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Could Brazil Soon Be Reliving Their Glory Days in Formula 1?

Written by Leticia Matteo, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

When people think of the Brazilian sports scene, the first thing that may come to mind is its accomplishments in soccer. The country's astonishing five FIFA World Cup title wins, highlights other performances given in various categories. Although, the land's presence in motorsport, especially in Formula 1 is undeniably renowned, having names such as Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, — and so many others — engraved in the path that led to where Formula 1 is right now.

Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian maestro; Image credit - Paul-Henri Cahier

In account of that, it is crucial to discuss the eminent rise of Brazilian drivers into the sport, and how significant and reflective of wide incentives where it can guide brewing talent. After many years without a face that represents Brazil, the public is now presented with, not one, but many gifted personas, who compass exactly what is needed amongst the current grid. Of course, it is no surprise of how the nation cheers and supports their athletes, and of how influential that can be to a sport looking to expand their audience.

The names in the spotlight are of youthful craft — though, do not be fooled by their young ages, for all of them have a package of experience in the feeding categories of motorsport.

Gabriel Bortoleto, Caio Collet, and Roberto Faria are all on the current Formula 3 Grid, with Bortoleto and Collet amounting their 144 and 61 points, respectively, whilst Faria is still on the hunt for them. The expectation is high on Bortoleto, considering that as of this year's summer break, he is 38 points clear of his adversary Paul Aron, who's only able to gain 39 more points until the end of the season. That means, within the next race in Monza, if Bortoleto is the fastest on qualifying he sweeps two more points, the maximum sum now going down to 37, which translates to: He can sit out all of the remaining races and still win the championship with a three point margin.

Stepping into Formula 2, Enzo Fittipaldi is the one to hold the blue, green and yellow flag proudly, since the Spa-Francorchamps round of the 2023 season, when he won his first ever F2 sprint race after an amazing overtake on Richard Verschoor at the penultimate lap. He now stands in seventh place, only four points away from British driver Oliver Bearman.

Enzo Fittipaldi; The next Fittipaldi to race in F1? Credit - Joe Portlock

If evidence was needed of the well awaited return of Brazilian takeover at its verge, the Spa weekend in Belgium, came to topple all doubts. With Collet winning the F3 Sprint Race, Fittipaldi the F2 Sprint Race, Bortoleto two points away from being a Formula 3 Champion, and Felipe Drugovich on the track as a reserve F1 driver for Aston Martin; it is as clear as crystal that this new young generation of drivers — the youngest being 18-years-old and the oldest 23-years-old — is here to stay, proving once again that despite all the challenges that happen when competing in such an exclusive and costly sport, getting where they are and beyond is a hard yet achievable goal.

Drugovich's name has been on rumors lately regarding a possible Formula E seat for him in the near future. This was received with surprise in the motorsport community, considering that this year he serves as a F1 reserve driver for Aston Martin, which made it appear as if, in an eventual seat opening at any other team, he could be considered to fill that spot. With this hearsay coming around, it seems that Drugovich wants to step into another category to strengthen his results and build a better path leading to the pinnacle of motorsports.

Could Drugovich be Brazil's next big name in motorsport? Credit - Dan Istitene

Therefore, it is a combination of factors that tell us that the return and rising of a phoenix of the country's motorsport history is close by: The entertainment side of it all would greatly help Formula 1, with the Netflix series 'Formula 1:Drive to Survive' as an example, where it thrives on the grid's personalities to attract the public. Plus the need for an expansion of worldwide exposure gained by a racing driver, and all the factual aptitude of the Brazilian names mentioned, who are set to keep proving their skills in the long run.

Taking all of that into consideration, should an approaching ascension of Brazil in the action of F1 be regarded and possibly, gain its glory once more, or is this just a passing fad that may lead to nowhere? Certainly, all eyes are eager on what lies ahead for a once powerful category.


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