Young drivers you have high hopes for


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    @kingshark I have indeed been following Vettel’s career with quite some interest since 2003 – but a Red Bull fan I am not. Toro Rosso, yes, but not Red Bull.

    Personally I think Vergne has what it takes to be a “top driver,” and by extension, what it takes to drive for Red Bull. Give him time, I say.

    Ricciardo, I’m not so sure he has.

    The points standings I think don’t paint the true picture here as STR is just about 9th quickest team (slowest of the “established” teams) this year.

    Will that time come next year? No, I don’t think they’re ready for a top drive in 2012. In 2013, we’ll have to see.


    I was somewhat hoping you were going to say that. I’ve grown a bit of a soft spot for Vergne, I really like his aggression and racy driving mood; he’s also very young and seems to have an interesting personality.

    Ricciardo is more of a type of driver who can win from pole position, and can make it a perfect weekend. However, he struggles with his race-craft and wheel-on-wheel racing ability.

    Ricciardo seems to be more of a Vettel while Vergne is more of a Hamilton. That’s how I see it.


    I’m not sure. Ricciardo I feel has shown the goods in qualifying, but he’s constantly losing out in the races. Vice versa for Vergne.


    Their pace has been very similar in the races – except Malaysia. Both times Ricciardo qualified in the top 10, he broke his front wing in a crash on the first lap. I think avoiding incidents like this will come with experience.
    I remember him saying at the start of the year that his main weakness was that he wasn’t aggressive enough and he was going to try to be more aggressive this season, it seems he’s being too aggressive now.
    I think Vergne’s lack of pace relative to Ricciardo in quali might come from Ricciardo’s seat time in the HRT last season, because Vergne has been closing the gap all year.
    I can’t split the two at the moment, they are both very good and they will just keep getting better.


    Horner was, and still is, very high on Ricciardo. I don’t remember talking that positively, in that manner about Buemi or Alguersuari. He was also the one who fired Jaime and Sebastien to begin with. I guess Christian knows far better than we do. Undoubtedly Ricciardo and Vergne are both very talented drivers. But are they the next big thing? We’ll have to wait and see.


    I’m still not convinced by Ricciardo. I think Vergne will have a lot more points by season’s end. He already does now anyways.

    When they were teammates (I think that was in WSR?) out of the races they were together, IIRC, Vergne outscored Ricciardo – despite Vergne being parachuted in halfway through the year.


    The 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series season?
    Jean Eric Vergne replaced Brendon Hartley midway the season to be teammates with Daniel Ricciardo at Tech 1 Racing for the remainder of the year (final 3 rounds, 6 races). During that time, Vergne scored 53 points while Ricciardo, within the same time span, only scored 50 points despite having a season more experience in the series than Vergne and being a title contender.

    While I don’t think he’ll score “a lot” more than Ricciardo this year, I do agree that Vergne will be above him on the table in the final championship standings. He definitely seems to be the stronger one among the two imo.


    @raymondu999 When they were team mates, Vergne Scored 53 points with one victory, only 3 more than Ricciardo who scored 50 with 2 victories.
    However, Ricciardo got caught up in this crash at Silverstone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIftZ1IwThc
    Vergne went on to win this race, but I think it’s fair to say that without the crash, if Ricciardo didn’t win it, he would have come very close and would have scored at least 10 more points than Vergne in the period when they were team mates. Basically, if they finished the way they qualified for this race then Ricciardo would have had 60 points and Vergne would have had 46.


    @duncanmonza at the end of the day – Ricciardo got caught up in the accident and Vergne didn’t – despite Ricciardo having 13 more races worth of experience, and more testing.

    Ricciardo has more victories, but that just means that Vergne was more consistent – with his other points finishes more than enough to cover the win. In fact IIRC Vergne had more podiums during their time as teammates. Once he hit his stride, he was never off the podium in the last 4 races.


    The accident was unavoidable.
    Yes, Vergne had more podiums, but only because he was gifted one when Ricciardo was taken out, otherwise it would have been 4-3 in Favor of Dan.
    As I’ve said, they are both very good, but I think it’s too early to split them.


    Considering his recent performances which have brought him Red Bull backing, I’d add to my list:
    Antonio Felix da Costa (POR)
    I’d also add:
    Tio Ellinas (CYP)
    Giovanni Venturini (ITA)
    Kevin Magnussen (DEN)

    Felipe Bomeny

    Santiago Urrutia (Uruguay), Shota Kiyohara (Japan), and Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) have all impressed me in the Formula Abarth championships. Felix Seralles has been a revelation this year, and I also have high hopes for Brazilians Felipe Nasr and Felipe Fraga.

    Next year’s WSR grid should be packed with outstanding talent (several of the drivers on all of your lists)- I think we’ll see Jaafar and AFC at Carlin and Seralles at Fortec. Vainio and Abt should remain with their current teams; and Arthur Pic, who’s been rather impressive this year, could switch to Arden Caterham if his brother goes to Caterham F1. Sirotkin could drive for RFR or Fortec (given their link to Euronova).


    Robin Frijns:
    2010: Formula BMW Europe champion
    2011: Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion
    2012: Fighting for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship (currently 2nd, 5pts behind Bianchi)

    Has any driver ever won 3 successive junior formulae titles in a row?

    Felipe Bomeny

    @mnmracer Romain Grosjean did. Auto GP 2010, GP2 Asia 2010-2011, GP2 2011.

    But this doesn’t diminish his accomplishments; Frijns has been spectacular in FR3.5 this year. He’s riding on a wave of upcoming Dutch talent that also includes Nyck de Vries, Steijn Schothorst, Beitske Visser, Nigel Melker, and Jeroen Slaghekke.



    Sixteen year-old Sergey Sirotkin is another interesting prospect. He’s very young, and has had plenty of success. His first race at Monza in AutoGP was a disaster, but he did qualify on the front row. If he keeps it up, I think he’s bound to land in Formula 1 sooner rather than later.

    That looks like a pretty reasonable prediction now!

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