Which new drivers belong on the F1 grid in 2018?

Debates and Polls

Posted on

| Written by

For a newcomer looking to break into grand prix racing, the 2018 F1 season may prove one of the toughest years in a long time to get a break.

Unless someone does a Nico Rosberg, none of the top drivers look like moving on any time soon. Many of the front runners look set to stay put.

And with Robert Kubica potentially in the running to make a return, that means there’s one few space available for a new name to move in.

As always the ranks of eager newcomers are massively oversubscribed. Between the other top championships and leading junior series there is well in excess of 100 names vying for a place among the sport’s elite.

So who would you put among them?

The list

The list of drivers below includes all the regular competitors from feeder series Formula Two, Formula V8 3.5, European Formula Three and GP3 plus IndyCar, Japanese Super Formula, World Endurance Championship (LMP1) and Formula E.

Prominent F1 team reserve or test drivers who are not racing this year have also been included. All drivers who have previously started an F1 season have not, unless they were substitutes.

Superlicence points

Wondering how many FIA F1 superlicence points each of these drivers had at the beginning of 2017? You can check here:

I say

Leclerc is crushing the competition in F2
I first became aware of Charles Leclerc in 2014 when he appeared in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup as a wildcard driver and beat many of the series’ regular drivers at a damp Nurburgring. Now with a GP3 title under his belt he’s laying waste to the Formula Two field in his rookie season. A 50-point lead at the top of the standings doesn’t do justice to how well he’s driven, and hopefully someone finds room for him in F1 next year.

Lando Norris is another driver who I first noticed in the Eurocup albeit much more recently – just last year, when it was one of three championships he won. He’s challenging strongly for the European Formula Three title at the moment but the highlight of his year so far is surely that eyebrow-raising test for McLaren earlier this week. He turns 18 in November. Would an F1 drive next year be ‘too much, too soon’? Max Verstappen’s success suggests otherwise.

Leclerc and Norris are backed by Ferrari and McLaren respectively. The other team juniors I’d like to see in F1 next year are Antonio Gioviazzi (Ferrari) and Pierre Gasly (Red Bull). However the chances of any of these drivers appearing for those teams are very slim: Most likely they’d be placed at other outfits.

There are many names on that list who arguably didn’t get the chance they deserved the first time around. The one which really stands out for me is Robin Frijns, who won both of Renault’s most competitive junior series first time out and tested for Sauber but didn’t have the budget to land an F1 seat.

It’s encouraging to hear F1 is planning to expand its grid in the near future. Hopefully that means more talents like Frijns get the chances they deserve.

You say

Which of these drivers deserves a place on the 2018 F1 grid? Are the any others not named there you think deserve a chance?

Vote for as many as you like above and explain your choice in the comments below.

Which new drivers belong on the F1 grid in 2018?

  • Guan Yu Zhou (0%)
  • Kenta Yamashita (0%)
  • Naoki Yamamoto (0%)
  • Oliver Webb (0%)
  • Robert Visoiu (0%)
  • Ryan Tveter (0%)
  • Oliver Turvey (1%)
  • Koudai Tsukakoshi (0%)
  • Konstantin Tereschenko (0%)
  • Nick Tandy (0%)
  • Sergey Sirotkin (2%)
  • Marcos Siebert (0%)
  • Sergio Sette Camara (0%)
  • Yuhi Sekiguchi (0%)
  • Mick Schumacher (1%)
  • Steijn Schothorst (0%)
  • Marino Sato (0%)
  • Stephane Sarrazin (0%)
  • George Russell (1%)
  • Oliver Rowland (5%)
  • James Rossiter (0%)
  • Alexander Rossi (4%)
  • Felix Rosenqvist (6%)
  • Graham Rahal (1%)
  • Leonardo Pulcini (0%)
  • Nicolas Prost (0%)
  • Will Power (1%)
  • Pedro Piquet (0%)
  • Spencer Pigot (0%)
  • Simon Pagenaud (1%)
  • Kazuya Oshima (0%)
  • Egor Orudzhev (0%)
  • Lando Norris (6%)
  • Tomoki Nojiri (0%)
  • Roy Nissany (0%)
  • Josef Newgarden (2%)
  • Harrison Newey (0%)
  • Norman Nato (0%)
  • Daisuke Nakajima (0%)
  • Carlos Munoz (0%)
  • Diego Menchaca (0%)
  • Nikita Mazepin (0%)
  • Joey Mawson (0%)
  • Nobuharu Matsushita (1%)
  • Nelson Mason (0%)
  • Artem Markelov (1%)
  • Jose Maria Lopez (1%)
  • Jann Mardenborough (0%)
  • Gustav Malja (0%)
  • Tadasuke Makino (0%)
  • Arjun Maini (1%)
  • Andre Lotterer (3%)
  • Alessio Lorandi (0%)
  • Charles Leclerc (17%)
  • Nicholas Latifi (1%)
  • Nicolas Lapierre (0%)
  • Yuji Kunimoto (0%)
  • Dominik Kraihamer (0%)
  • Takashi Kogure (0%)
  • Jordan King (0%)
  • Charlie Kimball (0%)
  • Niko Kari (0%)
  • Yu Kanamaru (0%)
  • Tony Kanaan (0%)
  • Kevin Jorg (0%)
  • Ed Jones (0%)
  • Nabil Jeffri (0%)
  • Neel Jani (1%)
  • Takuya Izawa (0%)
  • Hiroaki Ishiura (0%)
  • Matevos Isaakyan (0%)
  • Callum Ilott (0%)
  • Raoul Hyman (0%)
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay (1%)
  • Jake Hughes (0%)
  • Anthoine Hubert (0%)
  • James Hinchcliffe (1%)
  • JR Hildebrand (0%)
  • Brendon Hartley (1%)
  • Ferdinand Habsburg (0%)
  • Maximilian Gunther (0%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (10%)
  • Luca Ghiotto (1%)
  • Sean Gelael (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (8%)
  • Antonio Fuoco (0%)
  • Nirei Fukuzumi (0%)
  • Robin Frijns (4%)
  • Pietro Fittipaldi (0%)
  • Damiano Fioravanti (0%)
  • Santino Ferrucci (0%)
  • Antonio Felix da Costa (2%)
  • Julien Falchero (0%)
  • Mitch Evans (1%)
  • Joel Eriksson (0%)
  • Maro Engel (0%)
  • Loic Duval (0%)
  • Scott Dixon (2%)
  • Tom Dillmann (0%)
  • Louis Deletraz (0%)
  • Nyck de Vries (1%)
  • Jehan Daruvala (0%)
  • Conor Daly (0%)
  • Mike Conway (0%)
  • Giuseppe Cipriani (0%)
  • Alfonso Celis (0%)
  • Helio Castroneves (1%)
  • Nick Cassidy (0%)
  • Adam Carroll (0%)
  • Sergio Canamasas (0%)
  • Tatiana Calderon (0%)
  • Ralph Boschung (0%)
  • Marco Bonanomi (0%)
  • Dorian Boccolacci (0%)
  • Sam Bird (1%)
  • Rene Binder (0%)
  • Timo Bernhard (0%)
  • David Beckmann (0%)
  • Bruno Baptista (0%)
  • Earl Bamber (0%)
  • Ralf Aron (0%)
  • Marco Andretti (0%)
  • Keyvan Andres (0%)
  • Giuliano Alesi (0%)
  • Mikhail Aleshin (0%)
  • Alexander Albon (0%)
  • Jack Aitken (0%)
  • Daniel Abt (0%)

Total Voters: 291

 Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed in stead of the voting form.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

105 comments on “Which new drivers belong on the F1 grid in 2018?”

  1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    6th August 2017, 11:48

    Leclerc,Gasly,Giovinazzi,Rosenqvist for me

  2. Definitely NOT Nikita Mazepin. He’s a bad driver and a rather unpleasant person.

    1. you keep saying that, and unfortunantly on a forum like this, yours is a ONE person opinion I keep reading… I don’t read it anywhere else except for comments from your user name! I will let him prove himself like everyone else.

      1. Yeezy918 (@)
        6th August 2017, 16:59

        kpcart you have to be kidding. Or do you just not know this about a driver you seem to support?

        “Force India Formula 1 development driver Nikita Mazepin has been banned from the first race of the Hungaroring Formula 3 European Championship weekend for a physical altercation in the paddock.

        The stewards, which this weekend include five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Emanuele Pirro, found the Russian teenager guilty of ‘unsporting behaviour in the paddock after the finish of free practice two’.

        Eye-witnesses reported that Mazepin got out his car and approached Callum Ilott, furious that the Briton had got in the way of a run on new tyres, and after an exchange of words he hit Ilott.

        Ilott, who was visibly shaken by the incident, had cuts to his cheek and neck, and swelling to his jaw.”

        Disgusting behaviour and I concur with @ultimateuzair fully.

        1. Yeezy918 (@)
          6th August 2017, 17:00

          Here’s the link to the full story so you can educate yourself.


      2. His results speak for themselves. He has achieved next to nothing after several years in single seaters. On top of that he is aggressive and dangerous off the track.

      3. LOL cry more

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    6th August 2017, 12:13

    Rosenqvist, Leclerc, Rossi and Norris get my votes.

    Looking at Rosenqvist’s achievements I’m a bit surprised he’s never come up on the radar before but I thought he was one of the better drivers in Formula E. Also, cute. Still think Rossi deserved a proper shot rather than sitting in a Marussia/Manor for a few races and Leclerc looks like he’s going to be a name we talk about a lot in the future. Norris is probably a year or two too early, but then again that never stopped Verstappen so…

    I think, regardless of Honda’s insistence, Matsushita isn’t quite ready yet.

    1. Rosenqvist is quick in anything he drives.

      Too bad he doesn’t have any backers to get him into F1.
      He will probably end up driving IndyCar next year.

      1. I’ve read that Ganassi would sign him in a heartbeat if he had the money – there’s still a strong possibility Rosenqvist will go there depending on whether Ganassi can get more paying sponsors in

  4. Leclerc, Gasly and Giovinazzi deserve a seat next season. (I feel Gasly deserved the Toro Rosso seat this year).

    Rowland and Sirotkin seem a bit like Palmer and Ericsson. They seem to take too long to develop in GP2 and may not be good enough for F1.

    Albon, De Vries, Russell and Norris will be ready in a couple more years.

    The likes of Evans, Rozenqvist, Da Costa, Rossi and Frijns also deserved seats. But lost out in favour of other drivers. I doubt they would ever get into F1 (Besides as a reserve) since they are more focused in other categories.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      6th August 2017, 12:45

      The fact that they are racing in other categories shouldn’t be a deterrent for F1 teams. Consider Buemi, he still has great ties with Red Bull, he’s racing for Renault and is clearly outclassing Nicolas Prost, forget the other 2/3rd of the field he (very nearly) annihilated. There was a lot of chatter about him returning last year, and with good reason.

      With the performance of the other drivers you mentioned in mind, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be considered.

    2. @lradford22 Rosenqvist is driving better than Gasly in Super Formula, 3rd in FE as a rookie.
      Talent doesn’t really matter…only money.

    3. Palmer and Ericsson both took about three seasons to reach the competitiveness of Rowland’s first season, and Sirotkin came third in his first season, although he’s never put a championship run together. After Leclerc, Rowland is clearly the second best choice in F2 this year.

    4. @lradford22, why is it that you think that Rowland has “taken too long to develop”, but Gasly, whose performance is pretty much the same as Rowland’s, is deserving of an F1 seat?

      Maybe it is just me, but I am not that impressed by Gasly and really wonder why he is hyped up that much – his junior career just hasn’t impressed me given he has been beaten by less experienced drivers in less well funded team, and he’s won very few races in his career (out of 127 races, he has won just 11).

      I would actually be interested to see how many of those drivers whom posters here have hyped as “the next best thing” actually went on to deliver on that promise in F1, and how many turned out to be failures or much more average than they predicted they’d be.

      1. For all the Kvyat bashing that’s popular nowadays, I’m less than convinced that Gasly would do a better job.

  5. Evil Homer (@)
    6th August 2017, 12:25

    Giovinazzi certainly !! Sirotkin & Leclerc up there too!’
    I didn’t see Paul Di Resta on the list :)

    1. Don’t think Giovinazzi will get a seat in the near future will all his mistakes and crashes.
      LeClerc is probably rated higher and is first in line.

      1. @orchide neither have shined yet. last time around felix might have finished 2nd but gasly outqualified him and it was the team brilliant strategy and a race of attrition that got him 2nd at fuji. Sunoco hasnt been a great team and mugen is running the underpowered honda so both rookies are far from the top racers.

    2. Yeezy918 (@)
      6th August 2017, 17:02

      No Di Resta, Vergne, Kobayashi for the same reason presumably looking at drivers who are potentially coming into F1 for the first time I assume.

  6. Frijns, Giovinazzi, Leclerc and Norris. To be honest, Frijns should have had his chance in F1 years ago.

    These four can replace Ericsson, Palmer, Stroll and Kvyat. I would be happy if those four were gone.

    1. +1 And i added Alexander Rossi too

      The rest or they are too young and need to ripe a bit (Mick S. for example) is clearly not ready for F1.

  7. Leclerc, Giovinazzi and Norris are the obvious choices and I picked them.

    I also picked Markelov because he’s an exciting driver to watch and has bravery no other drivers has on this list, It would be crazy to see him in F1. Frijns deserves a chance still, interested to see what he’s made of.

  8. Leclerc, Gasly, Giovanazzi, Rowland, Rosenqvist, Matsushita. In that order. I can see Leclerc going to Sauber, Gasly at Toro Rosso, Giovanazzi maybe at Sauber or Haas, Rowland at Renault, and maybe Rosenqvist and Matsushita can squeeze in somewhere. tbh, I don’t really see Felix giving up on Formula E, as he’s going to be a real title contender next year if Mahindra can produce a car as competitive as they have this season, and Nobuhara might be able to jump in at McLaren if Nando leaves. He’s a steady pair of hands, and pretty damn quick on his day. I don’t really see him as a championship contender (honestly out of the 6 I’ve chosen, Leclerc is the only one I can see as a future world champion…) but frankly at this point I rate him higher than De Vries, and Albon needs another year before he can really be called ready for F1 if he shows talent in GP2.

    I can certainly see Aitken and Russell making it to F1 in the future, as with Norris and possibly Joel Eriksson. And of course Mick Schumacher, even if he ends up being more of a Ralf than a Michael, the name is just too much to pass up!

    1. Yeezy918 (@)
      6th August 2017, 17:03


  9. Leclerc, Gasly, Giovinazzi and maybe Markelov. Would perhaps say Rosenqvist but reckon he’ll win the FE title next year, and doubt any teams would want him for F1.

    Would also say that Norris, Gunther and Eriksson should be in F2 for next season to see how they do there.

  10. Has Frijns missed his chance or is it yet possible?

    1. To be honest i think his chance is over as he is 27 years and will be 28 year in 2018. Rookies should be younger then 24 and i think that will be 21 soon.

    2. I’m not 100% sure Frijns wants to come back, as he seems very happy in Formula E.

  11. And will the opposite poll appear tomorrow?
    Which Current F1 Drivers Should Retire?

    1. RAI, MAS, ALO should go but they won’t. Maybe MAS.

      1. I think I’d add HUL to your list.

    2. You what? All four of those drivers would easily outclass every driver on the “new driver” list with the possible exception of Leclerc.

      1. It doesn’t seem like Raikkonen, Massa or Alonso will ever challenge for a WDC again, but they’re undoubtedly very talented and consistent. We shouldn’t expect new to talent to enter F1 just because some older drivers have been in the series a long time. They should only be challenging for a current drivers seat if there’s evidence that they have the potential to be faster than a current driver, either immediately or in the near future.

        1. With that logic, I think some “new drivers” have the potential to outclass Palmer, Stroll, Ericsson, Magnussen and Kvyat, and possibly even Sainz.

          1. And there’s your answer. In an ideal world, the new batch should replace only underperforming drivers regardless of age or longevity in F1. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and that is why connections, marketing demands, and of course, MONEY, also play a huge part of these decisions.

        2. If Alonso was in a top car I would not bet against him winning the WDC. I’m confident he could match Vettel, Hamilton and Verstappen.

          MAS and RAI are seat-blockers but their teams don’t seem to be prepared to risk replacing them. Better the devil you know etc.

  12. Leclerc, Gasly and Gio for me. With addition to Rob Kubica, I hope those four can replace Palmer, Ericsson, Kvyat and Massa.

  13. Considering how difficult it is to get into F1 and consequently how much talent is lost, isn’t it time to consider a limit as to how long a driver can be in F1? Ten years or three DWC crowns, whichever comes first, then you’re out no matter what as well as 50 race starts without a points finish and you’re out at the other end of the field.

    1. isn’t it time to consider a limit as to how long a driver can be in F1?

      I really don’t like that idea. I’m generally of the view that few if any of F1’s problems can be solved with yet more rules.

      1. Agreed. I don’t think we want to force an Alsonso, Schumacher, or Senna to retire just because of the date on their birth certificate.

    2. I would like to see more cars to put those drivers in rather than limit how long one can drive in F1 Hendrik. Just imagine a combination of an extra 3 squads AND some budget limits in place to make it a tad more easy to be halfway competative in F1, THAT would be a great prospect.

      And we could have 6 extra drivers in, even if the likes of Palmer and Ericsson do manage to get their sponsors to keep them in there too.

    3. Team accountants have a much better understanding of whether a driver is worth what they are paid or not than we as spectators do, and if they aren’t worth keeping then they will loose their seat to someone who is.

    4. Ten years or three DWC crowns, whichever comes first, then you’re out no matter what as well as 50 race starts without a points finish and you’re out at the other end of the field.

      You want to rid the championship of world champions?!? You actually want to punish the best drivers for being…. the best drivers?
      That’s the most asinine idea I have ever heard. Those drivers would lose, the championship would lose, the fans would lose. It makes absolutely no sense.

    5. That’s one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard. Ageism!

    6. Restricting who can be in F1 on longevity only works if there’s a better series for them to go to afterwards. I doubt F1 would ever accept that, short of humanity colonising other worlds and an inter-planetary motorsport series being organised.

      1. Perhaps tangentially, I wonder what would happen if there was a requirement that every 5 complete years (or every 5 years of accumalated races), drivers had to do one year of some other FIA-approved motor sport, of the driver’s choice (so they could not be made to drive for a manufacturer’s choice of team, for example, if they preferred to race something else in that year)? That could help shed a light on other series (as more famous drivers compete in them occasionally), help drivers wanted to do things like Alonso’s triple crown ambition and give space for other drivers to try their hand in F1.

        It would also reducing the amount of jet-lag and travel-weariness we see in older F1 drivers? This could make older drivers better able to stay speedy and make their careers longer, make it easier for them to retire gracefully when it’s time for them to do so and smooth out transitions – both between teams and into/out of F1.

  14. To me there are 5 ‘tiers’ in this list.

    The first that I voted on are drivers that aren’t that young but I think could enter F1 and be competitive from the word go: Sam Bird, Felix Rosenqvist, Brendon Hartley, Andre Lotterer, Mitch Evans, Robin Frijns and Alexander Rossi. They’ll manage just fine without F1, but could well be more competitive than Palmer, Stroll, Kvyat or Ericson.

    The second group that I voted for are young drivers that are ready to enter F1 in 2018 and probably be as impressive as Ocon at least. Essentially they’re the Ferrari juniors of Giovinazzi and Leclerc. Give them a 2012-esque Sauber and they’ll cause problems for the top 3 teams. I wanted to include Gasly in this list but I forgot to vote for him…

    The third group I did not vote for, because 2018 will probably be too soon. Lando Norris is in this group, jumping from F3 to F1 is hard and with Stroll’s performances this year being rather lacklustre compared to those of Verstappen’s debut year, hopefully Mercedes give him time to grow. Nyck de Vries has been doing reasonably in F2, but McLaren probably can judge his progress better than we can, but I don’t expect him to usurp Vandoorne any time soon. Pietro Fittipaldi is another driver that is hard to judge, he looks like a good driver but could well be flattered by a poor grid. I’d love to see
    Giuliano Alesi in F1, but he’s only recently had an upturn in speed in GP3, so he needs more time.
    George Russell has impressed me from time to time, but I can’t judge if he’s ready for F1, same for
    Jack Aitken. While Mick Schumacher impressed me in F4, he hasn’t been that good in F3, so the jury is still out on that one. It’d probably do wonders for F1 in Germany, though, like Max Verstappen re-ignited F1 in the Netherlands after Jos.

    The 4th are drivers I just don’t see having more speed or longevity than a Palmer or Ericson. Abt, Aleshin, Andretti, Binder, Canamasas, Eriksson, Fuoco, Ghiotto, Kari, Matsushita, Nato, Nissany, Prost, Rowland, etc. It wouldn’t be detrimental to F1 if they entered, they would probably just take up space until the next hot driver arrives.

    The last are drivers that I think missed the boat on F1 and probably should just stick to what they’re doing. Mostly the experienced drivers on the list. Though Sarrazin making an F1 return would be very interesting statistically, he’d smash Jan Lammers’ record of time between consecutive F1 entries, moving it from 10 to 19 years!

    1. You should have included Scott Dixon in your first tier.

  15. Where is my name??!!:)

    1. Wasn’t it Tazio?

    2. Sorry, you don’t have enough Superlicence points to be eligible…

  16. I still believe Buémi would fare better in F1 than 95% of the people mentioned above. Although his attitude this year has definitely been unpleasant.

    1. Yeezy918 (@)
      6th August 2017, 17:04


      Wow we agreed on something @PorscheF1 ;)

  17. Gasly, Leclerc, Giovinazzi.

  18. Giovinazzi, Hartley, Pagenaud, Rossi, Lotterer, Norris, Ishiura (I voted him but he’s still at 0%) and (not a new driver) Di Resta.
    I went exotic with my picks, many racing series, some great drivers that didn’t have the resources to race single seater in europe for very long, and hence didn’t get the attention of f1 teams, but I truly believe my picks are top talent and top quality.

    I’m really surprised with one of the most popular picks, Rosenqvist. Always well funded regardless of what he makes to look like, he’s was always on much better financial terms than most of the promising drivers and always on great teams, great cars, great engines, results took very long to come, but he did achieve good, since then he’s jumped from car to car, not always the best rated teams but apparently he’s grown into a very professional and clever driver, unfortunately, I don’t think that should be nowhere near enough for f1.
    Money makes some drivers look far better than they are, in the most expensive series some drivers benefit from that, these days being a GP2 or WSR champion doesn’t always translate to quality. I fear Gasly and Leclerc might be too adapted to GP2/F2 because of the disproportionally high role tyres play in that series.

    1. Leclerc shouldn’t be set in F2 ways because he is still a rookie there; though clearly anyone who comes from F2 to F1 has a lot of learning to do, so the danger is indeed there for anyone doing that route.

  19. I believe the lower categories are becoming less relevant. it might be time for F1 to recruit older talent from other series . the best drivers in f1 seem to be the oldest. also it seems like the young drivers of late can only get good in f1 when given a top 4 car drive. Verstappen got great when moved to a red bull, but still wasn’t as good as ricciardo. I bet Kubica will do better than any young rookie next year.

    1. Yeezy918 (@)
      6th August 2017, 17:08

      Max had a great first season in 2015 aside from one silly mistake at Monaco. He hauled the Torro Rosso as high as 4th in both Hungary and Austin and won Rookie of the Year, Personality of the Year and Action of the Year. I’m not sure how that be considered a weak before his promotion to Red Bull.

  20. GP2 had as philosophy that its season champion had to leave the series, meaning a driver who won had to move on. I’m guessing F2 has this same philosophy. The problem for an F2 or GP2 champion is they get their Superlicence points for that year, but then have to try and find a decent seat in another series for the next year so they can build on the points gained in GP2 or F2. If they can’t then their may be a year of languishing on the sidelines or in an uncompetitive car. Basically a driver who has a decent chance of winning the championship has to start trying to find a seat in another series about now even though they can’t be sure of their final result. F2 needs to either have a guarantee their season champion is promoted to F1 or a similar series, or they need to change their philosophy in that regard.
    I noticed a few weeks ago that the Japanese Super Formula Champion got less points than a GP3 champion. I know little of either series, but I would have thought F1 should have a more consistent approach to the allocation of points.

  21. Seeing that every new driver replaces an old one (any grid-growth is unlikely before 2021), and hoping that Kubica will move back in, I’ve limited myself to just one choice: LeClerc. Him not getting a seat would be a failure of the F1-system, while with the others it’s all could/should/might be nice. LeClerc must get a seat.

    That said, I really liked it when F1 had 35 cars and pre-qualifying, and one of the advantages was we found out how someone fared in an F1-car more often.

  22. Wickens and Frijns are probably the two drivers from the previous generation who most deserved a chance in F1, although they might have lost their touch after being in tintops for so long. From those currently in feeder series I’d put Leclerc and Rowland in.

  23. I voted for (in no particular order): Robin Frijns, Charles Leclerc, Felix Rosenqvist and Nyck de Vries.

    Nyck de Vries is kind of a long shot, and although he’s older than Verstappen both have shadowed each other through much of their earlier career. Nyck has the disadvantage (also PR wise) that he has a baby face. He looks 16 when in reality he’s 22. His results in Formula 2 are overshadowed by Charles Leclerc but he’s normally within the top 6/7 spots and has achieved 4 podiums with 1 win among those, compare that to Leclerc’s teammate Fuoco who has scored a single 3rd place but besides that is always outside the top 10. He’s part of the McLaren junior program, although rumours say McLaren doesn’t actively support him anymore. I don’t see him joining McLaren, but that’s primarily because of Alonso and I also don’t think Vandoorne is experienced enough to carry the team forwards with De Vries as a possible new driver in 2018.

    Charles Leclerc needs no explanation, besides the fact that he has a fantastic team, his teammate shows that you are really the one who needs to get everything out of it. Leclerc delivers and although I haven’t watched every F2 race thus far, I don’t think I ever saw him make any major/stupid mistakes.

    Robin Frijns is an underrated driver, much like I think Nico Hülkenberg is. He has constantly outperformed his teammate and achieved several results his team shouldn’t be capable of. With Andretti becoming a BMW factory backed team, his situation becomes a little difficult in Formula E, since he’s an Audi factory backed driver in the Blancpain GT series. Although the Andretti team has commented there’s no issue at all. He would deserve an F1 drive as well, though I cannot see which team he would fit into given his Audi/BMW/Andretti background. Just not a top team yet.

    Felix Rosenqvist has become my favourite Formula E driver and he’s shown some serious raw pace, focus, professionalism and coolness in the way he handles all situations. He’s also very likeable in my opinion, much unlike Buemi. In short: he would be my first choice to have in F1, although otherwise I wouldn’t mind seeing him in Formula E as a possible championship contender next season.

  24. Robert McKay
    6th August 2017, 16:57

    Leclerc is the only one it would be criminal not to see in a drive.

    There’s a few other names that ideally would make it too – Giovinazzi, Rowland and maaaaaaaybe Sirotkin and Ghiotto, but I believe only Leclerc truly must be in F1 next year.

    But yeah we could do with a few extra cars.

  25. Not on the list for being an ex driver, but I do believe Felipe Nasr is worthy of an F1 seat. Saw his F1 carreer going downwards when team Ericsson bought a big chunk of Sauber and basicly put Nasr in the spare parts car. When they were in equal cars (2015), Nasr showed he real potential.

    1. Yeah right… @montalvo

      We can also add the following to your list
      – Moonlanding was faked
      – Jay Z is a time travelling vampire
      – Chemtrails are for real
      – Earth is flat
      – Bernie Ecclestone can control the weather

      1. Rumors were very strong that Sauber couldn’t put two equal cars on the grid in 2016. There was talk (by both Ericsson ans Nasr) of switching cars between the two, but that never happened.

        But looking at your name, you might be biased by patriotic feelings.

        1. @montalvo Yepp, Ericsson offered Nasr to switch cars. It didn’t happen but Ericsson used chassi 02 for several races that Nasr was complaining so much about in the beginning of the year and said it was undrivable.
          Why would Sauber favourize Ericsson? Used spare parts for Nasr? Those two cars had the same specs, if a team is not using a part according to the spec they get grid penalties etc. I don’t recall that was the case for Nasr. Or do you mean they made the same parts but Ericsson’s was a little better than Nasr’s?

          If that rumour was true the sponsors of Nasr etc would have sued the **** out of Sauber.

          Didn’t that rumour start in Brazil?

          1. Well Ericssons offer to switch cars was with a glimt in the eye and not actually serious. Nasr eventually got a brand new chassis however.

          2. @rethla Yes, he got a new chassi. Ericsson then used the chassi Nasr was whining about as useless.
            As far as I recall he had no issues with it.

    2. @orchide, @montalvo – no worries guys, they both don’t deserve an F1 seat.

      1. @xtwl But you think that crazy guy from Switzerland with hubris deluxe deserves to be in f1? Hopefully he will dissapear from FE as well.

        1. @orchide Yes, despite his temper Buémi has proven to be very quick in both FE and the P1.

    3. The truth is that Sauber’s car was really bad last year and that didn’t suited well for Nasr (and he preferred to blame the car than himself). When Sauber had a competitive car Nasr easily showed how above the level he is compared to Ericsson.

      And the brazil’s gp alone shows how good he is, overtaking on track Alonso and many others, and finishing 9th starting from 20th with probably the worst car on the grid. And for those who say he was just lucky, most of the cars that crashed was already behind him. He was the only one besides Verstapen to use an alternative racing line.

      Just watch this lap, how can someone say that guy is bad?

      1. Yes, he is bad. Why is he not in F1 then?

        1. There’s something called money that influences too much on team choices. They would never keep Ericsson in his place if both had the same cash return. Nasr had 1 seasons less and outscored him at both seasons. And that’s all that matters at the end. And Manor breakdown played a big role too.

          1. What is Nasr doing these days? Saw him taking guitar lessons on his Instagram.

  26. Yeezy918 (@)
    6th August 2017, 17:11

    I would love to see Vergne and Kobayashi back in F1 but its very unlikely.

    Leclerc, Norris and Mick Schumacher are my picks, the latter purely because it be great to see the name back in F1.

  27. Giovinazzi.. no accident prone and not stable enough.
    Leclerc, certainly
    Frijns, certainly

  28. Josef Newgarden is the best young IndyCar driver I’ve seen in a while….

    1. @dangerpaws
      I don’t watch Indycar, but it seems like out of the top drivers him and Rahal are the only ones young enough to make the switch (Pagenaud is getting on a bit now).

      1. Kurt (@dangerpaws)
        7th August 2017, 2:13

        I agree 100%, George!

      2. As far as Rahal goes: he has no F1 experience other than testing the BMW Sauber demonstration at Las Vegas 9 years ago.

        For Newgarden – A team have to come up big to buy out his Penske contract. (If he gets a title or a 2nd place finish in the points for 2017 to meet the Super License requirements). And for a team to hand an invitation to test their car. Rossi should be placed on the market because of the old requirements where he competed in 5 F1 races in 2015.

  29. If I would take any Formula E name it would be Buemi or Di Grassi. They are at another level. Maybe only Bird or Rosenqvist are close to them.

    Norris really left a really good impression after F1 testing sessions and LeClerc’s absolutely dominance must mean something.

    I would put Pietro Fittipaldi in the list too, if he hadn’t all those issues in many starts he would be more dominant than Leclerc is in F2. 9 poles out of 12 races is rather impressive.

  30. i put Leclerc,Gasly and Russell from F2 and Gp3 and from F.E Rosenqvist,Lopez and Buemi

  31. With Sauber practically confirmed as the Ferrari B team, Leclerc and Gionovazzi are virtually assured IMO.

    1. Confirmed by who? Marchionne?
      I think he is trying to put some pressure on Sauber to accept one of their junior drivers. Not sure that will happen though.
      Depends on if Longbow is in it aiming to actually accomplish anything in F1 or just trying to earn as much money as possible, raise the value of the team and then sell.

  32. I want Robert Kubica back. Have not made up much of an opinion about the rest

  33. McLaren are so smart letting Norris drive an almost empty lap. They’re cleverly building up the hype, maybe just in case Alonso does leave…

    On another note, Leclerc is bossing a very weak field, his only real rivals on pace are people who’ve spent many seasons in F2 (Rowland, Markelov), or people who have had inordinately bad luck (De Vries). He’s also in the best car by far. His position is therefore somewhat flattering.

    Really I want to see good drivers in F1 replace the old, the mediocre and the paying, but there are only two I think definitely deserve a chance right away, Leclerc and Frijns. Latter is never gonna happen. Then there are Norris, Albon, De Vries, Gasly, who on talent at least should all be there. Not Giovinazzi, whose F1 mishaps show his GP2 season for the fluke it was.
    All in all, not a huge wave of talent coming.

    1. I get what you are saying, but to me it seems it is a tad too early for De Vries, Albon and Norris, let them have another year to mature, it will not hurt them @hahostolze

      1. Haha, exactly, that’s what I’m trying to say (apparently not very well)

  34. I voted for LeClerc. Certainly has the makings of a future champion. Something Prostish about him.

  35. Easy top 5 for me:

    1. Leclerc
    2. Rosenqvist
    3. Giovinazzi
    4. Lotterer
    5. Eriksson

    I also voted for Newgarden.

    Leclerc is a no-brainer. He is the most complete driver I have witnessed since I started following F2/GP2 some 9-10 years ago.

    Rosenqvist is one of the big talents to never reach F1. I think his future lies in USA, but I wish it was at Formula 1.

    Giovinazzi impressed me in Australia for Sauber. Yes, his immaturity shone through in China and then again at Hungaroring, but he will learn. When he does, he’ll be very fast indeed.

    Lotterer is too good to not be in F1. Just look at the number of points he’s got to his Super License.

    Joel Eriksson is in his second F3 season and is a very strong driver indeed. I’d rather see him at Sauber than that Malja or Matsushita, none of which seem destined for greatness.

    1. In Newgarden’s case: He must win the Indy Car title this year or finish 2nd giving him the necessary points to enter F1.

  36. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    7th August 2017, 11:48

    With Porsche pulling out of LMP1 in the WEC I would love to see Lotterer or Nick Tandy get Massa’s seat at Williams next year.

  37. Biased New Zealander here! So bummed Hartley and Dixon never made it to F1. Mitch Evans would have been better than many who made it, too. He did win GP3 after all, aged 18.

  38. Leclerc – because he won at Silverstone despite being *on fire*

  39. Rosenqvist and Leclerc!

    Rosenqvist should have the money instead of Malja and Ericcson.. and as a swede it annoys me so much that Malja got a F1 test instead of Felix.

    Leclerc, do i need to say a reason?

  40. Neil (@neilosjames)
    8th August 2017, 1:36

    The ones that I would feel happy plonking into an F1 car and saying ‘off you go then, be an F1 driver’…

    Frijns, Giovinazzi, Rowland, Bird, Leclerc, Lotterer, Rossi. And if I spent 10 minutes going through the list of names, probably three or four others who I didn’t see (took a while to find the ones I had in mind).

    Then there are the few who might be good enough, but I don’t think they’re ready (eg, Norris)… and a few others who have good reputations but aren’t well known to me (eg, Newgarden).

  41. Leclerc, Rosenqvist, Giovinazzi, Da Costa and one that is not on the list: Edoardo Mortara.

    I place my choices mainly based on what I saw with my own eyes over here at the macau GP Formula 3 race, where they all have “sort of” similar machinery.

    In this generation, Leclerc was sublime on his first year here, doing absolutely “impossible” overtakes in Lisboa Corner on the outside. Leclerc, in my humble eyes, is confirming all his potential and a possible “great” and World Championship winner in the future.

    Giovinazzi is very fast but inconsistent. Very fast here in Macau but made some errors that cost him the race a couple times. I see him as Romain Grosjean in the early years. If he can conquer his emotions and consistency, he can be a strong contender.

    Da Costa seems matured. Last year he returned over here and with Carlin, not the favourites, and without sponsors in his car, dominated the Race. With the Algarve Circuit looking to return to formula 1, maybe there’s a chance he gets the backing to return to the F1 circuit through a small team? His time seems to have passed, his formula E season looks to be mediocre (looks like a poor car), but he is undeniably fast. Returning here without almost any preparation and on a car and category he hadn’t done in years was very impressive, and a statement of talent.

    Felix Rosenqvist is one of my favourite non Formula 1 drivers. Having had the opportunity to talk to him, I can say he is an incredibly clever and funny man, but more than this, incredibly knowledgeable and with the right mindset as a racing driver. The proof is his amazing success in every single category he has participated, from Super Formula, Formula E, GT’s, you name it. Its unbelievable how formula 1 ignores him. Which brings me to:

    Edoardo Mortara. Not a choice I could make on this list, but seeing there’s Maro Engel, another DTM driver and GT Winner in Macau, I thought I should give Edo a shout out. Edo was one of the most impressive drivers I’ve personally seen here on the Guia Circuit. Never really understood how he never got a chance in Formula 1 seeing how fast he is in every single category. In DTM he has over delivered in both Audi and now Mercedes teams he is in. Hopefully he will be part of the Works Mercedes team in Formula E.

    Lastly, special mention to Callum Illot. The kid impressed me while watching him drive on the track. Aggressive driving style, fast, lets see if he is consistent and keeps improving.

  42. I must comment about the Mazepin issue. I can’t say that I know his driving skills but, I can say that to eliminate a driver from consideration for advancement or to penalize him in any way for his off-track conduct especially when that conduct was precipitated by what the driver perceived as an interference with his on track progress is exactly the thing which separates F1 style racing from Indycar ,NASCAR and other ” American -style racing and which ,in my estimate, lowers the F1 type racing and drivers.
    That is not to say that Indycar is better than F1 but, it is to say that real competitors sometimes fight . Its natural ,its part of being a competitor and it should NOT be punished.
    After Verstappen almost killed Raikonnen at Spa last year Raikonnen was certainly within his rights -as a man- to seek out Verstappen and punch his face out.
    If someone almost killed you because that person was mad at your partner would sit back and do nothing or would you let that person know that you will defend yourself in everyway including a fist fight ? Of course you would ,only an idiot would not .
    I am not a violent person but, if you try to force me off a track at 200mph possibly leaving me crippled or dead and leaving my family without me I AM going to make an impression on your face ,or at least make my best efforts to do so.
    In American-style racing there is not infrequently altercations after the race and because of what happened in the race . There is NOTHING wrong with that so to impose any sort of punishment or negative result on Mazepin is within the F1 style of presenting a gentleman’s front but, I say its hypocritical to allow a driver to use a 200mph vehicle to attack another person with but, then preclude a person from using his fists . Nonsense !

  43. There were a few Indy Car drivers mention in the list.

    Marco Andretti and JR Hildebrand did test F1 cars. But we do not know how many km they ran. Spencer Pigot does not have the required points. Ed Jones is 3 points short of the 40 point maximum.

    The Indy Lights series are lacking entries and might be the reason for a champ getting only 15 points. The FIA should raise the amount of points to obtain the Superlicense.

    Rossi is long overdue. I do not mind if he lands a Toro Rosso seat if Honda and STR come to terms.

    Rahal only has 14 points.

  44. As an Indonesian, am I glad Gelael is not getting any significant vote

  45. 1st Charles Leclerc- Ferrari for Räikkönen
    2nd Felix Rosenqvist- Williams for Massa
    3rd Robin Frijns- Williams for Stroll
    4th Pierre Gasly- Toro Rosso for Kvyat
    5th Oliver Rowland- Renault for Palmer
    6th Antonio Felix Da Costa- Sauber for Ericsson

Comments are closed.