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F1: Young stars on the rise

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Jonny Edgar.
  • As anticipation for F1 2023 grows, so does interest in the series below, which features a stacked lineup of young talent
  • Only a tiny percentage of the young talent make it to the point of calling themselves a Formula 1 driver
  • Here are six young drivers we recommend keeping a close eye on

As anticipation for F1 2023 grows, so does interest in the series below, which features a stacked lineup of young talent.

Only a tiny percentage of the young drivers who start on the daunting and extremely expensive ladder to Formula 1 make it to the point of calling themselves a Formula 1 driver.

Here are six young drivers we recommend keeping a close eye on.

Jack Doohan

Jack Doohan

Jack Doohan raced for Redbull before returning with the Alpine for 2023.|PHOTO: F1|

After a Formula 2 season in which the Australian found good fortune lacking, he returns in 2023 with Alpine sending their protégé out to win the championship.

Doohan demonstrated his abilities by winning three races in 2022, and he will be optimistic about his chances in a very competitive 2023 grid.

While a spot at Alpine in 2024 is unlikely, Oscar Piastri discovered that an opening would arise somewhere else on the grid. However, if past tensions between Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly resurface, Alpine may call for Doohan.

Oliver Bearman

Bearman, 16, graduates to Formula 2 in 2023 after an awe-inspiring rookie season in F3.

Although he did not win the championship in his first year, as a specific Ferrari driver named Charles Leclerc once did, his trio of P2s and four P3s, combined with a single victory at Spa, helped him finish third overall.

The Brit’s consistent point scoring was impressive, and he will look to continue that trend in F2 as a member of the Prema lineup alongside Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti.

Bearman has a good chance of winning the title in Formula One’s highest junior series, and if he does, his name could be considered for a potential F1 2024 seat.

Zane Maloney

The competition is fierce, and Maloney will look to provide one of 2022’s surprise packages now that he is a newly-minted member of the Red Bull Junior Team.

Competing without any F1 team affiliation, the Barbadian racer shone at Trident, finishing runner-up to eventual champion Victor Martins, only five points back, as he won three of his final six races of the 2022 F3 season.

Maloney will look to continue his career explosion by graduating to Formula 1, with an entire season in F2 likely to be his next step on that path, having received his first experience of F2 at the final 2022 round in Abu Dhabi and now backed by Red Bull.

Arthur Leclerc

Arthur Leclerc.

Arthur Leclerc is Charles’ younger brother. ||PHOTO: F1|

This is Charles Leclerc’s younger sibling. Arthur has not had the same rapid rise through the junior categories as his older brother. Still, he did show his talent in 2022 by winning the Formula Regional Asian Championship and a win in F3.

Arthur now graduates to Formula 2 with DAMS for 2023, and he needs to make an immediate impact if he wants to be considered for any potential F1 openings, possibly with one of Ferrari’s customer teams, Alfa Romeo or Haas.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Andrea Kimi Antonelli.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli. |PHOTO: F1|

Antonelli, 16, dominated his rookie Italian F4 season, winning 13 of 20 races and claiming 14 pole positions.

He also won the ADAC Formula 4 championship with nine wins from 15 races, finishing outside the top two only three times. He also dominated the 2022 FIA Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup and finished on the podium in all four F4 UAE Championship first-round appearances, including two wins.

In 2023, the Italian racer will transition to Formula Regional competition, hoping to maintain his dominant form.

Jonny Edgar

Edgar had a challenging year after he was forced to take a break from racing after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

But the British racer fought back and kept his Red Bull Junior Team support as he delivered much improved performances in the final six races of the 2022 F3 season with Trident, finishing no lower than P9.

Remaining in F3 with MP Motorsport for 2023 and still only 19 when the season begins, it will be interesting to see what Edgar is capable of now that his health is in much better shape.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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