Monday, August 25, 2014

Second Generation Drivers striving to ascend to Formula 1...

There are several second generation “Names” out there currently cutting their teeth in the various “feeder” series, with aspirations of Formula 1 “grandeur.” Names such as Senna, Mansell, Piquet, Rosberg, Andretti, Rahal and Tambay are just a few of the luminaries setting their sights on the pinnacle of motorsport...

That’s what I scribbled for a stillborn racing driver’s Blog called M-Wheels that I briefly penned 'Wayback in “Twenty-Oh-Seven; YIKES!

Alas, since then, this story has nagged at Mwah whilst fermentin' here in Nofendersville, albeit being overshadowed by thy nebulous No Fenders Wormhole Vortex... Sometime last year I noted how the list had most certainly grown; as I recited the following three  new additions: (apparently only out loud to thyself) Jolian Palmer, Alex Brundle and Conor Daly. (To name just a very brief few of those I knew about)

Hence, every time lately that I read about another second generation driver aspiring to join the ranks of Formula 1, I almost immediately think of that original  No Fenders rant titled Future  Formula 1 Star; with a virtual unknown aspiring Open Wheel racer, who was the original recipient of the vaunted "NIFSTAR" Award, which I plan upon re-christening this coming December during what's traditionally Awards month; but I digress...

So when I read the news that Jos "THE BOSS!" Verstappen's son Max has just been inked to the Red Bull Junior Driver squad, naturally I thought of the subject once again...

And whilst another famous racing name was also in the news regarding his F1 aspirations, nevertheless Pietro Fittipaldi is a third  generation driver if I'm doing my  sums correctly.

While Max Verstappen seemingly is A-L-L the rage in European racing circles right now, he'll certainly face stiff competition for a potential Toro Rosso seat from another noted Sir-name, that being Carlos Sainz Jr. who's already a member of the Red Bull Driver Academy - which unfortunately has a nasty reputation for signing up burgeoning Open Wheel talents and then simply throwing them out like old bathwater!

As Brendon  Hartley's name springs to mind, along with Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi, albeit the latter is still somewhat vicariously hanging on as a "Simulator Jockey" for the 'B-I-G 'N 'lil Bulls, nee Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso as a  test/reserve driver. As they're just a few of the countless legions to be spat out by the Red Bull machine, which could become a story for another day, eh?

Along  with Sainz Jr. who's widely tipped for an F1 seat at Toro Rosso next year, there's also Johnny Cecotto Jr. plying his trade in Formula 1's premiere  "Feeder Series" right now, that being GP2, which sadly is NO longer aired upon a consistent basis on thy Telie' anymore. Or at least I cannot find I-T regularly upon "Peacock-lite," nee NBCSN; which is too bad, since another aspiring name upon this list, aka Conor Daly is currently driving for the relatively unknown Team Lazarus.

Team Lazarus's full name is Venezuelan GP Lazarus; as the Italian based GP2 team obviously races under Venezuelan backing with Team Principal Tancredi Pagiaro announcing its intentions to join the series in 2012 as Super Nova Racing's replacement; with Conor  being a relatively late addition to the squad's 2014 campaign, and has been a passing phenomenon this season, a la Indy Car's 'TK Follow-your-Schnoz Kanaan.

As young Messer Daly noted upon a recent Autosport Radio episode, he's passed something like 64-cars in GP2 this season, on what's essentially a race-by-race dealio. Noting if they could just sort out their Qualie'  issues, then perhaps he'd be spraying some champagne  upon the podium... While unless he can find somebody willing to pony-up a reputed $15m Euros to pay for an F1 seat, things are probably looking pretty slim in regards to actually making it into the pinnacle 'O motorsports, nee Formula 1!

And although there is the hope of landing a ride at the forthcoming Haas Formula project, it's not slated to appear upon the grid until 2016, while obviously Conor wants to have a ride next year and thus is focusing upon hopefully landing a fulltime IndyCar ride for 2015 instead, while  currently participating as one of Indy Lights IL15 chassis tester's, (during GP2's summer break) along with 2012 Indy Lights champion and IndyCar castoff Tristan  'turbo Vautier.

Meanwhile, I've completely ignored Jolian Palmer from this rant, who obviously deserves mention, since the only time I caught a round of GP2 on thy Telie' this  season; Uhm? Where was I-T? CRAP! Know it was narrated by thy 'Wee Willie Buxom (Will Buxton) and Robin Frijns, Jolian was the series points leader.


Thanxs Zed Internetz for knowing EVERYTHINGY; Hooah! As that's right, it was during the Austrian GP weekend, yet still haven't seen another GP2 race since, so C'mon NBCSN!

As Jolian Palmer does indeed lead the GP2 championship points-wise quite handedly at the moment, leading with 192-points; nearly 50-markers clear of second place Felipe Nasr, who trails Palmer by 43 with 149-points, while the totally unknown to Mwah Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren Reserve Driver)  lies in third with 109-points and the aforementioned Cecotto Jnr. is a further nine markers adrift in fourth...

Yet as Y'all know, F1 just doesn't hand out rides based upon merit alone, as not even having an established Sir-name is enough to grant automatic  entrance into Formula 1, even if your Pappy' was world champion! As just ask Bloody Nige's (Mansell) sons Greg and Leo 'bout that! Or Nicholas Prost for that matter, who like Bruno Senna is plying his trade in European Sports Cars. Although the younger Prost races Prototypes whilst Bruno has been contesting the GT ranks instead, along with being confirmed as one  of Formula E's drivers this inaugural season.

Ditto for Alex Brundle, who's currently competing in the Tutor  United Sports Cars championship Stateside for Oak Racing, along with contesting the European Le Mans Series with the factory Ligier Sports Car effort. While 'Yanks Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal have long since focused upon IndyCar instead, which hopefully Messer Daly will be a part of next year...

Nelson Piquet Jr, who I grew loathe of after his stupendous Gay slur, is currently racing in Global Rally Cross and is set to test a Formula E racecar for China Racing.

And haven't heard a peep 'bout Adrien Tambay since somehow discovering his name awhile ago, who's currently plying his trade in the DTM for Audi sport, having become a Tintops driver in the German Touring Car series in 2012.

Thus, will any of our current second generation GP2 Hot Schues' Cecotto and Palmer, or likely Formula Renault 3.5 (FR 3.5) championship winner Sainz make it to Formula 1? Or  will Palmer possibly become the third GP2 champion  after Giorgio Pantano and Davide Valsecchi to not gain admittance into this rarefied club; we'll see shortly.

Whilst I've totally overlooked some Dude named Nico Rosberg, who's not only a bonafied Formula 1 star, but a multi-time race winner and current points leader who'll hopefully emulate his father Keke and be crowned world champion later this year!