Who will be the next son to follow their father into F1?

1y ago

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Formula 1 has a long history of sons following their fathers into the sport, often with great success.

Last season Nico Rosberg joined his father Keke as a world champion, just as Damon Hill did by emulating dad Graham in 1996.

We’ve also seen major success from the Villeneuves – Jacques was 1997 champion and Gilles is perhaps the sport’s greatest cult hero – while second-generation racer Max Verstappen is surely set for great things.

Who might be next to follow their father into F1? We've taken a look at the potential candidates.

MICK SCHUMACHER

Let’s start with the biggest name on this list.

It’s fair to say that having a seven-time world champion for a father heaps unimaginable pressure on a young driver’s shoulders. It will open doors, but Mick Schumacher has a lot to live up to.

Mick still needs to impress in European F3 before he's considered F1 material. (Pic: Sutton Images)

His results in F3 this year haven’t been stellar. Mick sits 10th in the standings despite driving for the class-of-the-field Prema squad, behind all three of his teammates. He’s a rookie, but then so is championship leader Lando Norris.

Chances are Mick will be back in F3 next year, which could be a defining season for the youngster. Given Michael’s popularity, there are plenty of people rooting for him

GIULIANO ALESI

Giuliano Alesi is an interesting case.

Jean’s son seemed to have jumped to GP3 too quickly when he joined the series last year and promptly sunk like a stone. It looked like this could break the teenager.

But he has been the revelation of 2017. Three sprint race wins place him fifth in the championship, the best of the non-ART Grand Prix entrants. He could even break into the top three before the season’s out.

An emotional Giuuliano embraces his father after winning at the Hungaroring. (Pic: Sutton Images)

Given that he’s still not 18 this all bodes well. Next year he’d be wise to remain in GP3 and fight for the title, though F2 is a possible destination.

Alesi is also a member of Ferrari’s Driver Academy, which should aide his development. A very decent prospect.

PEDRO PIQUET

Like Mick Schumacher, Pedro Piquet currently races in European F3.

Pedro Piquet, pictured here in 2014, is yet to show the same promise as his father and half-brother. (Pic: Sutton Images)

He’s hoping to be the second son of three-time world champion Nelson Piquet to reach F1. Nelson Jr. was a Renault driver in 2008 and 2009, but the crashgate scandal destroyed his grand prix career.

In his defence, Nelson Jr. had all the credentials to reach F1 – he was British F3 champion in 2004 and finished as GP2 runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in 2006.

Piquet Jr. tested for Williams alongside Nico Rosberg in 2003. (Pic: Sutton Images)

Pedro’s career has been less eye-catching. Now in is his second season in the continental F3 category, he currently sits 13th in the standings. Realistically, you need to be top-five to be taken seriously.

He’ll need to do more to get near F1.

WILL PALMER

Though Jolyon Palmer is on the verge of losing his F1 berth, the family name may not be out of F1 for all that long.

That’s because his younger brother Will is showing well in the junior categories and has high hopes of becoming the second of Jonathan Palmer’s sons to race in F1.

Will Palmer hopes to follow his big brother into F1. (Pic: Sutton Images)

Will has a very tidy CV. He won the BRDC F4 title in 2015 and is currently second in the ultra competitive Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. In fact, you’d be fair to suggest that he’s shown more potential than Jolyon had at the same age.

It would be no surprise to see him in Formula 2 next term, looking to emulate his brother’s GP2 title from 2014. Worth keeping an eye on.

SEBASTIAN MONTOYA

We might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, being as Sebastian Montoya is a mere 12 years old.

But with the Montoya genes and his old man overseeing his career, the American-based Colombian has to be considered one to watch.

He’s currently racing karts with his Monaco and Indy-winning dad as mechanic and coach. JPM’s racing schedule this year has been reduced, leaving him more time to keep an eye on his boy’s progress.

Expect to see Seb racing single-seaters in the next few years. Whether he’ll enter the F1 or IndyCar ladder system could determine his long-term future.

EDUARDO BARRICHELLO

Eduardo Barrichello is set to make his single-seater bow this year, graduating from karts with the aim of emulating his father Rubens. The elder Barrichello holds the record for the most starts in F1 history (322) and collected 11 wins during a career that included spells with Ferrari, Brawn and Williams.

Eduardo (left) with his father and younger brother Fernando in 2011. (Pic: Sutton Images)

That's a lot for Eduardo to live up to, but you get the feeling Rubens will be incredibly proud of whatever his boy does.

For proof, just check out this video of Eduardo driving his dad's Brazilian stock car. Rubens finds the experience pretty moving – so much so that he bursts into tears!

We wish Eduardo well in his career, but you have to wonder how Rubens would react to seeing his boy drive in a grand prix for the first time.

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