The Best Young Drivers That Will Be Future F1 Stars

F1 future spotlight: the young drivers primed to take over the grid

Due to the highly competitive nature of Formula 1, the driver roster is constantly in flux. Thankfully, the future of the grid is in good hands. These are the names you’ll see in pole position for years to come.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN a greater depth of racing talent than right now. Gone are the days when driving high-speed vehicles was only accessible for wealthy scions and heirs to vast fortunes. Now, pathways to Formula 1 are more open, and as a result, the drivers coming through the system are some of the best prospects we’ve ever seen. Which is good news, because the F1 grid is long overdue for a shake-up.

While no rookies were able to secure a full-time seat for the 2024 F1 season, 2025 is a near-certainty to feature fresh faces. Thirteen drivers will be out of contract at the end of the year, leaving many vacant seats in their wake. And much of the previous generation is also on its last legs. Sebastian Vettel retired in 2022, and while they’re doing their best to fend off father time, Fernando Alonso is 42, Lewis Hamilton is 39, Nico Hulkenberg is 36 and Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo are all 34, meaning their careers are, slowly but surely, grinding to a halt.

An infusion of young talent will be necessary in coming years if F1 is to remain competitive – not that it’s a paragon of competitiveness at present, with Max Verstappen currently up to nine consecutive wins, one away from equalling his own record. Luckily, the next generation looks up to the task. Here, we’re taking a look at F1’s future stars. Some will be on the grid as soon as next season, others might not join until Verstappen has claimed his seventh or eighth consecutive championship, but assuredly, the future is bright.

Oliver Bearman


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ollie Bearman (@olliebearman)

One of the few names on this list that has already debuted in F1, Oliver Bearman turned heads when he replaced the injured Carlos Sainz for Ferrari at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last weekend. Bearman qualified in 11th place, but managed to work his way up to seventh by the end of the race.

Just three years ago, Bearman was still competing in Formula 4. Now, he’s rocketed his way up through Formula 3 and 2 in consecutive years and has made his F1 debut. Bearman will continue in his role as Ferrari’s reserve driver for the rest of 2024, but beyond this year, multiple other teams are expected to be vying for the Englishman’s signature on a new contract. Ferrari may be where his long-term loyalties lie, however. But with Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton occupying Ferrari’s seats for the foreseeable future, Ferrari associates Haas could be a viable option.

Liam Lawson

Liam Lawson shined in his limited F1 opportunities in 2023. Standing in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, the New Zealander routinely outperformed his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, and even finished in the points on one occasion. If Tsunoda or Ricciardo were to depart AlphaTauri next season, the expectation is that Lawson will take their place. If not, the rising star may look to take his talents somewhere they’re more appreciated.

Jack Doohan


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jack Doohan (@jackdoohan)

The son of Australian motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, racing is in Jack Doohan’s DNA, and he’s been on the cusp of an F1 breakthrough for a number of years. Doohan has previously finished second in the 2021 F3 championship, third in the 2023 F2 championship, and has amassed a total of six F2 wins. He’s currently serving as reserve driver for Alpine and has test driven their F1 cars on a number of occasions. With both Alpine drivers out of contract beyond 2024, Doohan could soon be in for a promotion.

Théo Pourchaire

The winner of the 2023 F2 championship, Théo Pourchaire will be a hot commodity moving forward. The Frenchman was within a hair’s breadth of securing a seat at Sauber this season, but the team ultimately chose to stick with its existing drivers, Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas. Both Guanyu and Bottas are on expiring contracts though, and it’s unlikely Sauber retains both, meaning a 2025 F1 debut for Pourchaire looks likely. In the meantime, the driver is plying his trade in Japan, competing in Super Formula. At only 20 years of age, Pourchaire still has plenty of time to make the leap to F1.

Frederik Vesti

One of the more experienced drivers on this list, Denmark’s Frederik Vesti has been working his way up the lower formulae for multiple years. He gave his best performance last season in F2, finishing second in the championship. Vesti’s path to F1 is uncertain though. He’s the reserve driver for Mercedes, but unlike most in his profession, he shares his role with another driver, Mick Schumacher. Lewis Hamilton’s departure will open up a spot at Mercedes and both Vesti and Schumacher could take it, but Mercedes will likely opt for a driver with more proven success in F1.

Ayumu Iwasa

Ayumu Iwasa finished fifth and fourth in the driver’s championship over his two years in F2. A Red Bull junior, Iwasa was unable to secure a position as a reserve driver at either Red Bull or AlphaTauri, with Liam Lawson and a yet to be named driver on this list occupying those places. Instead, Iwasa is heading back to his home nation for Super Formula, with the hope of proving he deserves a spot on the F1 grid in the near future. At only 22 years of age, he still has plenty of time to do it.

Zane Maloney


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Boy From 🇧🇧 (@zane.maloney)

How often do we see athletes from Barbados in the upper echelons of international sports? Hardly ever, and much less often in motorsports. Zane Maloney looks set to become Barbados’ greatest export since Rihanna. Having taken F3 by storm in 2022, winning the final three races of the season and finishing second in the championship, Maloney has now moved up to F2, where he’s currently sitting in first place. Maloney previously served as the F1 reserve driver for Red Bull (having surpassed Iwasa for the honour), now the Bajan is spending 2024 as Sauber’s reserve. If he continues his current form, an F1 seat will be waiting for him.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Italian Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli is one of the best prospects open-wheeled racing has ever seen. While we’re hesitant to apply the term ‘generational’ to any driver, Antonelli certainly fits the bill. He’s won trophies everywhere he’s gone in the lower formulae and has made the unconventional jump from straight to F2, skipping F3 entirely. The most recent notable division skipper was Max Verstappen, who went straight from F3 to F1, and Antonelli is cut from the same cloth. He’s only 17, so the likelihood of Antonelli replacing Hamilton at Mercedes next year is slim, but the phenom is being groomed for the role in the future.

Felipe Drugovich

Felipe Drugovich was widely expected to have made his F1 debut by now. After winning the 2022 F2 championship, Drugovich made the jump to F1 as Aston Martin’s reserve driver. After three years in the position, the Brazilian is yet to make his debut and hasn’t been racing elsewhere. Lance Stroll is on a rolling contract at Aston Martin, so he’ll be sticking around, and while Fernando Alonso will be off contract at the end of the year, the team will be keen on retaining his services. As a result, it’s difficult to see where Drugovich fits into Aston Martins plans. At 23, he’s the oldest driver on this list, and younger drivers have already made their F1 debuts. Unless he’s given an opportunity soon, expect Drugovich to weigh his options as to a team switch.

Abbi Pulling


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rodin Motorsport (@rodin.motorsport)

We’re concluding with a wildcard, but one that is worth mentioning. Throughout the long history of F1, only two women have ever started a race, most recently in 1976. Times are changing though, and with the establishment of the female-only F1 academy, more women are involved in motorsports than ever before. One standout from the academy is Abbi Pulling, who currently sits in first place of the championship. At 20 years old, Pulling is already an experienced driver who has been in the system for five years. She’s returning to British F4 this year, and as an Alpine junior, she’s aiming to continue her ascension through the elite ranks.



This is what the F1 grid could look like in 2025

Oscar Piastri’s performance coach reveals how F1 drivers stay fit

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

More From

Gather Round
Faultless footy, cutting-edge cars, and an atmosphere like no other: a weekend in Adelaide for Gather Round

Faultless footy, cutting-edge cars, and an atmosphere like no other: a weekend in Adelaide for Gather Round

If there’s one thing Adelaide is known for, it’s turning it on when major events and festivals come to town. During the 2024 edition of the AFL’s Gather Round – otherwise known as the festival of footy – the city didn’t disappoint. Men’s Health was on the ground to soak it all up, exploring the city in select Toyota vehicles. Similar to the round itself, the cars from the AFL’s premier partner live up to the hype.