gasley (22) and Lance Stroll (20) are not really perceived as “young” due to their experience of participating in Formula 1.
The fact that contracts with young people became a trend became clear a few years ago – especially in the "recruitment" season of Quat and Sainz, which was then confirmed year after year. And if in the past, at the beginning of the Royal Formula 1 races, over 40-year-old drivers came to the race, now those who are suitable for their sons by age are starting. The youngest in Formula 1 was Max Verstappen, who appeared for Toro Rosso in 2015 at the age of 17. Lance Stroll didn't give in much: at 18, he was a fighter pilot with Williams. Lando Norris is now 19th. Teams that are clearly lacking in fresh strength and strong pilots who can fight for the title are in a hurry to stand up for those who have high expectations. That's almost all The only exceptions were Mercedes, Renault and Haas.
The racing season begins with the weekend in Bahrain and in Formula 2 there are “personnel forges” for Formula 1 or, as it is called in English, “feeder” nurses. However, even before the start, a name had not left the front pages of publications that wrote about motorsport for several weeks. Mick Schumacher.
More recently there has been information that he will take tests for beginners for the Alfa Romeo team, and Tuesday it was reported that he would also drive Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari SF90 on April 2.
This is wonderful in itself and we hope Mick will become a worthy heir to his father, but the hype around his name creates quite complicated feelings.
First, as you can see, the last time he pulled himself into Formula 1 with all his strength, although Mick isn't ready yet. Yes, he is already 20 years old, but he hasn't even made any more or less serious appearances. He just left European Formula 3 last year. Yes, the champion, but the FIA F3 European Championship was a complete junior series. The next step was usually followed by the GP3, then, with a bit of luck, Formula 2 and then, with a bit of luck, Formula 1. But Mick won three presents after winning last season. On the one hand the Ferrari Academy, which incidentally was completed by Charles Lecler and in which our Robert Schwartzman is studying, and on the other hand a place in the top Formula 2 Prema team after taking the traditional step in the form of Formula 3 (formerly GP3) and, thirdly, the "beginner tests" in Formula 1.
Mick Schumacher has been playing for Prema since 2016; Then he finished second in the individual competition in both ADAC Formula 4 and Italian Formula 4 and took the wheel in 2017 in the FIA F3 European Championship. And then something went wrong. Rather, it is clear that: the competition was not comparable to the small town championships of Formula 4 – everyone was here, whose sponsors and managers saw the future in Formula 1. To understand this, it is enough to list the names of some pilots: Lando Norris, Maximilian Gunther, Guanyu Joe, Tadasuke Makino, Nikita Mazepin and others. In 2017, rookie Lando Norris won (Carlin), but Mick Schumacher only climbed the bronze podium once and was 12th and third in the overall ranking of newcomers at the end of the year.
In 2018, in the middle of the season, Mick suddenly started riding. In the first five stages, the young German shows exactly the same results as in the previous season, but wins for the first time in the third race of the fifth stage in the spa. And then a miracle. From Silverstone, Mick wins one win, another climbs onto the podium! On the home track at the Nürburgring, he is usually the best in the three races. As a result, he scored points in the second half of the season that were sufficient to become leaders. What happened: did the guy come in or did the mechanics finally find the settings? Now it doesn't matter. Another thing is important: Another pilot from the Prema team, Robert Schwartzman, a newcomer to the Ferrari Academy and an absolute newcomer to European Formula 3 who played for the same team as Mick and bronze in the overall series in the same series and gold in the first season won rankings for beginners.
However, Robert is now following the traditional path: this year he is going into Formula 3 (formerly GP3) and is gaining experience there. He is highly praised at the Ferrari Academy, so his future can be very promising.
But back to Mick Schumacher. The pace at which it rises should theoretically tense everyone who stands for Ferrari or Alfa Romeo. At the beginning, fear for his pilot seat, Antonio Giovinazzi. Because with bad results, he is the first candidate for the flight. Mika has to make herself comfortable somewhere, and Raikkonen is an excellent candidate for the role of teacher.
Well, if Mick Schumacher is just as good and Sebastian Vettel is just as bad, then it is time for him to worry. He may have a chance to end his career at Ferrari.
Several drivers from the junior series will take part in the tests of beginners on the Sahir circuit after the opening race of Formula 2. In addition to Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi is also being tested for the Williams team, who plays for the DAMS team in F2. Then another Ferrari Academy student and Prema driver Callum Aylot will drive an Alfa Romeo in Barcelona. Participation in the tests is no guarantee, but is at least an “examination card”. There will be others.
Formula 2 car season 2019
What about Formula 2 and its future stars? After all, not only Mick Schumacher is ready to compete in 2020 with not too successful pilots of the senior series. So what should the existing Formula 1 drivers fear? Let's talk about the most promising.
Nobuharu Matsushita, Carlin. The name of this pilot has already appeared in connection with Formula 1. At the end of the 2017 season, which was so unfortunate for Daniel Quata, after the signing of the contract between Toro Rosso and Honda, Matsushita was one of the possible candidates for the team. But then he didn't have enough points for a super license and at the end of the 2018 season they didn't even remember him. Dr. Marco has found better options. Matsushite is already 25 years old and apparently he just "took advantage" of his chance.
Louis Deletraz (21). The Swiss already tested Formula 1 in the post-season tire tests in Abu Dhabi in 2018 while driving the Haas F1. Louis Deletraz, the son of F1 driver Jean-Denis Deletraz, was a member of the Renault Sport Academy program and spent the 2017-2018 season in Formula 2. Unfortunately, he didn't shine in both seasons, but he was far from the best team away. Louis is not even 22 years old – maybe he is proving himself, especially since he signed a contract with Carlin, one of the best F2 teams, this year. In the pre-season tests in Barcelona, Deletraz showed a third time.
Prema will be Miku Schumacher from Indonesian Sean Gelael (22). And you've probably heard that name too, because he was on the track four times on Friday with the Toro Rosso team last Friday. This is Gelael's third season in Formula 2, and his results left much to be desired. However, it is never known what Dr. Helmut Marko guides his choice. Gelael's undisputed advantage for many teams may be the fact that his father owns the KFC franchise in Indonesia.
Nick de Vries (24). Another team that is ready to join the fight for prices in Formula 2 is the Art Grand Prix. In the 2019 season, she will be represented by Nikita Mazepin and Nick de Vries. De Vries was on the list of applicants for a co-pilot on the Williams team at the end of last year. The Dutchman has the backing of a large supermarket chain, but Williams preferred millions and the right image of Robert Kubica. This year Nick de Vries consistently showed the best track time in Catalonia in four out of six test days before the season.
Nick de Vries
Nikita Mazepin. Nikita is one of the youngest drivers in Formula 2, he's only 20 years old, but from 2016 to 2018 he was a test pilot for the Force India team. Nikita has been active in car racing for a long time, but not everything has always developed to the desired level. Last season, the quality of the crowd finally improved: he won four wins and became runner-up in the GP3 series when he played for the Art Grand Prix team. At tests in Barcelona, he consistently drove into the top 5 drivers, but the support from Uralchem also gives hope that we'll see Nikita in Formula 1.
His 20-year-old Sergio Sette Camara will contest his second Formula 2 season this year. In 2018 he played for the Carlin team with Lando Norris and ended the sixth season. That year he signed a contract with the DAMS team. I have to say that Camara was a member of the Red Bull Junior program in 2016 and even ran tests at Silverstone at the wheel of the STR11, but after one season he was excluded from the program. According to him, he feared the most that the road to Formula 1 would now be blocked. At the end of 2018, however, he was invited to McLaren, where he now acts as a test and development pilot. Gilles de Ferrand, Mclaren's sports director, even said he admires the talent of the young athlete. Who knows, it is quite possible that after a while we will see Sette-Camara driving a McLaren fight.
Sergio Sette Camara
23-year-old Canadian Nicholas Latifi is perhaps one of the most experienced drivers in Formula 2. In 2016 and 2017, he worked as a test pilot for the Renault team, then signed a contract with Force India and continued his experience with them in 2018 continued. Like most young pilots, behind him is "heavy artillery" in the form of a very wealthy businessman who has invested 200 million euros in the Mclaren group. It was believed that this transaction was not just a case and had some implications for the future young pilot, but Zac Brown said there were no discussions at all on the subject, and Latifi Jr. signed a reserve pilot contract for the 2019 season with the Williams team. After that, he will not only take part in six Friday trainings, but also work on tire tests and other events. Formula 2 is almost his fifth season in the series (he started in the GP2 after passing two races in 2014, eight races in 2015 and has been in the full program since 2016. His best result was fifth place in the series The Results of the 2017 season suggest that the likelihood of staying behind the wheel in a Formula 1 race is not that great.
Guanyu Zhou (19). One of the former Ferrari Academy students who has spoken in European Formula 3 for the past two seasons, along with Mick Schumacher for the Prema team. This year he switched to the Renault Sport Academy program and signed a development pilot contract with the Chinese team DS Techeetah in the Formula E series. This year Formula 2 Guanyu is a novice, but in the pre-season tests, his best result was the sixth, which is a great result for a novice.
Luca Gyotto. The 24-year-old Italian traveled long before entering Formula 2. Formula Abarth, Formula Renault 2.0, Eurocup, Formula Renault, Formula Renault 3.5, GP3 and landed in 2016 in Formula 2, with which he appeared in 2017 Artyom Markelov for the Russian time team. I have to say that Luke didn't have enough stars from the sky, he could become a champion – in the local Pau Formula Renault 2.0 Trophy series he was runner-up in GP3 and in F2 he finished fourth according to the season result. In 2017, he only took part in tests for the Williams team in Formula 1. So yes, he is hardly a candidate for the pilot seat in the Royal Race.
Jack Aitken (23). The second year of the Formula 2 series, a Briton of Korean descent, makes ambitious plans for Formula 1. In 2016, he signed a contract for the Renault F1 youth program in the GP3 series and continued the following year – albeit last year – driving this Formula 1 seasons. At the beginning of last year, he played for the Art Grand Prix team in the Formula 2 series and extended the contract for the current season as a third pilot and development pilot for the Renault team.
Tatyana Calderon (26). There weren't that many Formula 1 test drivers among women – counting enough fingers on both hands. The last one was Carmen Chorda, but in 2017 Sauber invited the Colombian Tatyana Calderon to her team – first as a development pilot and then as a test pilot the following season. At that time Tatyana appeared in the GP3 series and will make her debut in Formula 2 for the BWT Arden team in 2019. Alfa Romeo Racing, which took the Sauber position this year, took over Tatyana Calderon "by inheritance" and extended the test pilot contract with her. In the pre-season tests in Barcelona, Tatyana showed the 15th result.
Giuliano Alesi. The 19-year-old Frenchman, representative of the racing dynasty and son of the famous Jean Alesi, will start in Formula 2 for the first time this year before completing three seasons in the GP3 series. His best result was the fifth in 2017, but the young Frenchman is still ahead. In tests, Alesi showed a good eighth result and only lost 0.8 seconds to Nick de Vries' best test time. Giuliano is a Ferrari Academy student who speaks of certain prospects for a racing career, and a race name should serve him as a good ticket.
Callum Ailott has never been involved in Formula 1 in his 20 years – and will only take part in tests for the Alfa Romeo team in Barcelona. He has completed the season in the Red Bull youth program, from where he was then expelled due to a lack of prospects. And in 2017 he was suddenly invited to the Ferrari Academy. Last season Callum played in the GP3 for the Prema team and won a bronze medal at the end of the season. In Formula 2, he represents the Sauber Junior Team this year. Ailott failed to make the top 10 in pre-season testing, but as we know, testing doesn't always matter, and the "senselessness" in Red Bull's eyes often proves to be a quality feature.
The first Formula 2 race takes place on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. in Moscow on the Sahir race track, the second on Sunday at 2:15 p.m.
Formula 2 calendar 2019