While it’s always great to watch Formula 1 to see how Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are fairing, it’s also fun to think of who will be the next Hamilton and Verstappen in the sport. And, as you will expect, a plethora of talent is breaking through and ready to be the future of F1.
Ugo Ugochukwu, 14, is a karting sensation who hails from the US and has had an agreement in place with McLaren for over a year. Akin to Hamilton, Ugochukwu signed at the same age as the Brit, and his achievements in the karting world suggest that we could see him in the driver’s championship outright betting lists in the future. In both the US and Europe, the American has claimed titles such as the 2020 FIA OKJ European Championship, which certainly makes him one to watch.
Britain’s Jamie Chadwick is a twenty-three-year-old who excelled in the W Series for two consecutive seasons, alongside being the F1 development driver for Williams and making her bow in the Extreme E Series. As you will expect, Chadwick has plenty of experience under her belt, having been champion in British GT4 and MRF Challenge Formula 2000, and now it will be interesting to see how her career plays out from this point forward, as she also has experience on the world stage having taken part in Asian F3.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli
Andrea Kimi Antonelli, 15, is an Italian with the world at his feet. Or should that be track? Akin to most others who go on to achieve success, Antonelli broke through via karting, leading to Mercedes deciding to sign him back in 2019 when he was just twelve years old. It’s a sign of how much potential they believe the youngster has. Antonello debuted in F4 last year and banked three podium finishes from nine races, which is an impressive start to what should be a stellar career that eventually makes its way to Formula 1.
Unlike others appearing on our list, Russian driver Robert Shwartzman has already mapped out what’s coming next for him on his career path, and that’s being the Scuderia Ferrari F1 test driver. In the last three years, twenty-two-year-old Shwartzman has made significant progress, which has seen him overtake many and move closer to becoming a Formula 1 driver. He’s proved his credentials in F3 and F2, and now the onus is on him to continue progressing at the same rate, as this will ultimately get him to where he wants to be.
It will always be a long, hard slog to make it as a Formula 1 driver. But those mentioned above certainly have a great chance of realising their dreams. They’re all at different stages in their career, but some could well be seen making the grid in the coming years.