F1's Legends of Tomorrow - Part 5: Notable Mentions
In the final part, I look at the F2 drivers with potential for F1 but who in my opinion, need a bit more time elsewhere first.
The Russian driver shows tremendous potential and he should get the chance to showcase it in Formula 1.
1. Callum Illot
In his third season of Formula 2 (second full season as he only competed in a couple of races back in 2018), Illot has improved dramatically. In 2019, he made it onto the podium twice and finished eleventh in the Championship.
So far this season, he's led the Championship at times and currently sits in second place. You might be wondering then why does Illot not warrant his own article? Well I'll tell you. When I looked at the driver standings following Barcelona, I couldn't figure out how Illot was leading the Championship. He must have won a couple of races - which when I reminded myself, he had (in Austria and Silverstone) but he'd only gotten onto the podium on one other occasion this year - when he came second at the Sprint Race in Hungary. Now there's no questioning that the Brit is a solid driver but for someone who's fighting for the Championship, his results on the whole don't seem to reflect that. If he does manage to win the Championship this year, I'll be impressed but I still don't think he should get the promotion into F1 just yet.
Another year in Formula 2 and /or being a test driver in Formula 1 will then determine if he's ready for the challenge of Formula 1.
2. Mick Schumacher
Mick is another character that many of you reading this might be thinking would be an automatic upgrade into Formula 1. I think so too - but not yet. Mick has a lot of pressure on his shoulders because of who his father is but is determined to write his own story - the fact that he began racing under a different name tells us this much. Yet, so far Mick has only won one Formula 2 race and that was back in 2019. He's been on the podium six times this year but has so far failed to get up onto that top step.
He's racing for PREMA which means that they are unlikely to ditch him next season. In which case, he should take the break between seasons to really nail down on the areas of weakness he has and then come back into Formula 2 in 2021 and begin winning races on a regular basis. If he wants to get into F1 on merit alone, this is the only way for him to do that and get out from under his father's shadow.
Like Illot, Schumacher is a great driver but just needs a bit more time to develop his skill set and prove that he really has what it takes to maximise every race as best he can to win races and championships. I really want to see him in Formula 1 - but I don't want him rushed into it. If we don't see him in 2022, I'd say 2023 is the perfect time for him to then get a chance in F1.
3. Christian Lungaard
Lungaard may strike some of you as an odd choice for the final entry of this article but hear me out. Up until the 70th Anniversary Sprint Race, Lungaard was performing brilliantly. He won the Sprint Race in Styria and finished second at the Silverstone Sprint Race and 70th Anniversary Feature Race. He also finished in the top ten for the first three races of the 2020 season.
2020 marks Lungaard's first full season in Formula 2 after debuting at the final two races of the 2019 season. In those two races, he came fourteenth and twelfth respectively which isn't too shabby. As a rookie, it was always going to be challenging for Lungaard to dominate over the rest of the grid - not every driver has that ability. He currently sits seventh in the standings and has had some bad luck for the last few races which is why he isn't higher up. But some more solid results this season should see him breaking into the top five.
2021 would then be perfect for him to develop his skills behind the wheel even more and get the attention of at least one F1 team. Maybe then he can fight for a seat in 2022 or 2023. There's a lot of potential with Lungaard and I think he'd be a great addition to the F1 grid when the time is right.
What do you think? Is there anyone not on this list that you think should be? Let me know in the comments below.