Season 2010 welcome five new boys in F1 fraternity. I examined their previous credentials and try to briefly analyze their chances of success in F1 not only for this season but long into the future as well.


Nico Hulkenberg

The champion of the GP2 Series, Formula Three Euroseries and A1 Grand Prix is the only second driver after Lewis Hamilton to win the GP2 series championship in his debut season. With his credentials, a seat with Williams was a deserving one. He was previously linked with Ferrari when Massa suffered injury last season. However with Alonso onboard, Nico had to sign with Williams.

Dubbed “the next Michael Schumacher” among his new peers, I expect him to impress immediately and outpace his teammate Rubens after several races. Looking at pre-season tests, he is looking strong despite Williams currently not among the favorites. Of all the new boys, my money is on Nico. My advise to him will be, after this season is over, quickly move out of Williams to the next top team while he’s still highly rated.

Vitaly Petrov

The 25-year-old is known as “Vyborg Rocket” in Russia. First Russian F1 driver. His previous season was in a GP2 series, he claimed six race victories on his way and finished as runner-up to the dominant Nico Hülkenberg in the championship. He was very close to signing for Campos (now renamed HRT) but he felt Renault F1 was the best option.

With such talent, it’s quite surprising that he is reportedly paying an estimated £13million for his race-seat. With Renault situation this year after the crashgate, the money is certainly a big boost. But the stigma of the pay driver may paint him in a bad light among his peers. Petrov will need to shine against Kubica next season in order to secure a proper paid seat.

The latest big news PM Putin confirmed that the country has agreed to sponsor Renault using Lada brand. With Russian involvement comes big money. If Lada involvement with Renault is anything like Chelsea with Abramovich, then Renault has a long way to go with Petrov.

Bruno Senna

From Ayrton Senna “If you think I’m fast, just wait until you see my nephew Bruno”

Despite the endorsement of his great uncle, Bruno didn’t quite live up to the expectations. Some even questioned why a driver that failed to win titles in either F3 or GP2, warrants a seat in F1. However, I didn’t think he did quite badly considering that he started his career later than the others. The guy is still developing at a faster rate than those around him and hopefully his ceilings are far higher as well.

The young heir to the Senna’s name has been working his way up the formula racing ladder for the past several years and almost made it with Honda last season. However, at the last moment, Honda decided to pull the plug from F1. Lady luck seems to be shining on him when Campos Meta rumored not to participate this season will compete after new management takeover.

Bruno Senna is not expected to make an impact since the team is too young and have not yet run a test. I expect them to struggle in Bahrain and if they can finish the race, it would be tremendous first experience for the young team.

Lucas di Grass i

Runner-up to Timo Glock in the 2007 GP2 Series season, he will be a race driver for new Formula One team Virgin Racing. This time, he will have the chance to redeem himself against Glock at the highest level. Compared to Karun, Lucas performed better in his GP2 stint. But he never made it one step higher by winning the GP2.

With modest choices of economical drivers in F1 world, Virgin understandably with its limited budget had to settle with credentials less impressive than what they had hoped for. However, I think Lucas is a consistent driver and Virgin would certainly benefit from that. However, like Karun, I think he is in for a tough awakening.

Karun Chandhok

Karun Chandhok might not get into F1 on his credentials alone, with his father Vicky a friend of Bernie Ecclestone it’s not hard to see why he won a seat with Hispania Racing.

Like all the new boys, Karun graduated from GP2. For the last three years in GP2, Karun was far from impressive. Securing only two wins in his three years, it’s hard to see his F1 venture will last for long.

However if he proves I’m wrong, Force India might just be the team interested in securing his long term service. That would do well for the brand in India.

To conclude, Nico and Petrov should be fine driving for the established team. It’s a huge advantage for them as the team will have far more expertise to develop a driver. For Senna, Karun and Lucas, they have to work hard to secure a better seat next year.

What do you think about the new boys of F1? Among these five, who do you fancy will have the most success this season. Reply to us if you have anything in your mind.

Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria
Images : and Respective Driver Websites

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2 Responses to “Five New F1 Boys”

  • ak74 says:

    nico hulkenberg by far is the most potential in my opinions…. he is almost like schumi

  • aris says:

    Yep second that,

    1. Nico
    2. Petrov
    3. Senna
    4. Di Grassi
    5. Chandok

    But I see, only nico will prevail.

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