January 24th, 2013 (F1plus / Grace Cunningham).- Formula One is renown for its innovation and constant development and this ethos is reflected in recent years of its turnover of 'rookie drivers' with 19 rookie drivers entering the sport in the past 5 seasons and the 2013 season is to be no different. Three young drivers have so far been named in the 2013 roster but who are they and where have they come from?
Well wait no further; introducing Max Chilton, Valterri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez.
Max Chilton is a young British prospect with racing blood flowing in the family with his big brother Tom Chilton racing in WTCC. Having developed through the ranks of British Formula 3 (2007-2009; highest championship position 4th in 09) and GP2 (2010-2012; highest championship position 4th in 2012) he has secured a seat for the 2013 F1 season with Marussia.
Max has been closely linked with the Marussia team through his test driver role in 2012 whilst also receiving support from them in the 2012 GP2 championship racing for 'Carlin Racing' who are heavily supported by the Marussia team. With Max potentially becoming the 4th British Driver (dependant on Paul Di Resta's drive) on the grid it will certainly strengthen the British presence in the sport.
Max may be starting his F1 career in a car that in 2012 remained outside of the points but with the team's link with McLaren his future is certainly bright and will be one to watch for definite as he battles his way through the field not only to develop the team's position but to prove his driving ability in the dog eat dog world that is Formula One.
Valterri Bottas may not be such a stranger to your F1 knowledge after taking the media world by storm in 2012. Named as the test driver for the Williams F1 team for a third year running it was clear from the beginning that he was being lined up for a 2013 seat and it was down to see who under performed in 2012 as to who he would replace.
2013 will be Bottas's 6th professional racing season after starting in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC in 2007 eventually finishing in 3rd and finishing on the podium 4/4 times in the Winter series followed by him winning both titles in 2008. 2009 saw Bottas finish 3rd in the Formula 3 Euro Series whilst taking the title at the Masters of Formula 3 event. 2010 and another 3rd in the Euro Series, another Master of Formula 3 title whilst coming 3rd in the Macau Grand Prix. 2011 arrived and it was time for a new championship.... GP3; he took the GP3 grid by storm winning the title in his rookie GP3 year. In 2012 Valterri took part in 15 of the 20 FP1 sessions and now armed with his experience he heads into the 2013 season with the most F1 experience in comparison to the other rookies.
If Williams can continue to progress up the constructors table this pairing could definitely be one to watch for a win in 2013 with Bottas having the opportunity to prove his worth. Oh and by the way... #BOTTAS.
Esteban Gutierrez, now he may be a name that you are not so familiar with. Esteban is a young Mexican driver following in the steps of fellow Mexican F1 driver , Sergio Perez, by filling his boots at the Sauber team, however he has been nurturing a relationship with BMW and Sauber from 2010.
2007 and Esteban's first professional racing series; Formula BMW USA finishing in 2nd place and into 2008 he won the Formula BMW Europe title whilst coming 3rd in the Formula BMW World Final. 2009 saw a 9th place in the Formula Three Euroseries for the ART Grand Prix team but was the year Esteban received his first taste of F1 with a test drive in the BMW Sauber car after winning the BMW Europe title and was followed in 2010 after being placed on the same Sauber training programme as Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro De La Rosa .
2010 saw victory for the Mexican as he won the GP3 series with 2011 bringing another development as he stepped into GP2 eventually finishing 13th in the main series, 11th in the Asia series and 8th in the GP2 Final. 2011 was also his taster year of Formula One as he became a named test driver for the Sauber F1 team formerly known as BMW Sauber. 2012 arrived and racing once again for the Lotus GP2 team Esteban placed 3rd overall and also continued his extensive work with the Sauber F1 team which lead to his signing for the 2013 season with the team.
It will be difficult for Gutierrez with regards to his performance being compared to that of Perez just one year before but with the continuation of Mexican sponsors supporting the Sauber team a fluid transition for both team and driver will certainly enhance his chances to display his talent in 2013.
So with three rookies entering Formula One with just 3 seats left to be confirmed in the sport are we likely to see another rookie? If so watch this space for a 'The Basics' blog on his or her past but if we don't well at least you have the knowledge to know a little about where each driver has come from to develop into a potential Formula One star of 2013 if the performance of some of the rookies in 2013 is anything to go by.