Do Formula 2 stars doubt chance in F1? They are looking elsewhere en masse


young talents formula 2 see way out in formula e
11 April at 14:00
  • Ludo van Denderen

They are familiar names to Formula 2 followers: Zane Maloney, Jak Crawford, Paul Aron, Dennis Hauger and Kush Maini. Drivers in the main development class to Formula 1 are all hoping for a seat in the top class of motorsport. But recent seasons show that the top drivers in F2 are getting fewer and fewer - sometimes no - chances in F1. That is why the stars of the future are currently looking en masse to another class.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli is undoubtedly not worried. The 17-year-old super talent is predicted to have a bright future in Formula 1. If not next season already, then undoubtedly soon after, the Italian will make his entrance into Formula 1. The rest of the current F2 grid are not so certain. Even a driver like Zane Maloney, current leader in F2 with a relatively significant lead over Paul Aron, despite his current role as Sauber's reserve driver (Stake F1), cannot assume he will advance to Formula 1.

Fewer and fewer opportunities for F2 talents in F1

In F1 these days, the stakes are so high that teams - especially those at the back of the field fighting for every point - prefer to contract a more experienced driver, rather than a youngster whose quality remains to be seen. After all, a young driver is usually not there straight away and a number of crashes with considerable damage are also in the offing. Indeed, there have been exceptions in recent years; Logan Sargeant (Williams) and Guanyu Zhou (Stake F1) who entered F1 via F2. But they were helped because of the many sponsors and millions they brought with them. Then a tonne of damage after a crash is at least somewhat manageable.

F2 stars confirmed for Formula E test

Meanwhile, there's a realisation among youngsters in motorsport that the path to Formula 1 is increasingly difficult. Perhaps this explains why a group of drivers are now looking elsewhere. Two rookie tests are scheduled in Formula E over the next few weeks, and F2 is well represented there. Maloney (first in the F2 standings), Aron (second), Hauger (third), Maini (fifth), Crawford (eighth) and Taylor Barnard (22nd) have already been confirmed for these. Red Bull junior Tim Tramnitz - competing in Formula 3 - also gets to test an FE car. Paul Aron is even completely lucky. The Estonian eill replace Robin Frijns during the E-Prix in Berlin. The Dutchman has commitments in the WEC at the same time.

Of course, the announcement for the tests does not say that all these talents will eventually make a final move to Formula E. However, it is a sign of things to come: the young drivers in the developement classes are not staring blindly at Formula 1. Apparently, there is the realism that Formula E could be an interesting alternative for them.

The participants in the rookie tests in Formula E

TeamMisanoBerlin driver 1Berlin driver 2
ABT CupraTim TramnitzTim TramnitzUnknown
AndrettiZane MaloneyZane MaloneyJak Crawford
DS PenskeRobert ShwartzmanUnknownUnknown
Envision RacingPaul AronUnknownUnknown
JaguarSheldon van der LindeUnknownUnknown
MahindraJordan KingKush MainiUnknown
MaseratiYann EhrlacherUnknownUnknown
McLarenTaylor BarnardUnknownUnknown
NIO 333 RacingMikel AzconaUnknownUnknown
NissanCaio ColletUnknownUnknown
PorscheMatt CampbellDennis HaugerThomas Preining

The Formula E race in Berlin on 11 and 12 May falls on the same weekend as the World Endurance Championship's Spa six-hour race. Mahindra driver Nyck de Vries and both Envision drivers Robin Frijns and Sebastien Buemi are prioritising the WEC race in Spa.

The teams in Sao Paulo voted on whether the drivers could possibly compete in the E-prix on Sunday, but there was no unanimous approval. This means the drivers will miss both days.

These are the replacements for De Vries, Frijns and Buemi

Jordan King will replace Nyck de Vries at Mahindra Racing. The ex-IndyCar driver will make his Formula E debut as a result. Paul Aron will also make his Formula E debut as a replacement at Envision Racing. Finally, Joel Eriksson will also compete for Envision Racing at the E-prix in Berlin.