Monday, December 15, 2014

Shooting Starz' - 2014 edition: European lads'

Otay, I'll confess up front that I really haven't paid much Attenzione to A-L-L of the numerous Feeder Series or their Rising Stars this year, as HELL! I can barely keep up with Formula 1 and IndyCar these Dazes; Crikeys Mates! As here's last year's riveting edition;

Thus I'm doing this in a slightly different format this year, as there's just simply too many names to chronicle, not enough time to do the necessary research, nor desire to do any cursory bio's right now. As the series are in NO particular order; Hmm? Perhaps I should go alphabetically, eh?

Nah, but I'll let Y'all figure out my method 'O madness, while I've gleamed some of my candidates from the following Mid-season review story below, especially since the European side  of the ladder seems to be missing entirely from television coverage Stateside. As I think "Peacock-lite" showed a total of two GP2 Feature Races this year? Having only seen Austria and Russia on thy 'Telie; Aye Karumba!

And I tend to miss out/forget about the Mazda Road To Indy (MRTI) shows, and when I do try to watch one, the JACKALOPES at "Peacock-lite," nee NBCSN decide Golf's more important than showing the advertised Indy Lights race; SHEISA! Can Y'all say Milwaukee...

Like aspiring American F1 hopeful and current GP2 Team Lazarus pilot Conor Daly recently said upon Autosport Radio, there's currently five Formula 1 reserve drivers competing in its ranks, as  I could only name one off hand: Felipe Nasr, (Williams Martini Racing) before learning of Stoffel Vandoorne ((McLaren Mercedes) when scribblin' about second generation F1 hopefuls.

Thus, painstakingly researching the current eleven Formula 1 Constructors, ('Whale, at least there were eleven Formula 1 Constructors when I began this, pre Caterham and Marussia's respective implosions...) I've unearthed the following additions. As Davide Rigon was the name that came to mind when trying to conjure up past GP2 champions not making the leap into F1 race seats, with the Italian being part of Scuderia Ferrari's reserves; while I've never heard of the 'Dane Marco Sorensen, a Lotus F1 reserve driver, as NO idea who the fifth F1 Reserve Hombre is? Unless Conor was speaking of Alexander Rossi, who's recently left his Caterham GP2 seat for the rosier confines 'O Marussia; OOPS! As what a true shame that he wouldn't get his deserved Homecoming debut at Austin; DAMN

So who knows how many of this aspiring crop will land in Formula 1 or perhaps IndyCar in the near future? While I haven't even mentioned the then runaway GP2 points leader Jolyon Palmer who's since clinched the championship title with a fine win in the Feature Race on the Streets of Sochi, so congrats Jolyon!

As the young Nasr, lying second in the championship prior to "Abu Double," wasn't far off the mark, with Sauber having announced the Brazilian as a Sauber F1 driver alongside Sweden's Marcus Ericsson just prior to this year's Brazilian GP, albeit causing quite the storm of controversy with two other Sauber drivers who thought they had contracts for 2015 to be the team's pilots...

FR 3.5
A few more Formula 1 Test/Reserve Drivers have found their way into this somewhat potential Feeder Series with Malaysia's Jazeman Jaafar (Mercedes AMG PETRONAS) and the much lamented 'Rooskie Sergey Sirotkin *Sauber) on the grid. As amazingly, the Russian driver has won this year in Formula Renault 3.5 along with making his  Formula 1 Friday FP1 (Free Practice) outing in his home country's Russian Grand Prix.

And a late season addition to the Formula 1 "simulator Jockey" (Test/Reserve Driver) ranks was Will Stevens, who drove this season for Strakka Racing. As Stevens was hoped to be on the F1 Grid for Friday practice in Suzuka at the very least but couldn't get his  necessary FIA Superlicense paperwork ironed out in time - as now the Russian-flagged F1 Constructor has gone into Administration a la rival back-marker Caterham F1...

Yet thanks to  Caterham's controversial crowd funding scheme, along with the FIA finally signing off on his mandatory  Superlicence, Messer Stevens  made his debutant Formula 1 race drive at season's end at "Abu Double" behind the wheel of one of the "Green Cars."

Meanwhile, Red Bull Junior Driver Carlos Sainz Jr. was the clear championship leader entering the final races with a  39-point advantage, along with five  wins to date, while Red Bull's got  another iron in the fire with French newcomer Pierre Gasly also being impressive, while I haven't even touched upon title contender Roberto Merhi.

The 23yr old Spaniard Merhi, a part of Mercedes "Junior team," and Mercedes DTM driver from 2012-13 made the leap back into single seaters for the Russian Zeta Course Formula Renault 3.5 team, which gave eventual champion Sainz a good run for his money, before wrecking in the season finale and slipping to third overall in the title standings.

Roberto has moonlighted as a Friday morning Free Practice driver for the struggling Caterham F1 team, having made his debutant outing for the beleaguered squad at Monza, with further outings this year, and is possibly sniffing around for an F1 seat in the future...

Continuing the theme of F1 "Simulator Jockeys:" Err Test/Reserve Drivers, Tio Ellinas (Marussia) is currently contesting this championship, while another Red Bull Junior Academy driver Alex Lynn from Britain is apparently running away with the show and is tipped to win this year's championship - which he led by 31-points ahead of 'Kiwi Richie Stanaway. (At the time of this story's writing...)

Going into the season finale at Abu Dhabi, Alex Lynn held a comfortable points lead of nearly 50 markers (185-points) ahead of the runner-up logjam, including the likes of: Dean Stoneman (138) Marvin Kirchhofer, (137) Jimmy "NOT MARCUS" Eriksson (127) and Richie Stanaway. (123)

As Lynn clinched the title at Abu Dhabi during qualifying thanks to GP3 rival Kirchhofer taking Pole and claiming the 4-bonus points associated with it, while Stoneman needed a clean sweep for any chance of winning the title...

Otay, so the only name I know out of the 439 Formula 3 variations is the much Ballyhooed Max Verstappen, as we'll see  how far he can go up the ladder now that he's another of  the myriad of the hopeful "B-I-G BULLS" lads - whom I scribbled 'bout briefly in;

Along with 'Kiwi Richie Stanaway, I also know a little 'bout GP2 Hotschue Mitch Evans, especially since kidding about him not being Cornfuzed as the Unlimited Hydroplane chauffer instead; Hooah! (As I'd say I did pretty good here, having unwittingly picked the second & third place GP3 runners going into Abu Dhabi...)

As I'll confess I know Nothing about Ferrari Junior GP2 driver Raffaele Marciello or German GP3 driver Marvin Kirchhofer, other than I like his name...

While another name I know 'bout is Dean Stoneman, if memory serves me right? Stoneman was the winner of the 2010 F2 championship, ironically beating somebody named Jolyon Palmer to the crown, as I first heard of Dean's name upon getting a test outing for Williams F1 as part of his championship prize.

Unfortunately Stoneman's career hit a major speed-bump when  being diagnosed with testicular cancer and I lost track of him; so was glad to read he'd won both of his Porsche Supercup races upon his return to the cockpit and has won a very impressive five rounds (2 Feature & 3 Sprint races) of this year's GP3 championship...

And that's all I'm gonna scribble here, since after all Ryan of JOWT is the master of this domain, while I just like to try 'N dip my "Balls" in the water, Seb' Vettel; Oh Never Mind! As perhaps I need a 'bwankie like Seb, eh? Hur-hur-hur...