The Crimson Bull junior driver conveyor belt has produced some wonderful expertise down the years, with Sebastian Vettel the unique star pupil of Dr. Helmut Marko.
After Vettel alongside got here Daniel Ricciardo, then Max Verstappen was the shiny new factor, with Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsuonda (each AlphaTauri) and Alex Albon (on mortgage to Williams) the most recent graduates presently in F1.
Nonetheless, the properly into which Crimson Bull can dip to search out the following within the line has began to run a little bit dry, with the staff opting to buy an outsider in late 2020 by signing Sergio Perez instead of the under par Albon.
The senior staff is not going to re-promote Gasly after his poor half-season in 2019, and who consequently finds himself in one thing of a holding sample, ready for the playing cards to fall someplace close to the Faenza exit door.
There are doubts too about Tsuonda and his consistency, though he has improved in 2022 in comparison with a peaky debut marketing campaign final yr.
However after Tsunonda, there isn’t a single, standout candidate to be the following Crimson Bull junior F1 driver – only a posse of excellent drivers combating for that likelihood.
That place was stuffed by Estonian Juri Vips – who took over Perez’s automobile in first follow in Spain – however his feedback on a web-based stream ended that concept.
Subsequently, there’s a gap to be the following Crimson Bull junior to graduate into F1 – however who’re the principle contenders for it from F2 and F3?
The subsequent Crimson Bull junior in line
The principle contender who has slipped into Vips’ footwear is present F2 and take a look at and reserve driver Liam Lawson.
Hailing from New Zealand, Lawson has taken an unconventional route up by way of the ranks, together with a stint in F2, and the DTM in 2021 – the place he completed a controversial second within the standings.
Main the championship by a wholesome 19 factors going within the ultimate race, rival Kevin van der Linde appeared to overlook that racing vehicles have brakes at Flip 1, ploughing into Lawson’s machine, which suffered substantial harm.
He was pipped by simply three factors as Lucas Auer benefitted from some Mercedes staff orders to grab the title on the final.
After that disappointment, Lawson switched from Hitech to Carlin in F2 and has had a extra constant second season, that includes Dash Race wins in Saudi Arabia and France to go along with a clutch of different podiums.
Nonetheless, the 20-year-old is barely eighth within the standings after the Hungary weekend in what just isn’t the strongest subject F2 has produced in comparison with latest years.
What’s a certainty although, is that Lawson would be the subsequent Crimson Bull junior to drive an F1 automobile.
AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has confirmed that he shall be within the AT03 throughout first follow for the Belgian Grand Prix – fulfilling one of many slots the staff has at hand over to a rookie driver.
© Getty Pictures/Crimson Bull Contentpool
The Indian, Norwegian and Japanese in competition
Within the present F2 standings, the best positioned Crimson Bull junior is Jehan Daruvala, a 23-year-old born in Mumbai.
He’s fifth after a constant, if not spectacular marketing campaign so far – with 5 second locations and a 3rd thrown in.
Regardless of main the best way for Crimson Bull juniors exterior F1, it’s unlikely Daruvala’s identify shall be added to the solid that includes the likes of Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo.
He’s now into his third yr of F2, a class the place these destined for F1 spend a most of two seasons – however within the case of George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc, just one was wanted.
Regardless of testing privately for McLaren, a profession in tin-tops and sportscars appears to be the route he’ll go down as soon as his F2 journey involves an finish.
Dennis Hauger (pictured under) is the reigning FIA F3 champion – successful a title all the time being a superb tick within the e-book of Dr Marko.
Nonetheless solely 19, Oslo native Hauger has been one thing of a second season specialist throughout his time on the F1 assist invoice.
A debut F3 marketing campaign in 2020 with the under-performing Hitech squad banked just one podium, earlier than a swap to junior powerhouse Prema for ’21.
The title was delivered with 4 wins, together with his settling into F2 additionally bringing a few victories, however plenty of inconsistency. He is scored factors solely as soon as (fourth within the Austrian Characteristic Race) since claiming the Characteristic victory in Azerbaijan.
The most recent Japanese export to Europe in motorsport is Ayumo Iwasa – who has an enormous repute to comply with seeing as Tsuonda was the final.
Iwasa stepped as much as F2 after becoming a member of the Crimson Bull books in 2021 and a stable season in F3, once more with Hitech.
The 2020 French F4 champion has hauled 4 F2 podiums this yr, together with a maiden win within the France Characteristic Race and banked pole place for it in Hungary.
Iwasa is fast, however seemingly a little bit too tough across the edges to be thought of in the mean time for a Crimson Bull-backed F1 drive. One other season in F2 in 2023 would show helpful.
© Getty Pictures/Crimson Bull Contentpool
The left-field Crimson Bull F1 junior choice
Regardless of all the recognition F1 has in the USA in the mean time, the one factor it doesn’t have is an American driver.
Not since Alexander Rossi in a dreadfully sluggish Manor in 2015 has an American raced in F1, with Scott Pace again in 2006 the final time one took on a full marketing campaign – to begin with anyway.
Having an American driver would do wonders for the championship, however it must be the proper one, in the proper automobile.
Pretty much as good a driver Logan Sergeant is, American followers is not going to prefer to see their driver trundling round combating for the odd level if he will get the Williams drive – or if Colton Herta ever makes it to F1, in a midfield, peaky McLaren.
Crimson Bull can provide their American-backed driver a extremely aggressive seat – in the event that they determine to dispense with Perez, or certainly, Verstappen (nevertheless unlikely that could be).
Jak Crawford hails from NASCAR nation in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the 17-year-old gaining Crimson Bull backing in early 2020.
Once more switching from Hitech to Prema for his second F3 season, Crawford picked up a maiden win on the Crimson Bull Ring (of all locations) earlier this yr.
Of all of the Crimson Bull juniors on the verge of F1, Crawford is definitely probably the most attention-grabbing and left-field candidate, primarily due to his nationality and the publicity rewards it might current Crimson Bull if he makes it to F1.
That will not be for some time but although, with a yr or two of F2 wanted as solely Danill Kvyat has made the bounce straight from what was then GP3 to F1 in 2013/14, with Crimson Bull, in fact…
© Van Amersfoort Racing
Dr Marko’s favorite for an F1 drive
After which we have now Isack Hadjar – a 17-year-old French driver who Marko already believes is destined for F1.
Nonetheless in his first yr of Crimson Bull backing, Hadjar is presently main the F3 standings with three wins, together with on sequence debut within the Bahrain Dash. He’s 24 factors away from Crawford within the standings – the American in fourth.
Given his type, Hadjar’s promotion to F2 for 2023 is sort of assured for the Hitech driver.
Marko has additionally mentioned the chance that if Hadjar does properly in F2 subsequent season, his promotion to F1 might come as quickly as 2024, with the AlphaTauri squad.
If that had been to occur, Gasly would have both lastly discovered the exit door or Marko would have determined that three years was sufficient for Tsuonda and that he wasn’t ok, which means it is time to attempt the following driver.