The F1 Junior Drivers Lighting Up The 2024 Formula 2 Championship

The F1 Junior Drivers Lighting Up The 2024 Formula 2 Championship
The F1 Junior Drivers Lighting Up The 2024 Formula 2 Championship

By Tejpreet Bhurji

The 2024 Formula 2 Championship has brought a fresh wave of talent to our screens, particularly the young guns from various Formula 1 junior programs. These drivers are not just competing for the championship; they are auditioning for a coveted seat in Formula 1.

With the likes of Gabriel Bortoleto, a reigning FIA Formula 3 Champion and McLaren junior, and Toto Wolff protege Kimi Antonelli, the grid is peppered with potential future F1 stars.

Get to know some of the stars of Formula 2 here…

Alpine

Kush Maini became a member of the Alpine Driver Academy in October 2023 and is also a reserve driver for Mahindra Racing’s Formula E team. He was born in Bangalore on 22nd September 2000. His brother Arjun currently drives in DTM and GT World Challenge and recently drove in a round of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie. Kush raced in the Italian Formula 4 Championship in 2016 and 2017. He has also driven in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship, Formula Renault Eurocup, BRDC British Formula 3 Championship and Formula 3 Asian Championship. He is currently in his second Formula 2 season, after spending a season in Formula 3 in 2022.

Kush Maini Joins The Alpine Academy Programme

Victor Martins was born in Quincy-sous-Sénart on 16 June 2001. He was part of the Alpine Academy (then called the Renault Sport Academy) between 2018 and 2019 and his current stint with the academy began in 2021. He finished second in the 2017 French Formula 4 Championship and was also runner-up in the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019, before winning the latter the next year. He won the Formula 3 Championship in 2022 and started driving in the Formula 2 Championship a year later, for the ART Grand Prix team. Martins decided to continue to drive for ART this season.   

Aston Martin

Jak Crawford is a former Red Bull Junior Team driver who has now joined the Aston Martin Driver Development Programme. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on 2 May 2005. During his karting career, Crawford won the SKUSA Texas Pro-Kart Challenge Championship Series (Rotax Micro Max and Vortex Mini ROK) and was the highest-placed rookie in the US Open Championship Series Rotax Mini Max class. He was second in the 2018-2019 NACAM Formula 4 Championship and 2020 ADAC Formula 4 Championship. Crawford finished in seventh place in his second and last Formula 3 season, in 2022. Last year, he drove for the Hitech Pulse-Eight Formula 2 team although he now drives for DAMS Lucas Oil.

Jak Crawford, Driver Development Program, Aston Martin F1 Team

Ferrari

Oliver Bearman is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and is a driver for Prema Racing in Formula 2. He was born on 8 May 2005, in Chelmsford. His karting career commenced in 2013 and he was runner-up in the Super 1 National Championship Cadet class in 2016 and 2017. In 2019, Bearman won the IAME Winter Cup in the X30 Junior and X30 Senior categories and IAME Euro Series and IAME International Final (X30 Junior). He is also a winner of the Italian Formula 4 Championship and ADAC Formula 4 Championship. Last season, he drove twice for the Haas F1 Team during Free Practice 1 in Formula 1 races in Abu Dhabi and Mexico. Bearman also drove for Ferrari in this year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when Carlos Sainz was ill with appendicitis.

Ollie Bearman Deserves An F1 Seat For 2025

Mercedes

Andrea Kimi Antonelli is a Mercedes junior team driver who is in his first F2 season and Oliver Bearman’s teammate. He won the CIK-FIA Karting European Championship in 2020 and 2021 and Italian Formula 4 Championship, ADAC Formula 4 Championship and FIA Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup in 2022. Last year, he was the champion of the Formula Regional Middle East Championship and Formula Regional European Championship. He decided not to drive in the Formula 3 Championship although he has enough points to get a super license on his 18th birthday (on 25th August) which will allow him to become an F1 driver if a team chooses to hire him in the future. Antonelli tested the Mercedes W12 car which was used in the 2021 F1 season last month at the Red Bull Ring.  

Kimi Antonelli First Test Austria

McLaren

Gabriel Bortoloto is Kush Maini’s teammate (both drive for Invicta Racing) and also a McLaren Development driver. He was born in Sao Paulo on 14 October 2004. In his karting career, he was a winner of the Open do Brasileiro de Kart (Mirim and Cadete) and finished third in the CIK-FIA World Junior Championship (OKJ). He was fifth in the 2020 Italian Formula 4 Championship. After this, he participated in the Formula Regional European Championship and Formula Regional Asian Championship. He won the Formula 3 title last year and chose to drive in Formula 2 this season.

Red Bull

Enzo Fittipaldi was born in Miami on 18 July 2001. His grandfather Emerson won the F1 title in 1972 and 1974 and his older brother Pietro is a Haas Reserve Driver (alongside Oliver Bearman). Enzo was the winner of the 2018 Italian Formula 4 Championship and in the same year finished third in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship. In 2019, he was second in the Formula Regional European Championship. He then spent two seasons in Formula 3. This season is his third year in Formula 2 and at present he is driving for Van Amersfoort Racing.  

Enzo Fittipaldi

Isack Hadjar and Josep Maria Marti are teammates at Campos Racing. Hadjar was born in Paris on 28 September 2004. He finished third in the 2020 French Formula 4 Championship and 2022 Formula Regional Asian Championship whilst Marti was a position ahead of him in the standings for the latter. Hadjar also took part in the Formula 3 Championship in 2022 and ended up in fourth place, before driving for Hitech Pulse-Eight in F2 last year. Marti is from Spain and was born in Barcelona on 13 June 2005. He won the junior class of the Spanish Karting Championship in 2019 and was third in the Formula 4 Spanish Championship in 2021. Last year he finished seventh in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship and was fifth in Formula 3 and the Macau Grand Prix.

Sauber

Zane Maloney was born in Bridgetown (in Barbados) on 2 October 2003 and is a second year Formula 2 driver. Maloney was part of the Red Bull Junior Team in 2023 and joined the Sauber Junior Team in February of this year. He won the British Formula 4 Championship in 2019 and had 10 victories, 6 poles and 5 fastest laps that season. Maloney was eighth in the 2020 Euroformula Open Championship and finished fourth in the Formula Regional European Championship the next year, before ending up second in the 2022 Formula 3 Championship. He currently holds the top spot in Formula 2 and won the Sprint and Feature races in Jeddah and finished 3rd in the Australian Grand Prix Feature Race.

2024 Bahrain Grand Prix Friday - Zane Maloney

Williams

Franco Colapinto drives for the MP Motorsport Formula 2 team. He was born in Buenos Aires on 27 May 2003 and joined the Williams Driver Academy in January 2023. Colapinto won the karting title at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics with María García Puig and was also the winner of the 2019 Formula 4 Spanish Championship. He has also finished third in Formula Renault Eurocup, the Toyota Racing Series and LMP2 category of the Asian Le Mans series. Last season, he was fourth in the Formula 3 Championship.

Franco Colapinto

Zak O’Sullivan drives for the ART Grand Prix Formula 2 team and is younger than Colapinto, having been born in Cheltenham on 6 February 2005. He has been part of the Williams Driver Academy since February 2022. Between 2019 and 2021, O’Sullivan raced in three different racing series in Britain – the Ginetta Junior Championship, Formula 4 British Championship and GB3 Championship. He was runner-up in the first two and won the latter. Last year was his second and final season in Formula 3 and he ended up in 2nd place.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice Day Abu Dhabi, Uae

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