The Next British Formula One Driver.

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
As we are fastly approaching the highlight of the British Motorsport year with the meeting at Silverstone coming up, and as we seem to have a heavy splattering of British hopefuls in the single seater feeder series, I thought it might be a good idea to look at the current hopefuls and see who might have a chance of getting to the top. Whilst Britain is currently represented in by 3 of the best drivers in the world in Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and...ermmm...Max Chilton, its always interesting to see who might fly the flag in future years. With most of them racing at Silverstone this weekend as well it will give you chance to take a good luck. I'm sure our none Brit members will forgive the indulgence and maybe read with interest. I'll probably look at other nations in future.

So below are the current Brits trying to make it into the big money:

Name: Jolyon Palmer
Age: 23
Current Series: GP2
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

Palmer is the most visble of British hopefuls as he currently leads the GP2 series. Add that to the famous F1 dad and he gets plenty of media time. Palmer has been racing in GP2 ever since 2010 and appears to improve gradually each season. He's certainly been the class of the field so far.

Will he make it into F1?

With a dad who knows the insiders and with him currently sticking it too a lot of drivers with big reps its certainly looking likely. I think he'll be more Max Chilton than Lewis Hamilton though.


Name: Oliver Rowland
Age: 21
Series: WSR 3.5
Can I see him at Silverstone? Afraid not - WSR don't race in the UK

Oli Rowland is part of the British Future Steps foundation that funds young drivers and he's certainly proving his worth. He scored the Mclaren Autosport award in 2011 and came runner up in the Renault Eurocup 2.0 in 2013. He had the same amount of wins as the champ Pierre Gasly and would have took the title but for a drive thru for a collision with Gasly in the last race. Rowland and Gasly have both jumped up to the 3.5 series and are both in contention for the title with Rowland having a win to his name already. Rowland is quite a character and very quick but has a tendency to be impatient and make rash overtaking moves. Some of them come off spectacularly, whilst others result in collision.

Will he make it to F1?

IMO Rowland has everything a front end F1 driver needs and I certainly think given the car he could score results after a little more experience. Rowlands main problem I'm afraid is funding.


Name: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Age: 23
Series: GP2
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

As the double barrel name implys Quaife-Hobbs certainly has the funding to be in F1, whether he has the talent is another question. To be fair to him he did win Auto GP in 2012 and took a race win in GP2 in 2013 so he's not all bad. Not having a great year so far though.

Will he make it to F1?

He could be the next Max Chilton in waiting.


Name: Will Stevens
Age: 23
Series: WSR 3.5
Can I see him at Silverstone? No

Will is one of those drivers that sneaks up on you. He doesn't appear to have much of a junior career record but when you see him race you realise he has talent. He made a name for himself in 2013 by keeping pace with likes of Magnusen, Vandorne and Da Costa in the World Series and followed it up with a win in the first race of the 2014 WSR at Monza. His team have been pretty poor since but some steady results has kept him just about in it.

Will he make it into F1?

Will became part of the Caterham racing academy last year and the future looked bright. Sadly Caterham's current plight might end Steven's hopes of the big time.


Name: Alex Lynn
Age: 20
Series: GP3
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

This kid looks like the real deal. Formula Renault UK champion in 2011 he is now part of the Red Bull academy and looking lightening quick in GP3. He's scored 2 poles, 2 wins and 2 fastest laps in the 2 rounds so far. The only problem is that he has also scored 2 retirements in the reverse grid races. Alex looks lightning quick on a clear track but seems to be a magnet for accidents when in the pack. He'll need to sort that out.

Will he make it to F1?

Lynn is currently 3rd in line for the throne at Toro Rosso which is exactly where Dani Kvyat was this time last year. Unlike Kvyat though the guys in front of Lynn (Sainz Jr and Gasly) are getting results. F1 in 2015 looks unlikely but if he keeps getting results then Red Bull will put him in eventually.


Name: Dean Stoneman
Age: 23
Series: GP3
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

Dean has always shown great potential and in 2010 he won the Formula 2 championship and had a very impressive test for the Williams team. Unfortunately just weeks later he was diagnosed with cancer. Always a fighter Dean beat the disease and jumped back into single seater racing at the last race of the 2013 season in GP3. He instantly stuck it on the podium and is now back for a full year in 2014. Stoneman has already took a win this year and after a dissapointing round at Austria he'll be looking to smash it at Silverstone. This guy drives with his heart.

Will he make it into F1?

Without the cancer I would say he'd be there already. He certainly has the skill and if there is any justice(which there often isn't) in the world he will.

Name: Emil Bernstorff
Age: 21
Series: GP3
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

He may have a Danish name and be of German desent but Emil was born in Middlesex and races under a British flag. Has had an unremarkable junior career and I might have missed him off the list but for the fact that he's jumped in the Carlin GP3 car this season and pretty much kept pace with the highly rated Lynn. Some stonking overtaking at Austria even secured him a race win last time out.

Will he make it into F1?

Way way too early to tell but is scoring points off beating others with big reps so far.


Name: Dino Zamparelli
Age: 21
Series: GP3
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

He may sound italian but Dino is a Bristolian through and through and is currently being funded by a very rich man from his home town. If you type his name in Youtube you'll see a video of some awesome car control in a wet race in Formula 2 that went viral which is his career highlighg so far. Didn't have the best debut year in GP3 in 2013 and already has more points in the two rounds from 2014 than he did all that season.

Will he make it into F1?

He has the funds but needs to show the skills.


Name: Jann Mardenborough
Age: 20
Series: GP3
Can I see him at Silverstone? Yes

The first single seater racer I am aware of to come into the sport through gaming. He already has a 3rd to his name in the Le Mans 24 LMP2 catogry but single seater racing was a surprise choice for him. He look midfield in round 1 of GP3 but far more on the pace in round 2. He was beating his more experienced team mate and heading for a good finish in race 2 at Austria before throwing it off the road.

Will he make into F1?

He is part of the Red Bull drivers academy (although for some reason doesn't race in Red Bull colours) and is 4th in line but he'd really have to show a lot more.


Name: Jordan King
Age: 20
Series: European F3
Can I see him at Silverstone? Not this weekend.

King made a big impression in Euro F3 last year and this year was meant to be his title challenge. Its not worked out like that so far but don't rule him out just yet.

Will he make it into F1?

Jordan is the son of Justin King - The CEO of Sainsburys and the man touted to take over from Bernie. Employing the bosses son guarantees you a big cut of the FOM profits right?

There the drivers I've picked. Shout up if you think I've missed anyone off. Shout up if you have a view on any and if their futures are in F1.

Look out for them at Silverstone and let me know how you think they did.
 
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Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Jann Mardenborough drove a truly remarkable race at Le Mans. At one stage, by double stinting, he drove the equivalent of more than two Grands Prix race distances to lead the LMP2 class. Mardenborough was consistently the fastest and indeed, IMHO, the most consistent of the Oak Racing team drivers. His team-mates were Alex Brundle and Mark Shulzhitskiy. For a fair bit of the race they ran 5th overall as LMP1 cars pranged or had issues of their own. Later in the race the car suffered engine and brake problems leading to, or possibly a result of, at least one excursion (I forget the exact sequence of events. It was late. I was tired ...) for Brundle, I think it was.

Class finishes in third (2013) and fifth (2014) at Le Mans is no mean feat for a prototype driver and his team. Lest we forget, these days it is balls out racing for the whole 24 hours. The only times the drivers take it easy is when the safety cars are on track or they've got to nurse a sick car. So that, and finishing in the top ten overall, in his first two visits to Le Mans was pretty reasonable going for Mardenborough. It's early days for his single seater career but I've had my eye on this guy for a while and, personally, I see a lot of promise.
 
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RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Fenderman I have to admitt that I'd never heard of Mardenborough before GP3 this year but, looking back on his brief career, GP3 seems an odd choice has he's done very little single seater racing. In your opinion is he in it to go for the F1 seat or to gain experience before taking up Le Mans?

Fun fact - Jann Mardenborough's dad is the ex footballer Steve Mardenborough who apparently scored an important goal for Wolves against Liverpool in 1984.

Being part of the Red Bull academy means Mardenborough is bound to be compared to Lynn, which is a tough benchmark as Lynn has be on it like sonic so far this year.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Will Stevens. Got to be. With a bog standard name like Will, he'll go far!
:D
I mean Adrian Quaife - Hobbs, or Dino Zamparelli.... ??
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Indeed, RasputinLives , Mardenborough's career is somewhat fresh. Leaving aside a short career karting in Wales (his family ran out of money to keep that up) his entry into real life motor sport was via his winning the Nissan/Sony online Gran Turismo competition in 2011. Beating some 90,000 fellow gamers got him into the GT Academy and thus the drives in GT's and Le Mans. I can't remember where I read it but he is credited with proving a host of doubters wrong about the Nissan/Sony concept of finding decent racing drivers through online gaming. How often that success will be repeated is anybody's guess.

Meanwhile, I just found out that Mardenborough clocked 4th fastest time (48.05 sec's) up the hill at this years Goodwood Festival Speed in a Nismo Nissan GT-R. That was only half a second slower than this guy in McLaren F1 GTR:

http://grrc.goodwood.com/festival-of-speed/latest/video-kenny-brack-stuff-goodwood-hillclimb#/0

I know Brack is "old" but he ain't slow ... :D
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Does Grahame Chilton have any more kids? If there others after Max and Tom I think we need look no further for Britain's next F1 driver!

Sorry, not wanting to derail this thread but Max's on-going involvement in F1 with no discernible talent continues to irk me when there are so many other people waiting in the wings.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Tell me about it! (Oh ... oops ... you just did) I grit my teeth and bite my lip every time he crops up in commentary or punditry. I fear one day I'll end up in A&E with my lips wrapped in an ice-bag requiring surgery to re-attach ... :D
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
He seems quite happy spearheading Oak Racing Team's efforts in American and European Le Mans championships. Getting some good results too, by all accounts.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
Jann Mardenborough shows a dominant lights to flag victory today. His best result of the season by a long way. I think a lot more people will be taking notice of him now.
 
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