The 2021 F2 Rookies

Oscar Piastri

It’s no surprise the 20-year-old is now in Formula 2 having pipped Theo Pourchaire to the F3 Championship in 2020. The Australian may be known for his funny Twitter game, but it’s his talent he’ll be known for in the long run, as it will be only a matter of time before he jumps up to F1. In early 2020, Piastri joined the Renault Sport Academy and after winning the F3 title Renault awarded him a young drivers test. Piastri has already won a sprint race in the opening round of the season, showing Alpine that he is one for the future.

Liam Lawson

The New Zealander had a busy 2020, coming fifth in F3 and second in the Toyota Racing Series, the championship he won the year previous. Lawson has been a Red Bull Junior since early 2019, and he is proving that he is one for the future having secured two podiums at Bahrain, winning the first sprint race and coming third in the feature. If Lawson thought 2020 was busy, he probably didn’t expect to be competing in two championships again this year. Alongside F2, Lawson will be competing in DTM, contesting the full season in a Red Bull backed Ferrari. His teammate is former Red Bull driver Alex Albon.   

Theo Pourchaire

The 17-year-old has seen rapid development. In 2019, Pourchaire won the ADAC F4 championship on his first attempt. He narrowly missed out on winning the F3 Championship before stepping up for two rounds at the end of last year’s F2 series. This year sees Pourchaire join ART as a member of the Sauber Junior Team, and his rapid career progression could see him step up next year to the Alfa Romeo F1 team. It would be the first driver since Sauber promoted Esteban Gutierrez in 2013. With Kimi Raikkonen looking like he will retire at the end of the season, a promising F2 campaign will ensure his name is thrown into the hat for the promotion.  

Richard Verschoor

The 20-year-old Dutchman came second in the 2018 Toyota Racing Series, battling Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong all season. Verschoor won the 2019 Macau Grand Prix, and has now been promoted, joining MP Motorsport for the 2021 season. Although his deal was only for the opening round of the season, two top five finishes in round one is likely to see a contract extension throughout the season.  

David Beckmann

Beckmann had a good Formula 3 season with two sprint race wins at Hungary and Silverstone. Notably, in every race that Beckmann finished, he scored points, his only retirement came in the Monza sprint race. Beckmann has already shown pace by finishing third in the first Bahrain sprint race of the 2021 season.  

Lirim Zendeli

The German-Albanian-Macedonian is competing in F2 with MP Motorsport. It took three attempts for the 21-year-old to win the ADAC Formula 4 Championship, two years in Formula 3 before promotion to F2. Will he have one season in F2 before joining F1? Probably not. Zendeli is looking to get back into the win column, having won the feature race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Matteo Nannini

Matteo is the nephew of 1989 Japanese GP winner Alessandro Nannini, but the 17-year-old is already starting to forge a career for himself. At 15, Nannini had already won the Formula 4 UAE Championship, but this year Nannini has been promoted to F2, but will also race the F3 season with HWA Racelab.

Juri Vips

The young Estonian joins F2 for his first full season having substituted for the injured Sean Geleal last year. Vips joined the Red Bull Junior Team at the end of 2018, and ever since has been showing why he is a prospect. He finished fourth in the F3 Championship and ended the year with a second-place finish in the Macau Grand Prix. Vips is a driver who Red Bull have their eye on, giving him reserve driver duties throughout the 2020 season. Vips received his FIA Super Licence after he completed the 300km test in the 2012 Red Bull around Silverstone. He also appeared in the 2020 young driver test in Abu Dhabi, driving the 2020 Red Bull.  

Bent Viscaal

The 21-year-old Dutchman joins Trident after finishing 13th in the Formula 3 Championship. Whilst the result is not very impressive, Viscaal did score two podiums including an impressive victory in the Silverstone sprint race.

Gianluca Petecof

The highly rated 18-year-old has jumped straight from winning the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship to F2. Petecof saw off a season long battle against Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Rasmussen, largely due to this storming season opener. In the first nine races of the season, Petecof stood on the podium eight times. The Italian joins Campos Racing, taking the seat of Williams reserve driver Jack Aitken. This season sees a serious step up in competition for the teenager, who is looking for consistent mileage in the Campos backmarker.  

Alessio Deledda

The 2021 field is filled with former F3 race winners, showing that the grid this year is strong, that form does not continue with Alessio Deledda. The 26-year-old Italian came 34th in last year’s F3 Championship, with his highest finishing position being 20th. Deledda will be a familiar for those who saw the video he posted on social media driving erratically on public roads. He then threatened to sue Josh Revell after the YouTuber posted a video on Deledda’s career.

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