Yearly in motorsport there’s a heap of younger drivers becoming a member of the entry degree of single-seater racing, Components 4, with the hope of sooner or later fulfilling their dream of beginning an F1 Grand Prix. This 12 months has numerous fascinating prospects from around the globe that would, if they’re lucky sufficient, do precisely that. F1 Feeder Collection analyses the prime candidates.
By Alexander Studenkov
Earlier than we start with the six names chosen, it’s to be famous that this text isn’t a definitive prediction of who will attain Components One. Every driver develops at a special fee to a different; subsequently, it isn’t a given that each one drivers on this record will have the ability to obtain their massive aim. Neither does it that imply that drivers who simply missed the lower can not nonetheless attain F1 sooner or later. Components like funding and academy assist are essential to the development of a expertise and the totally different aspects of the trade can hinder drivers from making their mark.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli – 15, Prema Racing (Italian/ADAC F4)
Beginning off with essentially the most well-known driver inside the class, Kimi Antonelli has merited the eye via his domination of the Italian and German F4 collection this season. From the beginning of his feeder collection journey in 2021 it was evident that the person from Bologna, Italy, had an immense degree of talent and nice understanding of his equipment, which he has up to now used to win 17 races this 12 months, with him at present being on six victories in a row and counting in his home championship.
The expertise first scouted by Ferrari in 2017 is in his fifth 12 months of being a member of the Mercedes Junior Workforce, an academy, which has so far introduced every one in all their drivers, specifically Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon and the staff’s present driver George Russell as much as the primary recreation, which can give Antonelli hope for his profession’s future.
Alex Dunne – 16, US Racing (Italian F4); Hitech GP (British F4)
Alex Dunne is a reputation that has solely not too long ago shot to prominence via his British F4 performances, though individuals who had been extra attentive would have stored a watch on him from the beginning of his F4 debut. After scoring a maiden pole because the lone automotive of Pinnacle Motorsport on the opening spherical of the Spanish F4 collection, the Irishman switched to the German Championship mid-season, the place he would rating two podiums and a pair of pole positions.
This season has proved to be his breakthrough, as after two wins in F4 UAE he would take a heap of podiums in Italy while having to cope with rivals Prema being far forward of all different groups. His largest asset has been his level-headedness, which he has used to perfection in British F4, profitable virtually half of the races and main the standings by a snug margin going into the second a part of the season. Together with his father suggesting that Dunne would make the step to FIA Components 3 within the coming 12 months, the person from County Offaly has each likelihood to indicate himself off to the prying eyes of the F1 paddock.
Nikola Tsolov – 15, Campos Racing (Spanish F4)
Opposite to Dunne, Tsolov does to not make his title any extra identified to the large names of the trade, because the Bulgarian teen is a member of Alpine’s affiliated drivers. Added to that, he has a direct hyperlink to Alpine F1 driver and two-time Fernando Alonso via the Spaniards administration scheme A14 Administration, which has given Tsolov the possibility to seek the advice of with the two-time World Champion over his driving and the plans going ahead.
Talking of Tsolov’s driving, a really sturdy last 12 months in karting, ending fourth within the European Championship despite KR Motorsport’s dominance, has been adopted up by what can solely be described as an annihilation of the Spanish F4 grid. Two stalls from pole place price him victory on the opening spherical have been the one missed alternatives of a season by which the Bulgarian has taken 9 wins – from simply 12 races.
Rafael Câmara – 17, Prema Racing (Italian/ADAC F4)
Having develop into a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy on the finish of final 12 months, the Brazilian has been a driver at all times in rivalry for podiums and wins, even when ranging from the again of the grid. Câmara has proven to own a fantastic degree of velocity and has the aptness to progress up the sphere in a brief period of time.
Being a rookie, Câmara has been on it since his debut within the UAE, the place he took the runner-up spot within the championship regardless of lacking the opening spherical on account of Covid, and he now solely sits behind Antonelli within the Italian and German F4 Championships. His outcomes are spectacular, however him being crushed convincingly by his Italian rival makes it tough to completely assess his talent going ahead.
Ugo Ugochukwu – 15, Carlin (British F4)
The one member of the McLaren Younger Driver Programme, Ugochukwu participated in a packed testing programme throughout the winter in preparation for his debut within the British F4 Championship with Carlin, which might come on the day of his 15th birthday. A maiden pole place made the celebrations even sweeter, and the American with Nigerian roots has picked up six podiums up to now this season, which embody a win on the Manufacturers Hatch Indy Circuit.
The 2020 European Junior Karting Champion has been notably spectacular throughout qualifying regardless of solely choosing up that sole pole, though his racecraft must be honed if he’s to realize the heights of Components One.
Hugh Barter – 16, Campos Racing (Spanish F4); French F4
Barter is a driver already seasoned by the requirements of this record, as he took second place within the frantic three-way duel for the French F4 crown final season. Having thought-about a transfer to FRECA for 2022, the Japanese-born Aussie returned to France in hopes of profitable the championship. This has, up to now, been a merited determination, as Barter has constructed up a niche of 67 factors after simply three rounds, along with his commanding performances within the function races stealing the highlight away from the remainder of the grid.
He’s additionally racing with Campos within the Spanish F4 collection, though this has posed him extra of a problem: while Barter is entangled in a combat for second place general, his rookie teammate Tsolov has created a just about insurmountable hole to the Australian, which might play down his accomplishments in France. Nevertheless, with no scarcity of monetary backing, will probably be simpler for him to progress via the totally different classes on the ladder, opening alternatives for Barter that others wouldn’t have.
Header photograph credit score: Prema Racing
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