RACE DEBRIEF

    There are always new and exciting racers bursting onto the junior racing scene, whether it’s the newest karting sensation or those scene-stealing talents eager to put themselves in contention for a Formula 1 seat next year. We’re here to give you the lowdown on 20 of the hottest prospects – ranked in descending order by age – that are the ones to watch in 2024…

    1. Marta Garcia

    Age: 23

    Nationality: Spanish

    2024 Plans: Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine with PREMA Racing

    Marta Garcia made history as the inaugural F1 Academy Champion last year. A consistent win and podium-contending performer, the Spaniard sealed the title with two races to go.

    Now embarking on a new challenge with a fully funded seat in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, she isn’t underestimating the demands that await her. Taking onboard her experiences from last season, if Garcia can show continuous progress, expect her to shine out on track.

    READ MORE: Inaugural F1 Academy champion Marta Garcia to receive fully funded FRECA seat for 2024

    Marta Garcia crowned first F1 Academy champion in Austin

    2. Victor Martins

    Age: 22

    Nationality: French

    2024 Plans: TBC

    Alpine junior Victor Martins thrived on his step up to Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix last year. One win, nine podiums, three poles saw him earn the top rookie honours, with him likely to return for a second campaign as title favourite.

    After a hard-earned F3 crown in 2022, the 22-year-old seemed unflappable – overcoming a mid-race time penalty in the Silverstone Feature Race to bring home the win.

    Securing nine top three qualifying results out of 13, if his race pace can match his one-lap performances, his rivals will have a tough time catching him.

    READ MORE: Giving youth its chance – why we need the FP1 young drivers rule and who's doing what in 2023

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24: Victor Martins of France and ART Grand Prix (6)
    Victor Martins thrived on his step up to F2 after clinching the 2022 F3 crown

    3. Luke Browning

    Age: 21

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 3 with Hitech Pulse-Eight

    Despite a very late call up to the 2023 Formula 3 grid, following his GB3 title success, Luke Browning showed glimpses of rapid speed and bravery behind the wheel with several memorable climbs up the order.

    Finishing 15th in the standings wasn’t a full reflection of the Williams junior’s potential, whereas the Briton was in a league of his own to dominate on his debut at the legendary Macau Grand Prix. With more mileage under his belt around the key European circuits and continuity at Hitech, expect Browning to be back with a vengeance as a likely title contender.

    READ MORE: Formula 2 reveal their next generation of race car ahead of Italian Grand Prix

    MONTMELO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: Luke Browning of Great Britain and Hitech Pulse-Eight (16) prepares
    Browning could be a title contender in F3 this year

    4. Abbi Pulling

    Age: 20

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: F1 Academy & British F4 with Rodin Motorsport

    Although an expected F1 Academy title challenge ultimately failed to materialise last season, nobody will be counting Abbi Pulling out as a 2024 contender.

    Backed by the Alpine Academy and combining her sophomore season in the all-female series with a return to British F4 will provide the 20-year-old with more valuable track time and plenty will be eager to see if she can do the double this time around.

    READ MORE: Alpine junior Abbi Pulling returns for second F1 Academy campaign in 2024

    ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 25: Abbi Pulling of Great Britain and Rodin Carlin (10) looks on
    Abbi Pulling is back for another F1 Academy campaign as well as a return to British F4

    5. Theo Pourchaire

    Age: 20

    Nationality: French

    2024 Plans: Super Formula with Team Impul & reserve driver for Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber

    Sealing the F2 crown with an impressively consistent 2023 campaign, Theo Pourchaire came within touching distance of a spot at Sauber for this season. However, the Frenchman now finds himself venturing over to Japan to compete in Super Formula.

    The switch presents him with a golden opportunity to show how rapidly he can get to grips with a Championship after three seasons in F2, whilst likely combining this with more Free Practice appearances. At only 20, he’s still got time on his side to demonstrate why he’s a chance worth taking.

    READ MORE: Pourchaire crowned 2023 champion as Doohan dominates Abu Dhabi Feature Race

    2023 F2 Champion: Théo Pourchaire's Road to Glory

    6. Doriane Pin

    Age: 20

    Nationality: French

    2024 Plans: F1 Academy with PREMA Racing

    Nicknamed the ‘Pocket Rocket’, Doriane Pin has certainly lived up to the name. Opting for sportscar and endurance racing, the Frenchwoman became a rising star of the Iron Dames programme.

    After blistering her way to the 2022 Ferrari Challenge Europe title, she became the first woman to win the ‘Revelation of the Year’ Award in the FIA World Endurance Championship last year. Newly signed to the Mercedes Junior Team, she should be a force to be reckoned with when the lights go out in Jeddah.

    READ MORE: Doriane Pin joins Mercedes Junior Programme for 2024 F1 Academy campaign

    Doriane Pin is newly signed to the Mercedes Junior Team for the 2024 F1 Academy season
    Doriane Pin is newly signed to the Mercedes Junior Team for the 2024 F1 Academy season

    7. Dino Beganovic

    Age: 19

    Nationality: Swedish

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 3 with PREMA Racing

    The highest returning driver on the 2024 grid in sixth, Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic knows he needs a stellar sophomore season if he wants the Prancing Horse to promote him to F2.

    Lacking the consistency of those ahead, a few too many off days held him back. However, if the Swede’s run to the 2022 FRECA crown is anything to go by, the second time could be the charm once more.

    IMOLA, ITALY - OCTOBER 23: Dino Beganovic of Sweden and PREMA Racing (1) prepares to drive in the
    Dino Beganovic is hoping for a successful second season in F3

    8. Taylor Barnard

    Age: 19

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: TBC

    Nico Rosberg’s former karting protégé, Taylor Barnard was one of the unexpected standouts of the 2023 F3 field. Initially struggling with the jump from F4 to the third tier, qualifying on the front row in Barcelona caught many by surprise, whilst a strategy masterstroke by Barnard and his Jenzer Motorsport team secured the team’s first win since Yuki Tsunoda in 2019.

    Having finished second in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship last winter, the Briton plans to go one place better later this year alongside dovetailing his duties as NEOM McLaren’s reserve driver in Formula E. A return to F3 could also potentially be on the cards.

    JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 06: Taylor Barnard of Great Britain and PHM Racing (29)
    Taylor Barnard will be NEOM McLaren’s reserve driver in Formula E

    9. Isack Hadjar

    Age: 19

    Nationality: French

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 2 with Campos Racing

    Rapidly vaulting his way up the junior queue, Red Bull are certainly keeping a close eye on Isack Hadjar. Likened to a ‘little Prost’ by Helmut Marko, he calmly managed the demands of two FP1 appearances for Red Bull and AlphaTauri in Abu Dhabi and Mexico City, respectively.

    Enduring a difficult rookie F2 season, he’ll be needing to rediscover the spark that lit up the track in F3 in 2022.

    READ MORE: The 10 young drivers set to take part in FP1 in Abu Dhabi

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24: #37 Isack Hadjar (Fra) Oracle Red Bull Racing (Gbr)
    Isack Hadjar has been likened to a 'little Prost' by Helmut Marko

    10. Gabriel Bortoleto

    Age: 19

    Nationality: Brazilian

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 2 with Invicta Racing

    Quick out of the box with back-to-back feature race victories in Bahrain and Australia, consistency became the mantra to Gabriel Bortoleto’s F3 title success last season.

    Seizing the championship lead in the opening round, nobody could come close to wrestling it away from him. Making the best out of almost every situation, the Brazilian impressed McLaren enough to earn a spot in their junior programme.

    Repeating this feat in F2 might be a tall order this season, but Bortoleto knows how to defy expectations.

    READ MORE: F3’s newest champion Gabriel Bortoleto on his breakout season and what comes next

    Gabriel Bortoleto's journey to the 2023 F3 title

    11. Zak O’Sullivan

    Age: 18

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix

    Zak O’Sullivan’s switch to PREMA Racing last season paid off, as he battled hard to finish Vice Champion in F3 and matched the all-time record for most wins in a season with four.

    A highly-rated member of the Williams Driver Academy, evidenced by his FP1 debut in Abu Dhabi, the Briton now steps up to F2 and will be hungry to keep the Drivers’, Teams’, and Rookie of the Year honours at reigning Champions ART Grand Prix.

    MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: Zak O'Sullivan of Great Britain and PREMA Racing (3) prepares to drive
    Zak O'Sullivan will step up to F2 for 2024

    12. Gabriele Mini

    Age: 18

    Nationality: Italian

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 3 with PREMA Racing

    Instantly comfortable behind the wheel in F3, Gabriele Mini had the pace to contend for wins and podiums on his best days. However, costly errors littered his campaign, with him eventually settling for seventh.

    Reuniting with compatriots PREMA Racing, with whom he won the 2020 Italian F4 title, the Alpine junior will be hoping for more straightforward weekends to mount a title challenge of his own.

    MACAU, MACAU - NOVEMBER 19: Gabriele Mini of Italy and SJM Theodore PREMA Racing on the podium
    Gabriele Mini will hope for a more straightforward season in F3

    13. Oliver Bearman

    Age: 18

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 2 with PREMA Racing

    Arguably Ferrari’s next big thing, Oliver Bearman already has ‘no doubt’ he’s ready for F1 in 2025 after impressing in two FP1 appearances for Haas. Having previously been the rookie surrounded by more experienced teammates, it’s crucial that the 18-year-old steps up as the leader at PREMA.

    With his raw pace demonstrated by his almost perfect weekend in Baku, Bearman should now have the second-year experience off the back of his top-six finish and maturity to make a title-contending combination.

    READ MORE: Oliver Bearman on a whirlwind 2023 and his glimpse into F1 life with Ferrari and Haas

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 23: Oliver Bearman of Great Britain in the paddock after
    Bearman has impressed many already and will hope to challenge for the title in his second F2 season

    14. Josep Maria Marti

    Age: 18

    Nationality: Spanish

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 2 with Campos Racing

    Citing 2023 as a ‘make or break’ season, last year was the making of Josep Maria Marti. An underwhelming rookie campaign left the Spaniard with everything to prove.

    Bouncing back with three victories to finish fifth overall, Marti’s push for improvement was rewarded with a place in the Red Bull junior stable. Graduating to F2 under the watchful eye of mentor Fernando Alonso, he’ll be needing to meet the measure of teammate and fellow Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar.

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 25: Josep Maria Marti of Spain looks on in the Pitlane
    Josep Maria Marti will graduate to F2 for 2024

    15. Andrea Kimi Antonelli

    Age: 17

    Nationality: Italian

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 2 with PREMA Racing

    A meteoric rise through the ranks has seen Andrea Kimi Antonelli unconventionally skip F3 to go straight to F2 for what will be only his third full single-seater season.

    No stranger to success in karting, he became the second driver to seal both the German and Italian F4 titles in his debut season, following it up with last year’s FRMEC and FRECA title double. A sign of Mercedes’ belief in their young charger, Antonelli will be looking to capitalise on the introduction of the new 2024 car opening up the playing field and match the hype surrounding him.

    Andrea Kimi Antonelli after the sprint race at the Formula 2 Round at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu
    Andrea Kimi Antonelli skipped F3 to go straight to F2 for 2024

    16. Ugo Ugochukwu

    Age: 16

    Nationality: American

    2024 Plans: Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine with PREMA Racing

    Signed to McLaren’s Driver Development programme back in 2021, Ugo Ugochukwu has given his bosses lots to be satisfied with.

    After finishing third in British F4 in 2022, the 16-year-old had a jam-packed schedule sealing the Euro 4 title alongside second in Italian F4 and third in F4 UAE. Preparing to step up to FRECA, can the American secure more silverware in 2024?

    READ MORE: McLaren sign long-term deal with 13-year-old American karting ace Ugo Ugochukwu

    IMOLA, ITALY - OCTOBER 24: Ugo Ugochukwu of the United States and Rodin Carlin (22) looks on in the
    Ugo Ugochukwu is preparing to step up to FRECA

    17. Louis Sharp

    Age: 16

    Nationality: New Zealander

    2024 Plans: TBC

    Having finished fourth in British F4, despite being too young to compete in the opening round of the 2022 campaign, Louis Sharp had one target for his follow up season and delivered expertly.

    Claiming six wins, 14 podiums and four pole positions, the 16-year-old held his nerve to take home the title by 13 points and will now be eyeing up a move ahead on the road to F1.

    IMOLA, ITALY - OCTOBER 24: Louis Sharp of New Zealand and Rodin Carlin (20) looks on in the Pitlane
    Louis Sharp impressed in British F4

    18. Arvid Lindblad

    Age: 16

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: FIA Formula 3 with PREMA Racing

    As the only rookie in PREMA’s F3 trio, Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad might not be facing the same pressure as Beganovic or Mini, but he will be just as keen to make an impact.

    The 2020 WSK Super Masters Series and 2021 WSK Euro Series Champion achieved third in Italian F4 last year alongside victory in the Macau F4 Race. He’s already gotten 2024 off to a strong start with a win in the opening round of FRMEC.

    MONTMELO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: Arvid Lindblad of Great Britain and PREMA Racing (2) prepares to
    Arvid Lindblad will be keen to make an impact in F3

    19. Freddie Slater

    Age: 15

    Nationality: British

    2024 Plans: Italian F4 & Euro 4 with PREMA Racing

    At only 15-years-old, Freddie Slater‘s single-seater career is just beginning, but the Briton has already begun to make his name known. Sealing the 2023 FIA Karting European Championship in KZ2, Slater conquered the Ginetta Junior Championship field, winning 16 races from 21 starts.

    Part-time F4 debuts yielded points and the Briton currently leads the F4 UAE standings, so it’ll be interesting to see what he’s capable of in his duel Italian F4/Euro 4 campaign.

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    20. Rene Lammers

    Age: 15

    Nationality: Dutch

    2024 Plans: Spanish F4 with MP Motorsport

    A single-seater debut awaits Rene Lammers, as he gets ready to contest the Formula Winter Series and Spanish F4.

    The son of former F1 driver Jan Lammers, the 15-year-old has several titles under his belt including the 2023 CIK-FIA European Champion in OK class as well as winning the Ferrari Driver Academy World Scouting Finals.

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    Honourable Mentions

    Two 2023 GB3 Championship title rivals will go head-to-head on their graduation to F3, with Champion Callum Voisin having familiar company alongside him at Rodin Motorsport in the form of Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year winner Joseph Loake. Red Bull junior Enzo Deligny was the top rookie in Spanish F4 last year but will be wanting more as he steps up to FRECA with R-ace GP.

    Meanwhile 17-year-old rally star Lia Block will be trading in off-road racing for her debut single-seater season in F1 Academy, backed by Williams. Lastly, the future is looking bright for Britain’s Lewis Wherrell, as the 13-year-old topped the FIA International Karting Ranking.