Monday, January 18, 2016

Shooting Starz' 2015 Edition: European lads'



Time for another analytical round; Huh? Of those aspiring Twenty Somne-thungs' hoping to claim one of the extremely rare and overly coveted Formula 1 race seats! As let's see what new Hot Schues' have joined the party...


As typical, I began my season's perusal 'O thy Feeder Series even later last year, in Mid August; CRIKEYS!

Which as typical, has spiraled outta control - Slithering Thy way into thou New Year, as once again, Thy nebulous No Fenders Wormhole Vortex has grasped Thy story...

Having finally tuned into what Jonathan Green would call a "KURR-RACKING RACE!" Having watched; Hey, I can sorta S-E-E the Cars on my new Bitchin' Flat-screen TV; Hya! Especially now since Randal, Thy Moniker King has switched thee TV Remote back onto Channel 3; ZOINKS!

Thanxs Randal!

Thus, tuning into Thy Hungarian GP weekend's GP2 Feature race being called by Alex Jakes and Jolyon Palmer - which seems like such a long time ago now... Ultimately saw Team Willys' (Williams F1) Development Driver & GP2 Rookie Alex Lynn win! Whilst ZERO idea if that Jakes fellah is related to an IndyCar driver, eh?


GP2
Once again, various aspiring Formula 1 Starz' who are currently waiting in the wings while honing their race-craft in GP2 last season included: Manor Marussia F1 Development Driver) Jordan King racing alongside current part-time Manor Marussia F1 driver Alexander Rossi who were team-mates at Racing Engineering with Rossi currently lying second in the championship prior to the season finale at Abu Dhabi.

McLaren Honda F1 Reserve Driver Stoffel Vandoorne won the 2015 GP2 championship convincingly for perennial title winners ART Grand Prix in his sophomore campaign - While Japanese team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita finished an impressive ninth  overall. As surely Stoffel's the heir apparent to Bloody 'JENSE's (Button) F1 seat, right?


Red Bull Racing F1 signed DAMS GP2 Driver Pierre Gasly as its Reserve Driver on 30 September, who finished eighth in the championship.

Sauber F1's Reserve Driver Raffaele Marciello contested his sophomore GP2 season with Trident Racing. With the soon-to-be 21yr old Italian, who's part of the Ferrari Driver Academy finishing seventh in the championship.

Former Sauber F1 Reserve Driver "S-Squared," aka Sergey Sirotkin finished third overall in the title fight for Rapax - Pipping hopeful Manor F1 graduate Rio Haryanto, who finished fourth in the championship by one point! Even though Haryanto was a multiple race winner this season for Campos Engineering.


Team Willy', aka Williams F1 saw their season's long Development Driver) Alex Lynn scoring his maiden GP2 victory at Hungary for DAMS, (as noted above) whilst Lynn's team-mate is the aforementioned Pierre Gasly, both being rookie drivers last year, albeit Gasly made his debut in 2014 as relief driver.

Sandwiching the elite F1 Development Drivers, nee Simulator Jockeys' piloting the premiere GP2 teams, i.e.; ART Grand Prix and DAMS were the pair 'O Kiwis Mitch Evans and Richie Stanaway - Who both seem destined for Sports Cars careers whilst Formula One's doors are closed currently.

Evans, whom I've joked 'bout in the past of NOT being the ex-Unlimited Hydroplane driver; Hya! Finished a respectable fifth for Russian Time Racing while Stanaway rounded out the Top-10 finishing order driving for Status Grand Prix.

Yet for Mwah, my periodical focus on the series last season concerned American Hot Schue Alexander Rossi who  closed out the season with an excellent runner-up finish! After having finished his five race stint in Formula 1 at the Brazilian Grand Prix, capped with his season best 12th place drive for Manor Marussia F1 appropriately at Circuit Of The Americas in Austin.

Rossi claimed the best season finish by a 'Yank ever, eclipsing somebody named Scotty "The Goose!" Speed's third place finish 'Wayback in Twenty-oh-Five, which ultimately led to his selection as a Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Pilote' during Red Bull's American Formula 1 driver search programme, which hopefully will be a welcome omen for Rossi's future in Formula 1...

DTM
Typically don't pay Attenzione to thy German Touring Car series, yet with Mercedes GP Test/Reserve Driver Pascal Wehrlein routinely being rumoured to be inline for one of Manor's two race drives for 2016, the 21yr old German definitely should garner consideration.

Wehrlein celebrated his 21st birthday in style by clinching the 2015 DTM title at Hockenheim and has also seen testing duty for Force India F1 as well as Mercedes;  having return to testing action for the latter at the just concluded Abu Dhabi Post-season Pirelli tyre test. Naturally hoping to emulate Paul di Resta's previous transition from the Tintops to premiere single seater series in 2016.

FR 3.5
Didn't read a Peep upon this premiere Feeder Series last season and hence didn't have a clue that Renault was bolting from the series effective at end of the 2015 season


Henceforth, didn't have a Bloody clue who the points leader going into the summer break Oliver Rowland was? Although I did manage to read that he's funded by the same Racing Steps organization funding current two times Indy Lights series runner-up and fellow Brit' Jack Harvey, who's now knocking 'bout trying to find a B-I-G' CARZ', nee IndyCar ride for 2016.

As the only name of the Top-5 points finishers names I recognize is Dean Stoneman's, the 2014 GP3 runner-up, who's probably somewhat disappointed with his fourth place finish.

As Rowland and Fortec Motorsports team-mate Jazeman Jaafar finished first and third respectively. With Lotus's Matthieu Vaxiviere runner-up, Stoneman P4 and Nyck De Vries rounding out the Top-5 for DAMS respectively.

GP3
Also totally out-of-sync with this Feeder Series which is also completely off my radar, and thus just looked up who last year's Top-5 finishers were.

Rookie teenager Esteban Ocon of France won the GP3 championship for perennial "Junior Series" winners ART Grand Prix in his first try at the age of 19, having won the European F3 crown the year prior.

As I can only ARSE-Sume that GP3 team-mate Alfonso Celis has substantial Carlos Slim TelMex backing behind his recently announced Force India F1 Development Driver Dealio, Ci?


Which reportedly "Freeze's Out" Ocon's hopes of snagging the very same role at Force India, which may or may not become Aston Martin? Although Mercedes inked Esteban to a contract during the Abu Dhabi weekend - Making him part of their Driver Academy. So I'm guessing this may help him jump up to GP2 for 2016, especially with the rumours of his Mercedes F1 testing role possibly taking Pascal Wehrlein's place in order to move to Manor F1?


Although NO idea who'll win the $15m Buy-a-Ride F1 seats up for grabs at Manor...

Italian Luca Ghiotto driving for Trident in his sophomore campaign was runner-up, while 21yr old German Marvin Kirchhöfer, team-mate of Ocon's finished third for the second year in-a-row, also driving for ART.

Another totally unknown name to Mwah is Great Britain's Emil Bernstorff, who's name doesn't sound very British to me. With the 22yr old Bloody Brit' finishing fourth overall for Arden International.

And rounding out the Top-5 points finishers was Sweden's Jimmy, "NOT MARCUS!" Eriksson, as the 24yr old Swede Koiranen GP Pilote' surely hopes to move up to GP2 and ultimately emulate his fellow countryman's progression to Thy Promised land, ergo F1...

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