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A deep dive into the 2024 Formula 2 rookies

Written by Caitlyn Gordon, Edited by Sean McKean

Just over 90 days ago, F2 closed the curtain on its thrilling 2023 season. The grid saw a huge shake up with several departures, team switches and of course – the most exciting – 10 new rookies. 

Heading into 2024, there is a lot of excitement in the build up for the F2 season, the most notable new change being the new spec cars drivers will be using. 

F2 cars have stuck with the same Dallara chassis since 2018, which had outdated design concepts making the jump up to F1 all the more harder. 

The new car features ground effect and familiar wing concepts to that of F1, making the link much closer. 

It will be a fresh start for the grid, meaning the field is evened out and it’ll be all to play for in 2024 with who can come to terms with the car the best. It also means the rookies heading into the championship won’t be at a disadvantage. 

The season is shaping up to be an exciting, unpredictable competition with a talented grid, so let’s take a look at the rookies who will be put to the test.

Kimi Antonelli

Credit: Joe Portlock

One of the most anticipated names heading into F2 this season is 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli. 

The star has ascended through the feeder series ranks dominantly, catching the eyes of numerous F1 teams including Mercedes, who had Antonelli on their radar since his karting days. 

Antonelli dominated in the karting scene, winning a total of eight titles. His success led him on to sign with the Mercedes Driver Academy back in 2019 at just 13 years old. 

The Italian transitioned to single seater cars in 2021, where, unsurprisingly, he excelled as well. A 15-year-old Antonelli took three podiums on single seater debut in the Italian F4 Championship – a tall task in a competitive F4 series.

In his first full season of Italian F4 in 2022 however, Antonelli won 13 races – the most ever achieved in the championship. 

After securing his first title, he continued his success in subsequent series, winning the ADAC F4, FIA Motorsport Games, FRECA and FRMEC all within his first two years. 

After an impressive couple of years in single-seaters, Antonelli was able to bypass F3 and jump straight into the deep-end joining F2. The Italian was announced as PREMA’s second pilot, partnering alongside Oliver Bearman. 

Gabriel Bortoleto

Credit: McLaren Content Pool

Bortoleto’s F3 campaign was nothing short of impressive. The Brazilian went into the series after finishing sixth in FRECA and not many anticipated the 18-year-old to be a championship contender. 

However, he quickly adapted to F3 and wrapped up the championship two races earlier than expected, clinching the title after qualifying in the final round at Monza. 

He took two dominant wins at the start of the season and clinched a further three podiums on his way to the crown. 

Bortoleto finished with a 45-point advantage ahead of second place, Zak O’Sullivan - the largest point margin in the championships history.

McLaren kept Bortoleto on their radars and by the end of 2023, confirming the Brazilian would be joining its driver academy. Alongside working with McLaren, he has had the support from Fernando Alonso throughout his journey in the feeder series.

Bortoleto will be joining Invicta Racing for his opening campaign in F2, alongside experienced driver Kush Maini.  

Ritomo Miyata

Credit: Misahide Kamio

Japanese superstar, Ritomo Miyata will be heading to F2 for his first taste of European racing. 

After excelling through the Japanese feeder series ranks and winning all possible titles, Miyata was confirmed to be racing with Rodin Motorsport for the 2024 season. 

Miyata, just like Bortoleto, was more of a dark horse candidate heading into 2023. The 24-year-old entered his third season of Super Formula following a solid sophomore season the year prior with many podiums in Super GT. 

However, throughout the season, Miyata quickly became one of three drivers fighting for the championship – with one being, Red Bull superstar, Liam Lawson. 

It all came down to the wire in the last race. Lawson took the advantage by winning pole, however it was Miyata that pushed through the pack and secured the Super Formula title. 

Whilst fighting for the championship, Miyata also took part in Super GT where his pace and consistency once again took him to another title. He became one of only four drivers in history to win both series in the same year – with him being the youngest to ever do so.

Miyata’s consistency with impressive one-lap speed, perfectly timed overtakes and long run pace was a significant factor into his success, which will definitely be something to watch for when he heads to F2. 

Once again for 2024, Miyata has a lot on his racing plate. He will be competing in the European Le Mans series with Cool Racing and is participating in the WEC Challenge Program which entails being a reserve driver for TGR WEC team. 

Franco Colapinto

Credit: Franco Colapinto on X

The young Argentinian was announced as Williams Racing latest addition to its talent pool last year after a stellar performance in F3. 

Like most drivers, Colapinto went down the traditional route, starting out in karts where he won major titles like the Argentinian Championship (twice) and the Summer Youth Olympics in 2018.

In his first full F4 season, Colapinto dominated the Spanish F4 Championship, winning 11 races and taking 13 podiums and 14 pole positions.

The Argentinian went down the sports car route in 2021, getting a feel for endurance racing. Once again, the driver hit the ground running in the LMP2, securing a handful of pole positions, podiums and fastest laps before being awarded Rookie of the Year. 

Colapinto competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans at just 18-years-old, the youngest out of the 186 drivers on the grid. His team secured seventh in class after an impressive stint from Colapinto.

The junior took on F3 in 2022 and caught the eyes of spectors on his first Qualifying session when he took pole. It wasn’t surprising when Colapinto went on to secure numerous podiums and wins, further adding to his trophy cabinet.

Colapinto headed into 2023 for his second campaign in F3 with MP Motorsports. This season saw the Argentinian securing two wins and fourth podiums. In a talented F3 grid, Colapinto finished fourth overall just two points behind Aron.

Jehan Daruvala joined Formula E leaving an opening for the final race of the season. MP Motorsports thought this would be the perfect time to bring in Colapinto and prepare him for 2024. The junior finished in 19th and issues caused him not to finish the Feature Race.

Zak O’Sullivan

Credit: Zak O' Sullivan on X

Another Williams Academy driver and British superstar will be joining the grid for 2024. Zak O’Sullivan has an impressive resume of accolades:

He took three wins in the Ginetta Junior Championship, finishing second overall and being awarded with the Rookie of the year award. The Brit was also runner-up of the British F4 Championship, securing nine wins and an outstanding 19 podiums. 

2021 was the year O'Sullivan properly established himself as a driver to keep an eye on. He took on GB3 where he was crowned champion after an exceptional campaign, claiming six wins, 13 podiums and having a 164 point advantage at the end of the season. 

O’Sullivan’s outstanding campaign was nominated for Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver award which he was crowned with at the end of the season.  

O’Sullivan participated in two full seasons of F3 with Carlin and PREMA respectively. In those two seasons.

2023 was an incredibly successful season as the Briton was a favourite for the championship, throughout the season, he secured two Sprint race victories, two Feature Race victories and a further podium position, however, it ultimately wasn’t enough at the Williams Academy Driver lost out on the championship to Gabriel Bortoleto.

Though it wasn’t the season ending O’Sullivan was anticipating for, he became a well-known name within the paddock and secured himself a ride with ART Grand Prix in F2 for 2024.

Taylor Barnard

Credit: Joe Portlock

NEOM McLaren reserve and development driver Taylor Barnard will be joining the grid with PHM Racing. 

The 19-year-old hasn’t been shy of success in his climb up the ranks. Barnard started out in karts where he obtained several championships, including the WSK Final Cup OKJ and the WSK Champions Cup. 

The Brit jumped into single-seaters in 2021. In his second season, he took home five wins and finished runner-up in the ADAC F4 Championship. 

The following year, the success for Barnard continued where he grabbed another two wins in FRMEC where he also finished second. 

Later in 2023, Barnard jumped into his first F3 season with Jenzer Motorsports, the Briton grabbed a maiden victory during the Spa-Franchorchamps feature race where he held off a hungry Christian Mansell in mixed conditions.

Barnard scored two-thirds of Jenzer’s points, and beat both of his teammates in F3. His hard work secured himself four podiums whilst doing so and rounded out the year in 10th place.

Paul Aron

Credit: Paul Aron

Aron has brought a significant amount of eyes to his name after some impeccable consistent performances in the junior categories, finishing third twice in FRECA and third in Italian F4. 

The Estonian made the jump up to F3 last season after competing in Formula Regional cars for a few years with the backing of Mercedes. 

His first campaign in F3 was impressive with the most notable moment of the season being his eighth-to-first victory during a wet-weather race in Austria. 

As the season matured, he secured a further three podiums. Aron made his triple third place finishes into a quartet after his rookie season, finishing just seven points behind O’Sullivan. 

Jumping into F2, this season won’t be the first time Aron has been in a F2 car. 

For the last round, the driver joined Trident after Clement Novalak departed from the season, finishing 24th respectively. He makes the jump into a full-time season joining Hitech GP for 2024 alongside Amaury Cordeel.

Rafael Villagómez

Credit: Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR)

Only moving away from karts in 2020, the young Mexican jumped into British F4 after winning the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy competition where he competed against 17 other talented youngsters. 

Since 2021, Villagómez has been a part of the Vans Amersfoort Racing family. 

During his first season in F3, the Mexican also took part in Euroformula Open Championship – securing five podiums – and the Asian F3 Championship. 

After gaining valuable experience during his three campaigns in F3, the team decided it was time to promote Villagómez to its F2 team, partnering Enzo Fittipaldi. 

Josep María Martí

The Red Bull backed junior joins Campos Racing for his first campaign in F2. Martí raced with Fernando Alonso’s karting academy in Spain where he clinched the Spanish Karting Championship in 2019 after just two years karting. 

Jumping into single-seaters, Martí took home his first win at the Yas Marina Circuit in F4 UAE. Martí grabbed a couple of more wins in F4 before making his debut in F3 in 2022. 

Whilst searching for the crown in F3, the Spaniard took part in the Formula Regional Asian Championship, missing out on the championship to Arthur Leclerc. 

Searching for that title, Martí headed into his second season with Campos Racing where he was victorious in Bahrain, Monaco and Barcelona. 

Unfortunately, the wins weren’t enough to secure him the title his second time around and Martí finished fifth, just five points behind Franco Colapinto. 

Joshua Dürksen

Credit: @JoshuaDuerksen1

Alongside Barnard will be, 20-year-old Joshua Dürksen. The Paraguayan has taken part in several lower-formula series like F4 UAE, FRECA Italian and German F4 – where he achieved numerous wins and a handful of podiums. 

His most successful campaign was in F4 UAE in 2019. After achieving five wins, Dürksen finished runner-up in the championship. 

He has continued racing in single seaters since, becoming victorious in iconic tracks such as the Red Bull Ring, Mugello, Hockenheim and Nürburgring. 

Dürksen competed in a F3 test where he developed further on his driving skills, before landing himself a full-time seat in F2 for 2024. Dürksen hasn’t actually competed in F3 and makes the same jump Antonelli makes from FRECA to F2. 

The jump is significant, however. PHM has full faith in the driver that he’ll be putting all his focus on working hard and adapting to F2.

The next time you tune in to an F2 race this season, keep an eye out for these names dotting the racetrack, taking to the track for their first season in F2 machinery.



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