Name a future F1 race winner

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Romain Grosjean won the first GP2 Asia championship last year
Romain Grosjean won the first GP2 Asia championship last year

The ??Lost nations? series which appeared on this site last week started a lot of debate over which young racers of today are the F1 winners of tomorrow.

Which drivers in the lower leagues will be fighting Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for F1 wins in the future? Here are some names to keep an eye on.

Romain Grosjean

Renault Development Driver who won the F3 Euroseries in 2007, past winners of which include Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. He claimed the inaugural GP2 Asia championship as well, but the main series was won by Giorgio Pantano, who doesn’t look likely to be picked up by any F1 teams.

Grosjean’s first season in the GP2 main series last year didn?t go entirely to plan ?ǣ he was stripped of two wins due to driving infringements. He?s clearly got massive potential, however, and if Nelson Piquet Jnr?s driving isn?t up to scratch in 2009 Grosjean is surely the front runner to replace him, especially thanks to his Swiss-French nationality.

Romain Grosjean biography
Read more about Romain Grosjean on Maximum Motorsport

Earl Bamber

Up-and-coming driver from New Zealand. I?m kicking myself for not including in the ??Lost Nations? article about his home country. Happily Andy from BritsOnPole put me right in the comments:

Don?t forget Bamber?s double A1GP podium in the rain at Zandvoort when the cars were still so new and unfamiliar you could practically see the bubble-wrap flying off them as they cornered??

Bamber?s performance in GP2 Asia at Shanghai also stood out, as he picked off rivals around the outside of the first turn on the opening lap.

Read more about Earl Bamber at Maximum Motorsport

Jaime Alguersuari

Spanish racer who won the British F3 championship last year against stiff competition from Brendon Hartley and Oliver Turvey. This year he is racing in World Series by Renault, which hais father (Jaime Alguersuari Snr) was involved in setting up when he was the president of RPM Racing. The younger Alguersuari is paired with Turvey at Carlin once again.

Young, talented and backed by Red Bull (who he’s already tested for) Alguersuari has ??future F1 driver? written all over him.

Read more about Jaime Alguersuari on Maximum Motorsport

Paul di Resta

Is he quick enough? He beat Sebastian Vettel to the 2006 F3 Euroseries championship, so I?m inclined to say yes. But will he ever get back to single-seaters after two years in the DTM? Hard to say, though it?s definitely what he wants to do.

Widely tipped to get a Force India seat via his Mercedes backers, but a year in GP2 might happen first. Definitely the driver most likely to succeed Lewis Hamilton as Britain’s newest F1 racer.

Read more about Paul di Resta on Maximum Motorsport

There are loads of other drivers who could be on this list. Which drivers not in F1 at the moment do you think will be winning Grands Prix in the future?

F1’s lost nations

Image (C) GP2 Media Service / Andrew Ferraro

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Name a future F1 race winner”

  1. What about Nico Hülkenberg, Brendon Hartley, Sebastian Hohenthal, Mika Mäki, Esteban Guerreri, Giedo van der Garde, Pastor Maldonado, and, dare I mention him, Bruno Senna?

    1. Guerrieri?… that came as a surprise… i don’t think he’ll get a seat anyway

    2. terrie cairnes
      9th February 2009, 15:17

      it has to be Bruno Senna of course.

  2. I would say Nico Hulkenburg who has impressed me a lot but I would like to see Earl Bamber in F1 so NZ can have some sporting success outside rugby.

  3. Nico Hulkenberg – think he will be in F1 pretty soon and I can see him doing rather well!

  4. I’d have to vote for Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Di Resta as being the most notably worthy.

    I’m going to tip Grosjean for the GP2 title this year although I’m not sure but I think he is changing teams (any info on that, Keith?). He may well end up at Renault in 2010. Hulkenberg will finish in the top 3 and win a few races whilst challenging for the title – definately in with a shout of a Williams 2010 seat.

    As a Scot, I hope Di Resta will be able to head in the F1 direction but like you Keith I think he could be overlooked now that he is driving tin-tops. Definately needs a seat in GP2 this year to get back in the picture with other F1 bosses since McLaren Mercedes didn’t help Paffett much.

  5. Erm… Nico Rosberg? I mean, come-on, the guy’s got to catch a break at some point and be in with the chance to win a race…

    Oh, and Nick Heidfeld

    1. Indeed, and don’t forget Mark Webber.

  6. Marcus Ericsson

  7. Jules Bianchi.

  8. James Brickles
    6th February 2009, 17:36

    Robert Wickens

  9. Paul di Resta

    Unfortunately I don’t see him joining F1 anytime soon.

  10. Paul di Resta is the obvious one as Mercedes clearly love him and if he delivers when he gets back in a single-seater it is P45 time for Heikki and di Resta will have a car capable of winning.

    I am surprised Hulkenburg hasn’t made F1 yet. I wonder if Willi Weber has lost his touch or maybe some of his contacts have moved on.

    It is a few years off but I saw a kid in FFord early last year who I had never heard off and his performance in one short race blew me away. He had pace, he made a brilliant recovery drive after being the first driver to arrive at an oil spill and he showed great composure and tactical awareness in re-gaining and building his lead. He was in the running for the McLaren award at the end of the season and I would bet on him winning it next year. His name is Wayne Boyd and he is a bit special.

    Whether he makes F1 is difficult to say but he is the first driver since Allan McNish that I have announced to the world as one to watch on the basis of seeing him drive once having never previously heard of him.

    1. I’m not surprised at Hulkenberg not in F1 already. I think he’a bit overhyped in A1GP, thanks to his perfect car (just like team France the year before, same engineer). And also in F3 he wasn’t very impressive.

      He’s not the next Schumacher or Vettel.

    2. Would McLaren put di Resta in a McLaren alongside Hamilton? I doubt it….

  11. HounslowBusGarage
    6th February 2009, 20:49

    Alex Albon.
    Winner of Kartmaster’s 2008.
    Might take a few years, but he’s well-directed and seriously quick. Oh, and Lewis Hamilton is his role model.
    Ten years time and it’ll be “I told you so!”

  12. While both are a few years away from F1, Esteban Gutierrez and Alexander Rossi are two young prospects who dominated the Formula BMW scene this year. Each captured the championships they were participating in, with Rossi edging out Gutierrez in the World Final. Both still have a ways to go, but are off to great starts.

    I mentioned him several times before in the USF1 comments, but Jonathan Summerton is a name to watch, esp. if that team gets off the ground. He was part of that same F3 2006 class as Vettel, Hulkenberg, di Resta and others, and has some real potential.

    Among the drivers listed, Hulkenberg has his name on a Williams seat as soon as Nakajima or Rosberg leave. di Resta could very well get a shot at Force India as soon as Fisi retires- I was thinking that would be the time for them to introduce an Indian driver, but that seems less and less likley. Grosjean will someday drive for Renault, and the rest you all mentioned could find a place someday.

  13. Seedy, Grosjean will be switching GP2 teams as Art has already announced Hulkenberg and Maldonado as their drivers.

    1. Ah yes, that was i!, Thanks very much for that, Filipe!

      I’m sure Grosjean will end up in a race-winnig team but I thought he might have been confirmed by now.

  14. I think Nico Hulkenberg will be a future ★

  15. as a Dutch fan I want to see Giedo van der Garde go to a top team… but I think that will not happen…

  16. Giedo van der Garde is on the McLaren young driver program so if he delivers he has a chance of a good car. I was surprised to see him named when I was going through the McLaren site last week because I had no idea that he was involved with them.

    1. Yep he was on there when Hamilton was but I’ve never heard anything about it either.

  17. Di Resta’s case is interesting. OK, 2 years of DTM but what about in the past when there’s been drivers competing in multiple series?

    Here’s a thought though, if USGP (or is it USF1?) comes to fruition, what about Dario Franchitti as driver – well known in the US and I’m sure he wouldn’t be adverse to a shot in F1? Then again whether a new team run by Americans could win in a few seasons is another question entirely…

  18. Hi Keith,

    In “Lost Nations of F1” didn’t you overlook Sweden? The late Ronnie Petersen, Stefan Johannsen etc?

    1. Hi Mike – That series started out as being just countries that had produced world champions but didn’t have a driver in F1 any more. But a few people have suggested other countries that have rich F1 histories but no world champions, who I’d like to cover anyway. So I think I’ll do some more later, including one on Sweden, and Mexico, and some others.

  19. Karol Basz. I bet none of you has ever heard about this young lad. No trophies to his name yet, but he’s a karting hopefull driving in Mubica’s newly founded team. I’d say in 2013 we’ll hear of him driving in some single seater formula. Mark my words guys. I’ve said the same about Kubica when he was only 16.

  20. Really looking forward to Sweden in lost nations. Interesting to hear it from one who isn´t swedish.

  21. With the USF1 now confirmed, anderson will need at least an experienced driver. There is Richard Antinucci – nephew of former F1 driver Eddie Cheever.

    I would also take a chance on Jonathan Bomarito, Charlie Kimball, the 2008 FBMW Pacific runner-up Sean-McDonagh, and if no sponsor for RLR – Ryan Hunter-Reay.

    Hunter-Reay was originally as a part of the inagural Red Bull Driver Search in 2002. But he was pulled off along with AJ Allmendinger to CCWS contracts.

  22. Since we’re discussing future race winners, I’m going to pick at the current field, since they’re “half-way” there already.

    I think Timo Glock could have a shout in the near future, providing Toyota doesn’t collapse. Nico Rosberg will surely win a Race at some point if he gets into a better team. For sentimental reasons, I sincerely hope Nick Heidfeld stands on the top step in time, it would be sad if he doesn’t.

    For the guys who aren’t in F1 yet, I think Senna’s got to be my pick, he’s a flat out driver and I love his style!

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