As Crimson Bull seek for the star to re-ignite their junior group spark, Helmut Marko is protecting an in depth eye on Isack Hadjar.
Crimson Bull boast arguably the most efficient junior set-up which Formulation 1 has to supply, the likes of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo all graduating to the principle group, Verstappen and Vettel successful six Drivers’ titles between them in Crimson Bull colors, 4 for Vettel and two for Verstappen, for now.
However Crimson Bull are presently going by one thing of a barren spell in terms of getting their Junior Crew drivers into Formulation 1, Yuki Tsunoda the latest graduate as he linked up with sister group AlphaTauri forward of the 2021 marketing campaign.
Marko has excessive hopes although for Hadjar, the 18-year-old Frenchman who he nicknamed ‘little Prost’ because of his resemblance to Alain Prost in Marko’s eyes.
Hadjar, in his first season with Crimson Bull backing, gained three races in his rookie Formulation 3 marketing campaign, ending P4 within the 2022 standings.
And it’s he who Marko can envisage changing into a breakout star for the Crimson Bull programme.
There was a gap for the 2023 marketing campaign at AlphaTauri, however Crimson Bull’s Formulation 2 stars of final season, Liam Lawson, Ayumu Iwasa, Jehan Daruvala, Dennis Hauger and Juri Vips, didn’t make the lower.
Lawson was the highest-ranked of that pool, ending the season P3 within the standings with 4 race wins for the 12 months, and is about to move to Japan in 2023 to compete in Tremendous Formulation.
Requested by Auto Motor und Sport to evaluate the present hopefuls of the Crimson Bull Junior Crew, Marko stated: “At the beginning the Frenchman Isack Hadjar, whom I name the little Prost as a result of he seems to be like the large one.
“Then we have now Zane Maloney, a expertise from Barbados, and Enzo Fittipaldi [both new recruits]. They may drive for us in Formulation 2 and should show themselves there.
“The secret is to be persistently on the entrance there. Our Liam Lawson was not there at instances. In the long run, he delivered good races once more. Then we had Jüri Vips, who as soon as stated the flawed phrase and was completed after that. Which is actually not proper both. As a younger lad of 21, you’ll be able to say one thing silly.
“Sebastian Montoya remains to be driving for us in Formulation 3. So we have now a broad base. But when, like this 12 months, no high driver presents himself, then we glance round on the skin market. And that’s the place we acquired [Nyck] de Vries. On the finish of the day, we’d like drivers who’ve the potential to win a Grand Prix in some unspecified time in the future. And we didn’t have that.”
Verstappen is essentially the most outlandish of Crimson Bull’s previous graduates, having been solely 17 when he debuted with Toro Rosso, earlier than he was promoted to the Crimson Bull group somewhat over a 12 months later, successful the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on debut.
Requested if he sees one other Verstappen-esque junior on the rise, Marko merely replied: “No.”
Subsequent Max Verstappen could also be at Alpine or Mercedes, not Crimson Bull
It’s all the time extraordinarily tough to foretell how a junior driver’s document will set them up for potential Formulation 1 success. For instance, Charles Leclerc and George Russell at the moment are impressing on the entrance finish of the grid after stellar junior careers, whereas Lance Stroll remains to be struggling to make a sustained impression after his.
There are a number of younger abilities placing in dazzling shows within the junior classes, however a pair have actually caught the attention. First up is Fernando Alonso-backed Alpine prospect Nikola Tsolov.
Born on December 21, 2006, Tsolov stormed to the 2022 Formulation 4 Spanish title as a 15-year-old. A complete of 21 races made up that rookie season, and he gained 13 of them with Campos. That included a streak of eight wins in a row. He completed outdoors of the rostrum locations solely 3 times.
Over within the 2022 Italian Formulation 4 Championship in the meantime, Mercedes-backed 16-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli dominated in his rookie season with 13 wins from 20 races entered.
He gained the ADAC Formulation 4 title as effectively with 9 wins from 15 races, ending outdoors of the highest two on solely three events.
The important thing will after all be whether or not these prospects preserve such type as they transfer up the ladder, however such performances actually function an eye-opener.
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