Written by Sean McKean, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina
As we reach the halfway point of the summer, more championship favourites and contenders are beginning to get solidified. While some have impressed with a few podiums and wins, a select few have shown they have what it takes to make it to the pinnacle of motorsports.
Arvid Lindblad - Italian F4 - Prema
As this is Lindblad’s first year in single-seaters, many expected him to take time to acclimatise to F4 machinery. However, the Red Bull junior has begun his debut in style, currently dominating the most competitive Formula 4 championship. With seven wins and many more podiums, including a full weekend sweep in Monza, Lindblad leads the Italian championship by 59.5 points. Though the championship title is still in reach for a few behind, the Brit has made an outstanding impression in such a prestigious field, with the likes of Ugo Ugochukwu, Tuukka Taponen, and Kacper Sztuka unable to match his pace.
If Lindblad were to finish the championship as strong as he currently is, a move to FRECA or FIA F3 would not be out of the question.
Pepe Martí - FIA Formula 3 - Campos
After a rather unfortunate rookie campaign last season, Spaniard Pepe Martí has rebounded strongly. You would not be mistaken to have not included Martí on your championship contender radar for this season of FIA F3, given that he finished last season with only two points to his name in 26th place.
This season, however, he has proven any doubters he may have had wrong. Prior to the Monza round, the 18-year-old sits third in the standings with three wins and four podiums to his name. Even if Martí may be out of championship contention now, his performances have allowed his name to be thrown around in the Formula 2 silly season as a potential replacement for Ralph Boschung.
Martinius Stenshorne - FRECA - R-ace GP
Likewise to the aforementioned Lindblad, Norwegian driver Martinius Stenshorne has fared incredibly well in the jump to higher Formulae.
Prior to the FRECA season, many in the paddock were expecting Kimi Antonelli and Rafael Camara as the obvious championship contenders. But, few expected Stenshorne to quickly take charge of the championship, with the 17-year-old amassing four wins and eight podiums, including a full weekend sweep in the Hungaroring.
Though he recently lost the championship lead to Antonelli following the Le Castellet round, Stenshorne has surely turned the heads of F3 team leaders and F1 junior academies.
Callum Hedge - FRAC - Kiwi Motorsports
Though the Formula Regional Americas Championship may not be the most widely covered series, Kiwi driver Callum Hedge has turned some heads in the Road to Indy ladder with his dominance this season.
Heading into 2023, he had seen little success in single-seaters. This all changed in the winter, with Hedge participating in the newly rebranded Formula Regional Oceania Championship. The campaign was highly successful, notching three wins and nine podiums en route to a second-place finish in the standings.
For the summer, the Kiwi set his sights on the United States in the Formula Regional Americas Championship. To say Hedge has dominated would be an understatement, as he currently ranks first in the standings with nine victories, seven of which coming consecutively.
With his utter domination, it is rumoured that he will make a move onto the Road to Indy ladder, with USF Pro 2000 and Indy NXT being widely speculated.