Iwasa “standout” Red Bull junior in F2, Hauger “a bit underwhelming” – Horner

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner gives his verdict on his current roster of junior drivers.

In brief

Horner hails Iwasa, wanted more from other F2 juniors

With one round of the Formula 2 season to go, Jehan Daruvala is the only Red Bull junior still in contention to finish runner-up in the championship. However it’s a driver further down the standings that has impressed Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner the most, and one above him who’s underdelivered.

Horner shared his thoughts about his junior drivers on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, starting when he was asked if the Red Bull Junior Team is in good shape right now.

“Yeah it is,” he replied. “We are continuing to invest in youth. We’ve got some great youngsters in the programme, all the way from karting or stepping into Formula 4 for now, upwards. And I think it’s something that Red Bull have done so well, is giving giving these kids a chance, investing in young talent and and giving opportunities that otherwise they wouldn’t have had.

“There’s a few guys [to look out for]. I mean, Isaac Hadjar in Formula 3 this year has had a great debut season. I think [Ayumu] Iwasa in in F2 has been a standout driver for me. So they’re just two of the guys, on the programme. Liam Lawson’s had a tough year, but he’s another talent. Dennis Hauger has been a bit underwhelming in F2 after such a dominant year in F3, but again how much of that is him? How much of it is his equipment?”

Iwasa is currently ninth in the F2 points, and has a race win and a pole position from his rookie season, while Lawson sits seventh with three wins and Hauger is 11th with two victories. Ahead of all three is Daruvala, who is fifth in the standings and has tested a McLaren F1 car this year.

Agren returns to W Series

Ayla Agren has been announced as the replacement for the injured Tereza Babickova for the next W Series race in Singapore.

Babickova was diagnosed with a spinal injury following a spin at the Red Bull Ring in her first Formula Regional European Championship race earlier this month, and it ruled the single-seater rookie out of a private Formula 3 test and this weekend’s W Series action.

Agren, the 2014 F1600 Championship Series champion and a former USF2000 racer, contested all but one of last year’s W Series races as a major qualifying crash at Spa-Francorchamps left her hospitalised and meant she had to miss the race. She went on to finish 17th in the championship with two points finishes, and for 2022 was moved into a reserve driver role.

Danish prodigy to make long-awaited F4 debut

Stromsted impressed many in Danish F4 last year
Noah Stromsted, the Danish wonderkid who won nine races in Formula 4 last year at the age of 14, will make a highly anticipated first appearance in Spanish F4 this weekend.

Campos Racing has signed Stromsted for the last two rounds of the season. He was unable to compete in the first four rounds as he was yet to reach the minimum competing age of 15. Since his remarkable rookie Danish F4 season, where he also had to miss races as he waited to turn 14, he has tested extensively with Campos and also with R-ace GP in Italy.

Current FIA rules means Stromsted will not be eligible to score points towards an F1 superlicence this year due to competing in F4 aged 14.

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Comment of the day

There were many doubters when Alfa Romeo announced Zhou Guanyu as one of their drivers for 2022, but the rookie has performed strongly enough to retain his F1 seat for a second season.

While he was outperformed by less experience drivers in F2 who missed out on an F1 graduation, Zhou’s long junior single-seater career may ultimately have made him the most appropiate candidate to get the seat he did land, and why he’s now staying in it for 2023.

I know it’s something that’s only really available to heavily-sponsored drivers, but Zhou is testament to how spending more than 1-2 years in F2 benefits a driver’s reliability. He’s been a very steady pair of hands straight out of the box, and it’s telling that the team are pleased with him so far.Ciaran

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brian Munene and Spencer Ward!

On this day in motorsport

Jacques Villeneuve scored the final victory of his F1 career on this day in 1997

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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12 comments on “Iwasa “standout” Red Bull junior in F2, Hauger “a bit underwhelming” – Horner”

  1. Has it been 5 years already since Jacques won in that pretty Williams? *** checks calendar *** 25 years ago! That can’t be right.

    Such stunning, nimble machines in that mid-90s era. Then Mosley’s grooved tyres for ’98 made F1 more ‘street relevant’, less track suitable and heating up the aero-wars. Soon the vulture capitalists would feast on F1, as it morphed from sport to modern aero-wagon spectacle.

  2. When the FW19 was launched, the 13 year old me felt it was an untidy looking car. The “Falke”, “Auto-Motor und Sport” and “Castrol” Logos didn’t work well with the rest of the car in my mind. The “Hype” logos on the barge boards just grated me (why oh why are they different colours on each side of the car). It also annoyed me that they changed the way “Rothmans” was presented on the rear wing from time to time (going from the classic blue text on white as seen here to white text on blue at some races). It was also the successor to my favourite Grand Prix car of all time, the FW18, so I have always had a lingering suspicion that I was being a bit too hard on it.

    However, seeing it in today’s round up, when viewed against modern F1 liveries, it looks absolutely sublime. My lingering suspicion has been confirmed.

    1. @geemac It is a very pretty car. Kind of follows that idiom of ‘if looks fast standing still – it probably is fast’. To think it was built to the same technical specifications as the 96′ Ferrari is remarkable. That Ferrari looks like a bathtub perched on a lawnmower by comparison.

      To think Jacques never won another race after 97′ is strange. Not many would have predicated that when he was crowned.

  3. Hauger was a bit underwhelming in his first year of F3, too, so maybe he will have better results next year.

  4. Noah Stromsted, the Danish wonderkid who won nine races in Formula 4 last year at the age of 14, will make a highly anticipated first appearance in Spanish F4 this weekend.

    Great talent we will see soon in F1!

    Current FIA rules means Stromsted will not be eligible to score points towards an F1 superlicence this year due to competing in F4 aged 14.

    If you don’t can gather points then this system is broken if he scores enough points then he should get a Licence as that was the main thing if you score enough point you can drive safely in F1 … there are countries you can get a driving licensie at 16 years.

    1. The rules are there for a very good reason, @macleod – to prevent another Max Verstappen. What a disaster that was.

      1. @red-andy – i thought the rules were for safety? So you have to start racing when your 18 years….. otherwise no points are gathered…. very stupid indeed.

  5. Having read the AMuS article through an automatic on-site translator, regarding the points:
    Red-flagging only for true necessity.
    Full SC is better than VSC only when a safer choice for a given situation, so VSC whenever something is small enough for VSC option to maintain safety.
    I’d be okay with some changes to DRS use, but nothing is wrong overall.
    I wouldn’t mind having two QLFs for Sprint events & something different for non-Sprint events featuring more competitive sessions & thus fewer non-competitive ones.

    COTD: I agree.

  6. As once some man said. “Don’t overdo it just do it.” If Liberty media wants F1 to be a show then make the whole track a show. There is plenty of space to even make an amusment park around some tracks. Drivers will fight to the final lap even without the sprint or superduberqualifyings. F1 is already a show and what is better than add something extra around the track. I don’t want to pay hundreds of euro’s/dollars just to see drivers follow each other for 20 odd minutes just to make sure they don’t make any mistakes before the actual race. You are americans, you know how to make everything more grand and more shiny and more money. I’m just starting to understand why this isn’t the best way to help F1 forward.

  7. @elliotwood – can you provide the source for the Christian Horner interview please – I would like to read / listen to the whole thing?

    1. Just look for Beyond the grid podcast on Spotify/YouTube etc.

      1. Oops – thanks for that

Comments are closed.