Written By Alejandra Guajardo Lozano, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
The 2023 Formula One season is just around the corner, which only means 20 drivers are coming back for another exciting year, this time consisting of 23 Grands-Prix all around the world. After a wild 2022 silly season, which saw Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, and Sebastian Vettel leave their respective teams, the latter announcing his retirement, there are three new faces in the paddock. So, who are these rookie drivers, and why have their respective teams signed them for this season?
First up, we have Oscar Piastri driving for McLaren in the upcoming 2023 season. Oscar Jack Piastri was born 6th April 2001 in Melbourne, Australia. He used to race remote-controlled cars at the national level before stepping into karts in 2011. He moved to the United Kingdom to pursue his racing career, and finished sixth in the 2016 World Championship. The following year, he raced in Formula Four for TRS Arden Junior Racing ] claiming six victories and six pole positions, finishing as runner-up to the homegrown Jamie Caroline. Piastri also took part in the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup, finishing ninth in his debut season, and going on to become champion in 2019. In January 2020, he was signed by Prema Racing to take part in the Formula 3 Championship alongside Logan Sargeant and Frederik Vesti. After a close battle with Théo Purchaire and Sargeant, Piastri emerged victorious, taking the championship at Mugello, in the season finale. Piastri then stepped up to Formula 2 for the same outfit, paired alongside Robert Shwartzman for the 2021 Formula Two Championship. He won the championship in a supreme display of talent, in his rookie season, following in the footsteps of Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
His road to Formula One has seen a fair bit of controversy. He was a reserve driver for Alpine and McLaren in 2022 and was set to drive for Williams in the 2023 season. However, this didn’t happen as Fernando Alonso announced he was moving to Aston Martin to replace Sebastian Vettel. Alpine basically assumed Piastri as their new driver for 2023, announcing his signing later in the week. A few hours later, Piastri posted the following announcement via Twitter and Instagram:
After Piastri’s statement, everyone was left wondering about his future in Formula One. This was until he was announced to drive for McLaren for the 2023 season. He was harshly criticized by Alpine’s team principal Otmar Szafnauer for, “his lack of loyalty.” There were even rumors swirling around about Szafnauer wanting to sue Piastri. But Piastri didn’t let this get to him, and is now an official Formula One driver.
Next up, we have the 28 year-old Nyck De Vries. Hendrik Johannes Nicasius De Vries, better known as Nyck De Vries, was born on 6th February 1995 in Uitwellingerga, Netherlands. He won the WSK World Series In 2008, for the KF3 (karting) category, and the German Junior Championship. The following year, he claimed both titles again, and the European KF3 Championship. In 2010, he won the Karting World Championship and won the World Championship in 2011. Signing with the McLaren Young Driver Programme in 2010.
He participated in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2012, for R-ace GP, and achieved his maiden podium in his debut race, finishing runners-up at Alcañiz. He finished the season fifth, outperforming all his teammates. The Dutch youngster switched to Koiranen GP for 2013, obtaining a fifth place. In 2014, at the third time of asking, he went on to win the championship, by a huge margin of 130 points to the runner-up, Dennis Olsen.
In 2015, he switched to Formula Renault 3.5, racing for DAMS (Driot Associés Motor Sport) finishing third in the championship. He took part in the GP3 Series in 2016 for ART Grand Prix. De Vries finished sixth behind his teammates Charles Leclerc and Alexander Albon. The Dutchman later signed with the Audi Sport Racing Academy.
In 2017 he graduated to Formula 2, racing for Rapax, before switching to Racing Engineering just before Spa-Francorchamps. He ended his season strongly, finishing seventh, which placed him as the second highest of all rookies. In 2018, he moved to Prema Racing to team up with Sean Gelael for the new Formula 2 season. Even though he netted six podiums, he couldn’t finish the top three, being beaten by Lando Norris and former teammate Alexander Albon. Following a dominant 2019 season, one that saw him win the drivers championship, De Vries was announced as a driver for the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne. He left the McLaren Young Driver Programme to focus on Audi until September, when he commenced his Formula E duties.
He remained at Mercedes in Formula E until the end of 2022, as he was sure to be driving in Formula One in 2023. He secured a seat at Alpha Tauri after an outstanding debut at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix. He replaced his former teammate Alexander Albon at Williams Racing for the event. Alex had “anesthetic complications'’ after an appendicitis surgery, which led to him getting transferred to a local hospital on Saturday morning. De Vries stepped in and managed to qualify thirteenth, but ended up starting eight due to grid penalties for multiple drivers. He finished the Grand Prix ninth, scoring points for the team on debut, and won Driver of the Day, a truly outstanding debut indeed.
After his marvelous debut, De Vries obviously caught the attention of numerous team principals. He landed a contract with the Scuderia Alpha Tauri to drive alongside Yuki Tsunoda, for the 2023 Formula One season.
Finally, we come to the American driver, Logan Sargeant. Logan Hunter Sargeant was born on 31st December, 2000 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, He started karting in 2008, competing in a few categories, before moving to Europe to participate in other championships. He won the CIK-FIA World KFJ Championship in 2015, making him the first American to win an FIA Karting World Championship since 1978. He made his debut in the Formula 4 UAE Championship in 2016, driving for Team Motopark, finishing second in the standings. In 2017, he switched to Carlin to drive alongside Oscar Piastri. He finished third in the standings, although he was outscored by Piastri and Jamie Caroline.
He moved to Formula Renault Eurocup in 2018, racing for R-ace GP, and won the first race of his Eurocup career at Paul Ricard. He ended the season in fourth, scoring 218 points. In 2019, he returned to Carlin for the FIA Formula 3 Championship. He had a rough season, ending up nineteenth in the standings. In 2020 he switched to Prema, getting partnered up with Frederik Vesti and Oscar Piastri. This switch to Prema brought him better fortunes, as he scored his first F3 victory en-route to third in the standings, just behind Théo Pourchaire and former rival and teammate, Oscar Piastri.
In 2021, Sargeant faced financial problems, which saw him sit out the FIA Formula 2 Championship. He was later announced a driver for Charouz Racing System for the 2021 F3 Championship. He finished the season seventh, with 102 points to his name. In December, he was announced to race for Carlin’s F2 outfit from 2022.
Sargeant made his Formula One free practice debut at the 2022 United States Grand Prix for Williams Racing. He drove in free practice sessions for Williams again at the following rounds in Mexico City, São Paulo, and at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. William’s team principal, Jost Capito, announced Sargeant would be driving for them in 2023, provided he got his Super License, which he did. In November 2022, Logan was announced to be driving for Williams alongside Alex Albon for the 2023 season, replacing Nicholas Latifi.
So now you know who these new rookies are. The trio are hungry for success, and to prove they deserve their spot in the top tier of motorsport, to achieve what they’ve been striving for all their life, to reach the highest level at the top motorsport category. 81, 21, and 2, the new numbers in the 2023 grid. What are your predictions on their future in F1? Do let us know in the comments section below.