F2 2021: Drivers Making Their Debut in Bahrain

Published 03/24/2021, 7:00 AM EDT


F2 has so far been the lending machine of talents to F1, with a handful of young drivers joining the racing series over each season. And amid the approaching 2021 F1 season, three drivers, Nikita Mazepin, Mick Schumacher, and Yuki Tsunoda, will be making their debut in the championship.

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Subsequently, with three vacancies and more drivers bowing out of F2, are there any rookies joining the F2 series this season? Well, yes.There are quite a lot of drivers who have made a leap into F2 from either F3 or GP3.

So, let’s take a look at these rookies who could well be the future stars of F1.

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Oscar Piastri (PREMA F2)

This has to be one of the biggest names to race in F2 over the 2021 season. The Australian has been on fire since he joined F3 last year. Oscar was amongst a three-way fight for the title throughout the season which made 2020 even more fierce than usual in F3.

The 19-year-old found no respite, as he was constantly under pressure from his title rivals, Logan Sargeant and Théo Pourchaire. And the title fight went down the wire to the very last race of the season; Oscar and Pourchaire were tied on 160 points.

Introducing… the reigning @FIAFormula3 Champion! 👑

2021 rookie @OscarPiastri can't wait to get going 🤩👊#F2 #RoadToF1 pic.twitter.com/074WvBoljr

— Formula 2 (@Formula2) March 20, 2021

However, an unfortunate collision by Pourchaire during the race led to the PREMA racing driver strolling his way to the finishing line in seventh to claim his first F3 championship title.

Now, Oscar will continue racing for PREMA in Formula 2 and will be replacing Mick Schumacher, who is making a leap to F1 this season.

Lirim Zendeli (MP Motorsport F2)

Another driver who will be joining the F2 grid following a stint in F3. However, in Lirim Zendeli’s case, he spent a couple of years in F3; the first season with Charouz and later with Trident.

His first stint was rather disappointing, as the 21-year-old never got going and only managed P18 on the driver’s standings after scoring a measly six points.

Get ready for the first Formula 2 round, where we will continue racing with our testing line up from 2 weeks ago 😎 Our drivers, Lirim and Richard, are ready to hit the track and fight for points 🔥 pic.twitter.com/p0uYBxFSnk

— MP Motorsport (@mpmotorsport_) March 23, 2021

However, the German-Albanian witnessed a change in fortunes over the subsequent season after switching to Trident Racing. He secured a total of 104 points, out of which he enjoyed three podiums including a race win, ultimately finishing eighth on the standings.

Furthermore, he played a crucial role in helping Trident finish the season in an incredible second place on the constructor’s table.

Now, Zendeli will be racing for MP Motorsport over the 2021 F2 season, replacing Felipe Drugovich, who, in turn, will race with UNI-Virtuosi.

Liam Lawson (Hitech GP)

Liam Lawson is a Red Bull junior driver who will be another addition to the long list of rookie drivers in F2 this season. The New-Zealander had been lurking in F3 for two years, spending his debut season with MP Motorsport.

He put on an incredible rookie F3 performance scoring 41 points, that had two sprint race podiums as well. Later, he switched to Hitech Grand Prix for the 2020 F3 season.

"I still have to pinch myself every now and then!" 💙❤️

Liam Lawson on being a @RedBullRacing junior 🙌#F2 #RoadToF1 pic.twitter.com/HRrYy0xuI5

— Formula 2 (@Formula2) March 23, 2021

The 19-year-old doubled up on his strong 2019 showing, as he finished his second F3 season with 143 points on the board.

Following such an impressive stint in F3, now is the time for Lawson to dominate in F2. Lawson will remain a part of the Hitech GP racing team over his upcoming rookie F2 season.

Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport)

Richard Verschoor has had a rather quiet career in racing so far, scoring decent points over his couple of seasons in Formula 3.

It’s happening. IT’S RACE WEEK 💙 So grateful for this opportunity. Ready to hit the track with @mpmotorsport_ in the @Formula2 series. #F2 pic.twitter.com/DfU9E4pMaC

— Richard Verschoor (@R_Verschoor1) March 23, 2021

The Dutchman has been a part of MP Motorsport since his entry into the GP3 series back in 2018. Following the switch to F3, he secured a total of 103 points out of the 34 starts that he had.

Now, Richard will continue racing for MP over the 2021 F2 season, which will also mark his first F2 entry.

David Beckmann (Charouz)

David Beckmann is yet another driver who failed to shine in his first F3 stint but returned stronger for the subsequent season.

After scoring just 20 points through 2019 with ART Grand Prix, the German returned very much stronger for the 2020 season after switching to Trident. David secured a total of six podiums in 2020, including two race wins in Austria and Silverstone, respectively.

The German will now jump onto the F2 grid for the 2021 season, racing for Charouz Racing System alongside the Brazilian, Guilherme Samaia.

Alessio Deledda (HWA Racelab F2)

Deledda is considered, by many, to be one of the most undeserving racing drivers to compete in F2. The Italian is yet to score a point out of his 34 starts in F3.

Furthermore, he isn’t unknown when it comes to off-track actions as well. Alessio was part of a controversy that erupted during the business end of 2020.

The 26-year-old filmed himself driving recklessly on an Italian motorway in Lazio, which left the fans fuming. But that wasn’t the first instance.

Ancora una buona giornata di test #F2 #Sakhir @hwaag_official per Alessio che ha nuovamente evidenziato un ottimo passo nella simulazione gara. I test in Bahrain si sono conclusi e proprio sul tracciato di Sakhir si svolgeranno a fine mese le prime tre gare 2021 pic.twitter.com/HpJEzf4zpt

— AlessioDeledda (@DeleddaAlessio) March 10, 2021

Prior to that incident, he posted a video on social media which shows Alessio hitting 300km/hr on a public road. Eventually, he apologized to the fans for getting involved in such videos and revealed that his intentions were to raise awareness.

The Italian will be joining the HWA Racelab alongside fellow Italian and rookie driver, Matteo Nannini.

Matteo Nannini (HWA Racelab F2)

The Italian will be a part of HWA Racelab for the 2021 F2 season but will be lining up under the double-duty category. Hence, Nannini will compete both in F3 and F2 this season.

🔈 Announcement 🔈

🇬🇧 I’m super stoked for the upcoming season, as I will line up for @hwaag_official in both @FIA_F2 and @FIAFormula3!
Forty-five races are going to be demanding, but I feel ready and determined to grow as much as possible. Bring on testing! #TeamNannini pic.twitter.com/hDmZLkj8PJ

— Matteo Nannini (@nannini_matteo) January 22, 2021

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The 17-year-old has had 18 starts so far, out of which he has managed a podium that came in 2020 while racing for Jenzer Motorsport. Over the approaching F2 season, Nannini will partner with his compatriot, Alessio.

Overall, it looks like there could a tough fight for the championship title this season, with Robert Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala, Guanyu Zhou, and Felipe Drugovich standing tall as the favorites.

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But who is actually going to secure that title? Well, let’s wait and watch how the season unfolds.

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Rohit Kumar

590 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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