The 2017 European Formula Three campaign is set to kick off in a weeks time as support act for the World Endurance Championship. Reigning champion Lance Stroll has been promoted to Formula One while 2015 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi was given a surprise call-up to a race seat with Sauber in Melbourne and again for this weekends Chinese Grand Prix.
It’s almost certain that anyone who does well in this years Formula Three campaign will be in F1 in the next few years. Some drivers however, have a lot to live up to with more than just the pressure of earning an F1 seat. Here’s a look of the next generation of racing families making their bow into the big leagues of F3.
The stand-out heir to the Schumacher throne. Mick has the most poisoned of challenges to inherit. The son of seven-time F1 champion Michael, the 18-year-old Swiss-born prodigal son has become accustomed to the world of single seater racing. Having only made his open wheel debut two years ago in ADAC Formula 4, he finished runner-up the following season in both ADAC and Italian F4 championships. In addition to Formula 4, he finished third place in the off-season Asian MRF Formula 2000 series. On the surface, he seems to be settling into single seat racing pretty quickly despite using a number of pseudonyms, such as Mick Betsch (former surname of mother Corinna Schumacher) and Mick Junior, to deflect attention from his famed father. Mick will be replacing Lance Stroll at Prema Powerteam driving car number 25.
Another member of the second generation of famed racing drivers, Pedro is the son of three-time F1 champion Nelson and younger brother of the not so successful Nelson Junior. Pedro began karting at age 8 and has plenty of Formula 3 experience, winning the Brazilian F3 championship in 2014 and 2015. Last year, he made the switch to Europe and competed in the European F3 Championship and found it a challenge. He managed just 19th place in the season with a total of 19 points. Champion Lance Stroll in comparison managed 507. Pedro has however got 2017 off to a reasonable start by finishing second in New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series having been beaten by only 5 points by Australian driver Thomas Randle. The young Brazilian will remain at Van Amersfoort for the 2017 campaign driving car number 5.
While he never competed as a driver, Adrian Newey is undoubtedly an F1 legend. Ten Formula One World Championship cars bear his design and innovation. He will be passing his wisdom onto his 18-year-old son Harrison who has gone down the route of being behind the wheel rather than working around it. Harrison’s first professional season was in 2015 and saw him finish second in the British Formula 4 campaign, finishing behind Jonathan Palmer’s son Will. Like Pedro Piquet, Newey made the European F3 switch last season with little success, finishing one place above Pedro in 18th. Both coincidentally also competed for Van Amersfoort last season and will continue to do so during the 2017 campaign. Harrison also had some post-season success in the MRF Formula 2000 Challenge, winning the Asian championship despite finishing level on points with Joey Mawson. Newey had more wins under his belt therefore he was awarded the crown over his Van Amersfoort team mate for the coming season.