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Young driver programmes by top F1 teams


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#1 noikeee

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 19:54

McLaren Young Drivers Programme

* Kevin Magnussen (20, Danish)
2013: WSR w/ DAMS - 6th year in cars
Career:
7th in WSR 2012 *rookie
2nd in British F3 2011
3rd in German F3 2010 *rookie
2nd in FR2.0 NEC 2009 *rookie
FFord Denmark champion 2008 *rookie

* Stoffel Vandoorne (20, Belgian)
2013: WSR w/ Fortec - 4th year in cars
Career:
FR2.0 Eurocup champion 2012
3rd in FR2.0 NEC 2011 *rookie
F4 Eurocup champion 2010 *rookie

* Nyck De Vries (18, Dutch)
2013: FR2.0 Eurocup w/ Koiranen Bros - 2nd year in cars
Career:
5th in FR2.0 Eurocup 2012 *rookie
10th in FR2.0 NEC 2012 *rookie



Red Bull Junior Team

* António Felix da Costa (21, Portuguese)
2013: WSR w/ Arden Caterham - 6th year in cars
Career:
3rd in GP3 2012
4th in WSR 2012 *rookie
F3 Macau GP winner 2012
3rd in FR2.0 Eurocup 2009
FR2.0 NEC champion 2009
2nd in FR2.0 NEC 2008 *rookie

* Daniil Kvyat (18, Russian)
2013: GP3 w/ MW Arden - 4th year in cars
Career:
2nd in FR2.0 Eurocup 2012
FR2.0 Alps champion 2012
2nd in FR2.0 NEC 2011 *rookie
3rd in FR2.0 Eurocup 2011 *rookie

* Carlos Sainz Jr. (18, Spanish)
2013: GP3 w/ MW Arden - 4th year in cars
Career:
6th in British F3 2012 *rookie
5th in European F3 2012 *rookie
FR2.0 NEC champion 2011
2nd in FR2.0 Eurocup 2011

* Tom Blomqvist (19, British)
2013: European F3 w/ Eurointernational - 5th year in cars
Career:
7th in European F3 2012
FR2.0 UK champion 2010
3rd in FR2.0 Sweden 2009 *rookie
3rd in FR2.0 NEZ 2009 *rookie



Ferrari Driver Academy

* Jules Bianchi (23, French)
2013: unannounced - 7th year in cars
Career:
2nd in WSR 2012
3rd in GP2 2011
2nd in GP2 Asia 2011
3rd in GP2 2010 *rookie
F3 Euroseries champion 2009
3rd in F3 Euroseries 2008 *rookie
F3 Masters GP winner 2008 *rookie
FR2.0 France champion 2007 *rookie

* Raffaele Marciello (18, Italian)
2013: European F3 w/ Prema Powerteam - 4th year in cars
Career:
2nd in European F3 2012
3rd in F3 Euroseries 2012
2nd in F3 Masters GP 2012
3rd in Italian F3 2011 *rookie
3rd in FAbarth Italy 2010 *rookie


Karting drivers have not been included in the list, stats were compiled from driverdb.com and Wikipedia, there may be mistakes.

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With the recent announcement McLaren have just snapped up Stoffel Vandoorne for their young drivers programme, I thought it was worth opening up a thread for discussing how the young driver development schemes have been expanding for the top F1 teams. I think we have quite an interesting fight on our hands, and of ever increasing importance.

We all know how successful McLaren and Red Bull have been with growing Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel all the way up to winning F1 championships with the main teams. Ferrari have not been traditionally as enthusiastic on this field, but one could still say they nearly grew their own champion in Felipe Massa as he did get close to one championship. For all the hype and the success of the mid-noughties growing these kids into world class grown men drivers, the enthusiasm has waned in recent years. The economy bubble burst, manufacturers have left F1 cutting short strong young driver schemes such as Renault's, BMW's and Toyota's, the most popular series in GP2 has become flooded with paydrivers as budgets have increased.

Having money does not necessarily mean you do not have talent, but when money becomes the biggest decider in promoting drivers, the best ones may be left behind. In this context top talents become scarce and these drivers turn out to be bigger performance differenciators. I believe this is why we're seeing McLaren hire more drivers than ever before and at higher levels (De Vries is like Hamilton brough up from karting, but Vandoorne and Magnussen were snapped up only as soon as they had impressed on more than 1 type of formula cars), likewise Red Bull moved to hire Felix da Costa much later than they usually do, whilst Ferrari seems to be investing more, even rumoured to pay a F1 seat for Bianchi.

Buying seats for these youngsters is extremely expensive and even the top F1 teams have finite money to pay their bills, so one must assume they expect to find genuine performance differentiators in this lot. Indeed so far most of these drivers seem the cream of the crop in their age ranges. Not all will make it but there are some very exciting promises in here, and some big battles are emerging in junior series for next year. WSR looks brilliant with a serious Red Bull vs McLaren rivalry ahead between Felix da Costa and the Mac duo of Vandoorne and Magnussen. Kvyat and Sainz Jr meet again in GP3 as a potential audition for a future Toro Rosso seat in a couple of years. Blomqvist vs Marciello does not sound as interesting but still kind of is Red Bull vs Ferrari.

As fans we all want to see the F1 teams doing this of course, but objectively, is this well spent money? I think McLaren and Red Bull's choices are justified and smart but Ferrari still seems a step blow - stuck with a small lineup and having perhaps to invest too much money in Bianchi. Do they need to grow drivers anyway, as everyone wants to drive for Ferrari? And what of midfielders like Williams and Sauber investing in Bottas and Frijns for example, is that value for money since as soon they impress in F1 they'll move to better teams?

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#2 GiuseppeF1

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 20:34

You missed the newly formed LOTUS F1 JUNIOR TEAM :)

Posted Image

http://www.formula1....13/2/14271.html

The 2013 drivers selected are:

Marco Sorensen, 22, Denmark
(Formula Renault 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team)

Marlon Stockinger, 21, Philippines
(Formula Renault 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team)

Alex Fontana, 20, Switzerland
(GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport)

Oscar Tunjo,17, Colombia
(Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with Kaufmann Racing)

Esteban Ocon, 16, France
(Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with ART Junior Team)

Alexander Albon, 16, Thailand
(Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 - team TBA)

Dorian Boccolacci, 14, France
(Go Kart International KF category with Energy Corse)

Edited by GiuseppeF1, 19 February 2013 - 20:35.


#3 Brandz07

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 20:56

Such a shame that Stanaway isn't on that list.

#4 billm99uk

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:33

Such a shame that Stanaway isn't on that list.


I thought he was doing Euro F3 this year? Would being in a junior team make that much difference?

#5 noikeee

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:08

You missed the newly formed LOTUS F1 JUNIOR TEAM :)

Posted Image

http://www.formula1....13/2/14271.html

The 2013 drivers selected are:

Marco Sorensen, 22, Denmark
(Formula Renault 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team)

Marlon Stockinger, 21, Philippines
(Formula Renault 3.5 with Lotus World Series Team)

Alex Fontana, 20, Switzerland
(GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport)

Oscar Tunjo,17, Colombia
(Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with Kaufmann Racing)

Esteban Ocon, 16, France
(Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with ART Junior Team)

Alexander Albon, 16, Thailand
(Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 - team TBA)

Dorian Boccolacci, 14, France
(Go Kart International KF category with Energy Corse)


Thanks. I don't think Lotus' lineup looks anywhere near as impressive although I have not heard of any of those FR2.0 kids yet. I think Stockinger for example is there for his nationality.

Although the OP ended up taking a bit too much effort for what I wanted, the point of this thread wasn't as much to list these drivers, but rather to discuss how the teams are positioning themselves in this field. I think it's quite striking how much stronger McLaren now suddenly are at the moment, I don't think 3 or 4 years ago they had ANY young driver!

I think the timing to invest in this is clever, if the feeder series is flooded with paydrivers you really really want to have the rare few gems.

#6 William Hunt

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 15:31

Daniel Juncadella is rumoured to become 3rd driver for Mercedes in combination with a DTM seat.

#7 Brandz07

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 19:31

I thought he was doing Euro F3 this year? Would being in a junior team make that much difference?


I believe he is yes. No, not really as he's still with Gravity and they'll give him the support that Lotus would of.

It was a shame that his accident happened; he undoubtedly would of been strong last year if it hadn't of happened.

Edited by Brandz07, 20 February 2013 - 19:33.


#8 encircled

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 19:47

Thanks. I don't think Lotus' lineup looks anywhere near as impressive although I have not heard of any of those FR2.0 kids yet. I think Stockinger for example is there for his nationality.

Although the OP ended up taking a bit too much effort for what I wanted, the point of this thread wasn't as much to list these drivers, but rather to discuss how the teams are positioning themselves in this field. I think it's quite striking how much stronger McLaren now suddenly are at the moment, I don't think 3 or 4 years ago they had ANY young driver!

I think the timing to invest in this is clever, if the feeder series is flooded with paydrivers you really really want to have the rare few gems.

I don't know about Stockinger being there for his nationality. Motorsport isn't that big in the Philippines, it is more of a basketball and boxing country more than anything else, you'll find basketball courts just about everywhere, even on the public road itself. He is rarely featured in local television news here, although he did get some decent exposure when he won the GP3 Monaco sprint race (one local news show even mentioned that he won the F1 race Posted Image). But anyway, I'm happy, it is a step for Philippine motorsport history, and it only gets harder from here on out.