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Final 10 contenders revealed for 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award

The final 10 candidates for the 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award have been selected.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The Award, which started in 1989, aims to find and assist the best junior British racing drivers. The prize for this year’s winner includes £200,000 and a Formula 1 test drive with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team.

The final 10 are:

Taylor Barnard (FIA F3)
James Hedley (GB3)
Arvid Lindblad (Italian F4)
Joseph Loake (GB3)
William Macintyre (British F4)
Tom Mills (GB4)
Abbi Pulling (F1 Academy)
Matthew Rees (GB3)
Louis Sharp (British F4)
Callum Voisin (GB3)

Finalists have to primarily compete in a category below FIA Formula 3 or be an FIA F3 rookie, and be 16 years old by the time of the Award assessments at Silverstone in October. They must also be under 24 at the start of the year.

F3 race winner Taylor Barnard, GB3 title contenders James Hedley, Joseph Loake, Matthew Rees and Callum Voisin, Italian F4 points leader Arvid Lindblad, British F4 frontrunners William Macintyre and Louis Sharp, GB4 dominator Tom Mills and F1 Academy podium finisher Abbi Pulling are the 10.

BRDC vice-president and F1 driver steward Derek Warwick is the chairman of the judging panel, which includes Award winners Andrew Kirkaldy, Alexander Sims and Darren Turner, three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Dario Franchitti, double British Touring Car champion Jason Plato, successful McLaren designer Mark Williams, top engineer Leena Gade, commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport’s Chief Editor Kevin Turner.

The judges, who reserve the right to introduce a wild card for drivers excelling during the closing stages of the season, will select the final four in the coming weeks. After testing on the Silverstone GP track in MotorSport Vision Formula 2, GT3 and LMP3 machinery, the winner will be announced at the Autosport Awards on 3 December.

The final 10

Taylor Barnard, Jenzer Motorsport

Taylor Barnard, Jenzer Motorsport

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Taylor Barnard
13th in FIA F3 with Jenzer Motorsport

This protege of German team PHM Racing did a fantastic job on his step from F4 to Formula Regional Middle East to finish as runner-up. With the unfancied Jenzer team in F3, he has qualified on the front row at Barcelona and won at Spa.

James Hedley, Arden VRD

James Hedley, Arden VRD

Photo by: JEP/MOTORSPORT IMAGES

James Hedley
4th in GB3 with Arden VRD

This is Hedley’s fourth year in single-seaters after taking the 2019 Ginetta Junior honours and Arden is his fifth different team, but things seem to have clicked this time around. It was a late deal, yet he is proving to be a genuine title contender.

Arvid Lindblad, Prema Racing

Arvid Lindblad, Prema Racing

Photo by: ACI Sport Italia

Arvid Lindblad
1st in Italian F4 with Prema Racing

Of Swedish descent but based in Surrey, Red Bull Junior Lindblad has only just turned 16 but has already won six races in Italian F4 with Prema Racing and leads the championship. Not bad considering he has Ferrari and McLaren junior team-mates.

Joseph Loake, JHR Developments

Joseph Loake, JHR Developments

Photo by: JEP/MOTORSPORT IMAGES

Joseph Loake
3rd in GB3 with JHR Developments

Two inconsistent British F4 seasons didn’t necessarily suggest Loake would be a title contender upon progressing to GB3 this year. But three wins in the first five races against more fancied opposition was a statement of intent, even if he’s now slipped back a little.

Will Macintyre, Hitech GP

Will Macintyre, Hitech GP

Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images

Will Macintyre
1st in British F4 with Hitech GP

Other drivers may have scored more wins than Macintyre but it is the Hitech teenager’s consistency that has propelled him into British F4 title contention following his runner-up finish in Ginetta Junior last year. More podiums than any of his rivals is testament to that.

Tom Mills, KMR Sport

Tom Mills, KMR Sport

Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images

Tom Mills
1st in GB4 with KMR Sport

GB4 is not the strongest of championships to feature on this list but there’s no denying the way Mills has dominated the opposition with his family-run team in his second season at this level. Eight wins from the first 14 races is an impressive achievement.

Abbi Pulling, Rodin Carlin

Abbi Pulling, Rodin Carlin

Photo by: Alpine

Abbi Pulling
5th in F1 Academy with Rodin Carlin

The Lincolnshire racer, with strong British F4 and W Series form under her belt, was a favourite for the all-female F1 Academy but it’s not been plain sailing. She has taken a pole apiece at Monza and Paul Ricard, with three seconds her best race results.

Matthew Rees, JHR Developments

Matthew Rees, JHR Developments

Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images

Matthew Rees
5th in GB3 with JHR Developments

It wasn’t a great start to the 2021 British F4 champion’s sophomore GB3 campaign but he’s struck form in the most recent two events with a win and three poles to ensure he’s still (a slightly distant) part of the title race.

Louis Sharp, Rodin Carlin

Louis Sharp, Rodin Carlin

Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images

Louis Sharp
2nd in British F4 with Rodin Carlin

Sharp may be a surprising name here given his Antipodean accent, but the Kiwi was born in Nottingham and has a British passport, so is eligible. He has scored the most wins in British F4 and is firmly in the title mix.

Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin

Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin

Photo by: JEP/Motorsport Images

Callum Voisin
1st in GB3 with Rodin Carlin

After narrowly missing out on third in last year’s GB3 standings, Voisin was the highest-ranked driver to continue for another campaign. It’s therefore perhaps not a surprise to see him narrowly leading the points, although it is surprising the Rodin Carlin driver’s yet to win.

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