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F2 Rookies to Watch Out For in The 2023 Season

Written by Caitlyn Gordon, Edited by Sameena Khan

Image Credits: Joe Portlock/Getty Images

With the 2023 season now in full swing, there are a lot of new and old faces on the grid for the season. The end of the 2022 season saw ten of the current drivers depart from Formula 2 and head into the next chapter of their careers in different motorsport competitions. Ten new talents have graduated into their first season in Formula 2. With the Bahrain and Jeddah Grand Prix now wrapped up, we have seen what these new drivers can do when put to the test. These are five rookies to watch out for in the remainder of the 2023 season.

Victor Martins

Image Credits: DPPI Images

The 21-year-old French talent was the Formula 3 champion in 2022, finishing with 139 points, two victories, and four podiums under his sleeve. Martins showcased his talent throughout the season with incredible battles – especially during the race in Imola, where he and Jak Crawford crossed the line just half a second apart.

Now moving up the ladder and being closer than ever to his goal that is Formula One, he yet again showed his hunger and eagerness during his debut in Bahrain, qualifying second and then finishing third in the sprint race before sadly being involved in a crash which ended his race during the feature race. Two weeks later, he finished in pole position for the feature race for Jeddah and fought his way up to the podium for a second-place finish in the sprint race. He has shown he's fast and hungry. As the season progresses further, we will get to see more of what he can do when put to the test. He is tenth in the standings and the rookie with the most points.

Zane Maloney

Image Credits: Joe Portlock/Getty Images

Zane Maloney is a 19-year-old from Barbados who won Formula 4 in 2019 and was the runner-up in the 2022 Formula 3 season, ending the season on 134 points, three feature race wins, and one podium. In his overall racing career, he has entered 89 races, winning 14 and being on the podium in 29. As well as coming second in the Formula 3 championship, Red Bull signed Maloney into their driver academy last season.

The whispers about Maloney's talent grew experientially after the Bahrain Grand Prix as he qualified for 18th place. Still, during the feature race, he fought and battled his way up the grid, landing his first podium position in Formula 2. He has had some bad luck in the past couple of races, but hopefully, in the next coming races, he can showcase more of his talent.

Oliver Bearman

Image Credits: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

There have been a lot of exciting talks about the talent that is Oliver Bearman getting a place in Formula 2’s PREMA. Growing up, Bearman raced in competitions ranging from karting to Le Mans and finally to cars. During Bearmans first year in the British Karting GP, he finished in the top five aged eight. The following year saw him claim fourth place in the British National Cadet Championship.

Later he moved on to cars and started competing in the Italian Formula 4 Championship and the ADEC Formula 4. In his second season, he won both championships and started competing in Formula 3, where he signed on in the Ferrari Driver Academy and raced with PREMA. He won the sprint race in Spa and finished third overall in the championship with a total of 132 points.

During the Jeddah weekend, he qualified second, his best start in Formula 2. He put in an impeccable performance during the sprint race before sadly colliding with Theo Pourchaire, which cut his race short. Heading into the feature race, he shot ahead of the pole sitter Victor Martins and led the pack for over ten laps before sadly losing his rear and spinning, causing him to fall out of the battle for first. He has much more to offer, and with the season getting more active and providing more drama, we have not heard the last of Oliver Bearman.

Arthur Leclerc

Image Credits: Clive Rose/Getty Images

The younger sibling of Charles Leclerc, Arthur Leclerc, has taken the feeder series by storm after winning the Formula Regional Asian Championship in 2022 and finishing sixth overall in Formula 3 with 114 points. Previously he finished runner-up in the Formula Regional Asian Championship in 2020, but the extraordinary performance he put on when driving in the rain just showed he deserved to start racing in more competitive competitions; also, during that year, he signed with Ferrari and entered their driver academy.

Throughout his career, he has entered just over 122 races, winning 16 and ending up with 45 podiums. In his first few races with Formula 2, he qualified eighth in Bahrain and fought his way up to the sixth position, setting a time of 1:48.710. During his race in Jeddah, he opted for an alternative strategy and led the pack of drivers for several laps before heading in for a slow pit stop which pushed him down the pecking order, where he finished 8th.

Isack Hadjar

Image Credits: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Another French rookie making his way in the sport, the 18-year-old started his career back in 2012. In September of that year, he started karting and won his first race. He continued his karting career for another seven years before moving into single-seater cars, where he began racing in the French Formula 4 Championship. During his stint in this championship, he finished third overall with 13 podium finishes and three race victories. During this race, he showed his talent at the Paul Ricard circuit, where he started 14th and battled against other drivers on the grid to achieve a second-place position.

The following year he started racing in the Formula Regional European Championship, where he got his first rookie win in the first round at Imola. He then later went on to get his first Formula Regional victory at Monaco and then finished second in race two and got a podium in Barcelona before finishing fifth overall in the Championship. During his Monaco race, he dominated and broke away from the rest of the drivers by over seven seconds. Red Bull Racing saw his fantastic talent and enrolled him in their driver academy. Hadjar then graduated to F3, where he raced in the F3 Asia Formula Regional Championship and achieved two wins and finished third overall before he headed into the FIA F3, where he finished fourth and accomplished four wins.

During his first feature race in Formula 2, he started in the 14th position and climbed to finish in seventh place. Jeddah again showed he is astonishing at overtaking as he began in 19th position and finished ninth.

All of these rookies will be so exciting to keep up with as the season progresses. With different tracks and temperatures coming up, it will be thrilling to see which rookie prevails and gets to display their unique abilities.


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