Predicting F1’s Next Race-Winner After Ocon – Norris, Sainz, Stroll, Russell or Nyck de Vries?

Published 08/21/2021, 12:18 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 (L – R) Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel pose during a promotional photoshoot for the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge


Esteban Ocon stunned the grid when he raised the winning trophy over his head at Hungary. Ocon was added to the shortlist of new F1 race winners, which features Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez from the previous season.

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The competition on the grid has undoubtedly increased. With a lot of drivers mastering their skills, will we see another fresh face at the top of the podium? If we do, here are some predictions about who could be the next Grand Prix victor.

F1 favorite Lando Norris

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If this were a gamble, Lando Norris would be the best driver to put your money on. His incredible form throughout the season almost guarantees him a spot on the top. The impressive run of finishing 10 races out of 11 in the points – breaking the pattern through no fault of his own; Norris has the aptitude to put him on the top.

Presently third in the championship, Norris has been thirsty for his race win. If one listens to any of his podium-finishing team radios, Lando only wants more.

Talent aside, Norris has a winner’s mindset. Whether he’s being chased down by a Mercedes in Austria or charging through the spray in France, Norris has his eyes on the prize. It also means he could deal with the pressure of heading a race.

Like Ocon, Lando needs to be presented with an opportunity. While the McLaren has been showing incredible pace, it’s only good enough for P3. Unable to truly battle Red Bull and Mercedes, Lando needs one chance to lead the race, and he will undoubtedly make the most of it. With three podiums claimed so far, it’s only a matter of time before we see the Milk Boy taking his sip of the victor’s champagne.

Ferrari newbie Carlos Sainz

Sainz has had his share of podiums and even came tantalizingly close to his first win twice in the last two years. Eventually finishing second, Carlos lost his win to Gasly in Monza last year and to Verstappen at this year’s Monaco GP.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Second placed Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. is celebrates second place with a trophy Pool via REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Although luck hasn’t been his best friend, Carlos Sainz has the Ferrari fortune on his side. Considering the fact that every full-time Ferrari driver since ’92 has become a race winner, including his teammate Leclerc, Sainz’s failure to continue the spell seems inconceivable.

Additionally, the Ferrari driver has had a very successful debut campaign with the Prancing Horses and has continued to show outstanding performance over the last few races. It would be a shame if Sainz misses out on his awaited win this season.

Lance ‘F1 Surprise’ Stroll

Now, placing your money on Lance Stroll may not be the best option, but it’s a gamble. Admittedly, the Canadian has spent his season in the shadow of his teammate, Sebastian Vettel.

But Stroll is a man of surprises. Take last year’s pole position in Turkey, for instance, or his first podium in 2017; Lance Stroll strikes when no one expects it.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

It’s only because of this that Stroll makes it on the list. In another race like Baku or Hungary- where the race leaders are out of the picture- Lance Stroll can have a twist of fate and take the win.

Williams’ George Russell

Backed by the fans, everyone ached to see Russell make it into the points – which he did at Hungary. Now, there’s the podium and the eventual maiden win.

Now, this prediction isn’t limited to this season. Russell’s Williams may not be the strongest car to give him the lead, but his dream seat in Mercedes might.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during a promotional photoshoot for the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

The majority hopes to see Russell partnered with Hamilton, given an opportunity in the faster car. This is because when everyone saw what the Brit is capable of when placed in a Silver Arrow; it was the perfect fit. As we await the news regarding Mercedes’ second seat, George Russell waits for the opportunity to be the best of the rest.

Bonus Name

Nyck de Vries, the Mercedes reserve driver, and the Formula E driver’s champion. His stint with F1’s electronic counterpart has made him the talk of the town. Pushing Mercedes-EQ to win the team’s championship, de Vries also shows great promise as a driver, race winner, and championship contender.

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If he were to take the wheel as a reserve driver, or even find himself in an F1 car in the 2022 season, de Vries is sure to stir a storm. While Formula E and F1 cars have their differences, Nyck has already had his time with the F1 chassis and may ease into it if given a chance. His talent, experience, and mentality all point towards being a potential F1 Grand Prix winner.

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Who would you hedge your bets on? Is there someone you think we missed out on? Let us know!

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Shreya Sanjeev

335 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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