The 2022 Formula 1 season is over, and that means we’re facing a few quiet months. It’s a good time to take a look at all the new faces we’ll see on the grid next year.
As the flag fell in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, we saw a number of drivers for the last time (for now). Sebastian Vettel ended his long and impressive career, while Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi failed to secure a new contract. Ricciardo will likely be Red Bull Racing’s third driver next year, so we’ll see him over a number of weekends. The 23-year-old Schumacher is also determined to return to Formula 1 in the future, but for now, we get a look at the new faces – and old familiars.
Starting with a new face: Nico Hulkenberg. The Dutch-speaking German is far from a rookie at 35 and will fill Schumacher’s seat at the Haas team in 2023. He made his sporting debut with Williams in 2010, before joining Force India as a test driver in 2011. The following year he appeared on Network for this configuration as a full-time driver. It was not a long marriage at first, because at the end of the year Hulkenberg moved to Sauber, where he drove the 2013 season.
However, The Hulk didn’t stay in one place for long. In 2014 he returned to Force India, where he joined Sergio Perez. Two years later he then returned to the Renault factory team, where Daniel Ricciardo was a teammate between 2017 and 2019. However, the French formation suddenly became his last stop when he had to make room for Esteban Ocon at the end of 2019. Hülkenberg was not selected by either side. From other teams and suddenly he was sidelined from 2020. He came on several times as a substitute at Racing Point and later at Aston Martin.
The well-spoken driver has a huge fan base. It is also popular in the Netherlands. Logically due in part to his Dutch background, but also because of his good relationship with Max Verstappen. His return from 2023 also gives him the chance to shake off an unwanted Formula 1 record: Hülkenberg has completed the most races in the top division without standing on the podium. But with the Haas team it looks like it’s going to be quite a challenge to get the medals, though you never know.
Nic de Vries – Scuderia Alpha Tauri
Nick de Vries has of course been a familiar face to many Dutch fans for some time, but he will make his full-time Formula 1 debut in 2023. The 27-year-old driver from Friesland made his Formula 2 debut in 2017 for Team Rapax, before switching to Racing Engineering Before the race weekend in Spa. In the end, he finished seventh in his debut season, including a win in Monaco. He drove the 2018 season on behalf of Prema Racing. He finished fourth in the championship, losing his Formula 1 contract with McLaren to Lando Norris
De Vries drove his third and final season in the rookie class for ART Grand Prix, where he replaced George Russell, who left for Formula 1. With three races to go, he crowned himself champion, but due to the lack of available seats, none of the Formula 1 teams were interested. with his services. From 2020 he started working in Formula E for the Mercedes team with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne as a teammate. He was also allowed to take action on behalf of Mercedes during the Formula 1 young drivers’ test in Abu Dhabi in 2020 and 2021.
In the 2020/2021 Formula E season, de Vries became the first official world champion in the category. In 2022 he remains active in the electric branch of the sport, but has also served as a reserve driver for the Formula 1 teams of Williams, Aston Martin and Mercedes, among others. He made several appearances during the free practice sessions, and drove the Italian Grand Prix on behalf of Williams due to Alexander Albon’s retirement. All in all, De Vries has made a good business card, and that has earned him a seat at AlphaTauri from 2023. He replaced Pierre Gasly, who in turn left for Alps.
Oscar Piastri – McLaren Racing
At 21 years old, Oscar Biastri is one of the greatest talents right now. Several teams were flocking to him in the 2023 season, and the Australian entered the sport with a bang. After Fernando Alonso suddenly announced he was leaving Alpine this year for Aston Martin, Frenchman Piastri’s line-up for 2023 was quickly announced. Piastri was part of the Alpine training program and the racing stable was assuming they could contact him contractually. However, he has already signed a contract with McLaren, where he will replace Daniel Ricciardo from next year. In the end, McLaren won.
Also interesting: Alpine and Piastri have two completely different stories: “I didn’t lie”
But why do F1 teams go after Piastri? This is due to the proven track record it has built over the years. In 2019, for example, he became Formula Renault Eurocup champion during his second season in Formula Renault, after which he switched to Formula 3. Here he drove for Prema Racing and took the championship in his first year. Piastri then headed straight into Formula 2, driving the Australian again for Prema Racing in 2021. He also claimed the title in the Novice-to-F1 class during his junior year. He spent the last year as a reserve driver for Alpine and McLaren.
Logan Sargeant Williams Racing
And finally: Logan Sargeant. The 21-year-old American will take Nicholas Latifi’s seat at Williams next season. However, after his announcement it was still questionable whether the deal could be carried through, because Sargeant did not yet have enough points on his super license to allow him to drive in Formula 1. On the last Formula 2 weekend of the year in Abu Dhabi , finished fifth in the feature race, and finished fourth in the championship. With this he gained enough super license points to allow him to work at Williams next year.
Also interesting: Sergeant gets super license points and can gear up for Williams
Sargeant drove in his Formula Renault Eurocup debut season in 2018, finishing fourth for Team R-ace GP. Then he moved to Formula 3, where he spent no less than three seasons. He finished his debut season 19th with Team Carlin, before switching to Prema Racing in 2020. This year he finished third, after which a switch to Formula 2 seemed imminent. However, Sargent was unable to find success financially, so he had to drive another season in Formula Three, this time for Team Charouze and eventually finished seventh.
In 2022, he finally drove his first full season in Formula 2 with Team Carlin. In Great Britain, he became the first American driver to win a race in the uphill category. One week later he won the sprint race in Austria, after which he finished fourth in the championship. Sargeant will be the only American driver on the Formula 1 starting grid next year. In addition to his talent behind the wheel, Sargeant is also exciting for Williams because of his background in marketing technology.
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