Can these American drivers make the transition to Formula 1?

28-10-2021 08:41 | Updated: 28-10-2021 08:55
F1 News
Can these American drivers make the transition to Formula 1?

With the United States Grand Prix and Miami in 2022 and possibly another race in Las Vegas starting in 2023, Formula One is starting to get bigger and bigger in America. The only thing the country is still missing is a driver from its own country. Who could succeed Alexander Rossi as an American F1 driver and with which team? We list some of the options for you.

Colton Herta

Andretti seemed to want to buy Alfa Romeo and with the American owner at the helm, Herta would also be in the picture. The 21-year-old driver drives IndyCar for Michael Andretti's team and Mario, the father of and world champion in Formula 1, would like to see Herta in F1. It seemed like an easy addition, but the deal between Andretti and Alfa is off.

Nevertheless, Herta is still an interesting option for Alfa Romeo. In 2015 and 2016 he already tried the switch to Europe once. Then he drove several championships in Europe, including the MSA Championship, in which he finished third in the final standings. Winner of that championship was Lando Norris.

Despite a third place in the Euroformula Open and a second place in the Spanish F3 Championship Herta returns to America after just two years. There he impressed for two seasons in the Indy Light championship, before making the switch to IndyCar. In the American class, he took a victory in his second race and went on to win five more.

Josef Newgarden

When we talk about American drivers, the name of Josef Newgarden should also be mentioned. Newgarden is not the youngest driver on the grid at 30 years old, but he has won the IndyCar championship twice, was the runner-up the last two years and also won the Indy Lights championship in his younger years.

Newgarden is considered one of the most popular drivers in America but never made the successful switch to Europe. He competed in the 2009 British Formula Ford Championship and was on pole once during his 2010 GP3 season. However, Carlin failed to impress in Europe, so he opted for Indy Lights, where he became an outright champion in 2011.

With two IndyCar titles to his name, Newgarden would be a great showcase for American racing in Formula 1, but whether it's realistic remains to be seen. Newgarden is thirty years old and has no ties to any European teams.

Jak Crawford

In Formula 3, a number of American talents are trying to get into the spotlight of European teams. The one who knows how to do this the best is Jack Crawford. Crawford is still only 16 years old but is already competing in the Formula 3 championship, supported by Red Bull.

Crawford made the switch to formula cars in Europe back in 2020, when he took five wins and second place in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship for Dutch company Van Amersfoort Racing. He also competed in 14 races in Italian Formula 4, taking two wins.

In 2021, the transition to Formula 3 was a little more difficult. He finished 13th in the standings with 45 points but was on the podium once. Crawford needs some time but clearly has the speed. In the Euroformule Open Championship, he won eight of the sixteen races in 2021 and finished third in the standings, despite missing two race weekends.

Logan Sargeant

The final driver on this list is Logan Sargeant. At 20 years old, Sargeant is not the youngest talent in Formula 3, but Americans generally need some time to adapt. Sargeant still gets that time from Williams. The British team announced during the American GP that they will include this talent in their training programme.

Sargeant already won races in British Formula 4, Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula 3 championship, but there was no real breakthrough so far. On behalf of Prema, the American almost certainly missed out on the F3 title in 2020 due to a retirement in the final race. In 2021, he joined Charouz in a bid to take the title but failed to secure more than one win and a seventh-place overall.

However, even in the entry-level classes it's all about the team you're in and Charouz, especially compared to Prema, is not the team to drive the most champions. With the support of Williams, Sargeant will have to hope that he has a better seat in 2022, to take his last chance in Formula 1.

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