One has been much talked about, the other has already raced in Grand Prix, and the third has put the USA back on the grid: who are Oscar Piastri, Nic de Vries and Logan Sargeant, the new faces of Formula 1? What is expected this weekend in Bahrain during the first Grand Prix of the season?
Piastri (McLaren), controversy
His arrival at McLaren has surprised the track, starting at Alpine, where he has been officially announced for his first season in F1.
“I haven’t signed a contract with Alpine for 2023,” Oscar Biastri gushed in the wake of the announcement. Legal trouble ensued, before an arbitration panel ruled in favor of McLaren, who also claimed to have a contract with the Australian.
A promising 21-year-old driver, who has trained at the Alpine Academy in recent years, Piastri has been confined to a reserve driver role for the French team in 2022, despite his Formula 3 title being taken in 2020, followed by the Formula 2 title of the year. coming.
Now installed in the F1 seat, Piastri, who began his career in remote-controlled car controls before swapping them for a steering wheel, should benefit from a more efficient one-on-one seat than other rookies of the season.
But the young prodigy will have to face fellow Briton Lando Norris, the only driver from outside the “first team” (Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes) on the podium last season.
Image source: AFP
De Vries (AlphaTauri), Patience
If Nyck de Vries, at 28, will already be one of the oldest drivers on the grid during his stint in Formula 1, the Dutchman doesn’t care: “Everyone follows their own path, so whatever my age or how I got here, it doesn’t matter.” Really (…), seizing the opportunity at the right time is all that matters.”
This opportunity, compatriot – and friend – double defending champion Max Verstappen seized it in September, when he replaced Thailand’s Alexander Albon on short notice during the Italian Grand Prix. He was very successful in his first Formula 1 GP, finishing ninth at the wheel of a Williams often out of the points.
Since then, “the phone hasn’t stopped ringing,” recalls the Dutchman. “I really wanted to use that momentum (…) to beat and create an opportunity in Formula 1.” It was on AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s younger sister team, that he finally signed up for.
Before landing in F1, De Vries spent three seasons in Formula 2, the F1 waiting room, and won the title at the end of the 2019 season. After that he passed Formula E (electric), he will be crowned champion in 2021 with Mercedes, with whom he also cooperates in Formula 1 as a driver Spare.
Now in the elite of his sport, Batavian will team up with Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda, who is 22 years old and the youngest driver on the grid (1.59m)… ahead of de Vries (1.67m).
Image source: AFP
Sargent (Williams) is back in the States
The first American Formula 1 driver since Alexander Rossi in 2015, Logan Sargeant arrived straight from Formula 2 as he was crowned ‘Rookie of the Year’ last season – an honorary award rewarding the best rookie of the season – despite a fourth-place finish.
His profile as a ‘Made in the USA’ driver sticks to the image of the new generation F1, to which the US group Liberty Media has held the commercial rights since 2017. But there is no doubt that the 22-year-old would have thought he made a pass there.
“I like to think it’s just a happy coincidence, I’ve been working for the past few years, coming to Europe when I was young to pursue this dream,” the person in question replies.
A fact he can now enjoy on his home turf as three Doctors (out of 23) are organized in the United States, in Las Vegas (Nevada) as well as Miami (Florida) and Austin (Texas).
If the American, along with his teammate Albon, this season will be in one of the worst performing teams on the grid, Sargent still sows hope that one day he will succeed his compatriots, world champions Phil Hill and Mario Andretti.
Image source: AFP
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