Who's the next Brit in F1?

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Currently British F1 is looking pretty healthy driver wise. We have 2 World Champions and one strong midfield runner who is being reccomended for big things but by jingo we're fed up with those pesky Germans flooding the field with their drivers, all efficent and polite, and we want more British steel on the grid thank you very much. Below I've listed some of the top contenders for you to look through but what do you think of them and who do you think will be the next British born to sit in a race seat on the F1 grid?

Sam Bird:
The 25 year old from Roehampton has been very prominent in the pitlane this year due to his Mercedes backing. In Fact Merc deliberately moved him from the GP2 series to the 3.5 World Series this season in order that he could spend more time working with them on GP weekends which is exceptionally promising for them pushing into a drive somewhere in F1 if not taking him on themselves. Although he comes highly rated if you look back through, whilst always scoring polls and wins, he’s won very little 5th in GP2 2010, 6th in GP2 in 2011 and 3rd in the 3.5 series in 2012 doesn’t exactly look like contender material. In danger of becoming Gary Parffet.

Max Chilton:
Before this season started you probably wouldn’t have got many people tipping Max as the next British driver in F1. With a combined total of 7 points in 2 season of GP2 and only 1 win in his stint in British Formula 3 he wasn’t really on anyone’s radar however that all changed with a decent GP2 season this year. 2 wins, 2 poles, 4 podiums and placing 4th in the championship at the age of 21 suddenly makes him look a prospect and not only that a prospect with backing. Chilton has always had money behind him and its already bought him experience in F1 having driven for Force India in the young drivers test and now stepping up to be Marussia’s test driver. Rumours have already started circulating that he might take Charles Pic’s place for next season.

James Caledo:
From the Eric Boullier stable of drivers Caledo has promised much right from the start. At 23 he has finished as runner up in Formula 3 in 2010 (behind Jean-Eric Vergne) and runner up in GP3 in 2011 (behind Bottas) before entering GP2 this year. Before this season started it was thought that a bad F1 season by Grosjean and a decent GP2 season by Caledo could see Boullier bump him into the Lotus seat however its not turned out like that. Grosjean has done a decent job and however dangerous he has looked in F1 its nothing compared to some of the moves Caledo has pulled off in GP2. Having said that 7 podiums and 2 wins in your first GP2 season doesn’t look too bad a record although he was beaten by his team-mate Gutierrez. Got the feeling due to the Boullier connection he’ll get a seat eventually but maybe after another couple of years in the lower formula.

Jolyon Palmer:
The 21 year old son of Jonathan Palmer still has a long way to go to get to the top but has started to appear on the radar. He was runner up in Formula 2 in 2010 before having a pretty unsuccessful first year in GP2 in 2011. It looked to be going the same way in 2012 due to an unreliable car but he was topping timing sheets and when some of the car problems were sorted he went on to score his maiden victory in the series and dragging himself up to a respectable 11th in the championship. Doesn’t appear to be on any F1 teams radar yet but if he improves as much next year as he did this then he’ll start to be and not just for his famous father.

Nick Yelloly:
The 21 year old from Stafford has suddenly jumped to people’s attention with his form this season against a very competitive field in the World Series category. 2 wins and some consistent top 10 finishing this season in a field that includes the F1 sponsors understudies of Bianchi, Bird, Magnusson, Rossi and Arthur Pic has certainly made him stand out. Is F1 calling him yet? I would say no but will be interested to follow where he goes next, like Palmer if he improves as much as he did this year it wouldn’t be too far away.

Lewis Williamson:
Another Scotsman on the horizon. Lewis was the winner of the Mclaren BRDC Driver Award in 2010 after finishing as runner up in the British Formula Renault championship. In 2011 he had a competitive season in GP3 taking a race win (at Silverstone no less) and ending up 8th overall in the championship standing. He was then suppose to upgrade to the World Series but after a few races funding must have run out as he disappeared off the grid only to make a return to GP3 in the late season run in. Despite Links with Mclaren F1 looks a long way away.

Alice Powell:
How about the next British F1 driver being female? Alice is only 19 and has just completed her first season in GP3. Whilst having a mixed season she finally picked up a point for 8th place in the very last event of the season getting her off the mark. At the age of 17 she became the first female champion of the Formula Renault BARC series and at 18 scored regular points in the Formula Renault UK series enough to end up 9th in the championship. She’s certainly the hottest female talent in the UK at the moment and sooner or later one of the smaller F1 teams is going to cotton on to what a gold mine of publicity and honey trap for sponsors who don’t usually invest in F1 a female driver is going to be and Alice looks pretty well placed to reap the benefits of that. F1 by 2015? I guess we’ll see.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs:
The 2011 Virgin test driver has just secured the Auto GP World Series title and as financially backed as his double barrel name suggests he does have a good turn of speed having had a half decent GP3 season the year before that included a race win. Already with F1 experience having run in the Abu Dhabi young drivers test its not beyond the realms that a combination of his speed and wallet might attract a back end team.
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
Great post RasputinLives, my thought is that it'll be Max Chilton because of what he's doing now but I think James Colado, although a little over aggressive sometimes, is the better driver. Bird's third on my list and the others are at least a year away (4-5 years in the case of Alice Powell).
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Would make sense but once again harsh on Marussia/Virgins second driver. They're getting closer and closer to Glock every year though so maybe Chilton will do it..........or he'll have a year in F1 and end up a test driver.

In answer on where Caledo would go I think Boullier might make space for him at Lotus for 2014 but only if he impresses in his second year in GP2
 
So they replace di Grassi with 'the next great talent' Jérome d'Ambrosio.
He is replaced by someone a year or two younger and 'recognised as a future star' - Charles Pic.
And then he gets replaced by someone the same age at the time of the new season - Max Chilton.

And that's why people prefer HRT, at least they openly go for drivers who pay them loads :snigger:
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Looks like I should add the name Luciano Bacheta to that list. The boy is from Essex not Italy so flys the Union Jack on his car and he's just won the F2 championship and been rewarded with a test with Williams

http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12433/8132636/

Can't say I follow the F2 but 5 wins, 2 seconds, 3 thirds and 5 points finishes - with 1 retirement making up the complete 16 rounds looks pretty impressive and consistant so maybe we have to add him to the list espeically as he's only 22.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Brogan - I thought the rumours were about Max becoming test driver for a year, but I could be wrong.

I think Calado will be the next one to take a driive seat, but not next year, maybe 2014..
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Sky nicking ideas from Clip the Apex again ;)

Interesting list - I did think about putting Josh Hill and Alex Brundle on the list but if you look at their actual track records compared to the others they have done very little other than have famous dad's. Alice Powell only got on the list because I thought a team might take the female driver gamble.

I guess the difference is they are looking for the next F1 'Star' where as I was going for the next Brit in F1. Obviously Sky don't think much to the current crop of British GP2 drivers by the looks of their list.

Still think mines better. ;)
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
What a rubbish list Sky have there. Out of all of them, the only one that may make it is Seb Morris, but thats only a maybe..
 
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