January 27th, 2014 (F1plus/K. Hewitt).- The departures of Mark Webber, Paul Di Resta, Giedo Van der Garde and Charles Pic mean that a few seats have become available. Whilst the return of Kamui Kobayashi fills a seat at Caterham, the rest have been claimed by some new talent.
Last year, five rookies entered the world of Formula 1, but this year, just three take to the stage…
The one of most interest is perhaps Kevin Magnussen, who joins McLaren after winning the Formula Renault 3.5 championship. Whilst he only has two series titles to his name, the Dane has previously shown outstanding pace and doesn’t crack under pressure.
Kevin is following in his dad – Jan Magnussen’s footsteps, who also made his debut with McLaren in 1995 during a one off race replacing an unwell Mika Hakkinen.
More recently, the team signed Lewis Hamilton in 2007 as a rookie, and Kevin is looking to emulate his success. His speed in the simulator was not ignored and his composure during the young drivers test impressed the team enough to give him a full time drive.
Daniel Ricciardo’s promotion to Red Bull meant that Daniil Kvyat beat Antonio Felix da Costa to the Toro Rosso drive. A decision that was not expected at the time, but the GP3 champion showed just how quick he could be in the latter half of the season.
Kvyat was almost anonymous at the beginning of GP3, but as he gathered momentum, the Russian was unchallenged.
He was on a different level that not many could match.
An F3 race winner at the same time as being crowned GP3 champion proved that the youngster had talent. A driver matures in his or her own time regardless of their age or the series they’re racing in, and Kvyat’s ability to learn and improve in such a short space of time could make him one to watch this year.
Finally, we have reached Marcus Ericsson, who had an underwhelming start in GP2 last year where just about everything went wrong. However, after his win in Germany the Swede went on to be very competitive and had one of the best comebacks of the year.
In 2009, Ericsson had his first taste of F1 after testing out the Brawn. He has previously won two series championships and is a proven race winner, and though he does have financial backing he is a consistent and safe driver.
Ericsson is a sensible choice for Caterham and could work well with Kobayashi – a much better choice than the likes of Cecotto, Canamasas or Sirotkin.
Let's just refresh things, Who is where?
- Red Bull Racing – Sebastian Vettel & Daniel Ricciardo
- Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg
- Ferrari – Fernando Alonso & Kimi Raikkonen
- Lotus – Romain Grosjean & Pastor Maldonado
- McLaren – Jenson Button & Kevin Magnussen
- Force India – Nico Hulkenberg & Sergio Perez
- Sauber – Esteban Gutierrez & Adrian Sutil
- Toro Rosso – Jean-Eric Vergne & Daniil Kvyat
- Williams – Valtteri Bottas & Felipe Massa
- Marussia – Jules Bianchi & Max Chilton
- Caterham – Kamui Kobayashi & Marcus Ericsson