Finalists revealed for 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award
The four finalists who will contest the 2023 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award have been selected.
Formula 3 race winner Taylor Barnard, GB3 championship protagonists Callum Voisin and Joseph Loake, and Italian F4 points leader Arvid Lindblad will battle it out for prizes that include a test in Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team machinery. None of the four have been finalists before.
The Award, which aims to find and assist the best junior British racing drivers, will include fitness and simulator elements before a two-day test at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in MotorSport Vision Formula 2, United Autosports-run Ligier LMP3 and Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 cars.
Aside from the F1 test, prizes for the winner – who will be announced at the Autosport Awards on 3 December – include £200,000, full membership of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, an Arai helmet and personalised helmet bag courtesy of Jordan Bespoke.
BRDC vice-president Derek Warwick is the chairman of the judging panel, which includes Award winners Dario Franchitti, Darren Turner, Andrew Kirkaldy and Alexander Sims, successful Lola and McLaren designer Mark Williams, Le Mans-winning engineer Leena Gade, leading commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport Chief Editor Kevin Turner.
Previous winners of the Award include 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard, current F1 drivers Lando Norris and George Russell, triple Indianapolis 500 winner Franchitti, and 2014 World Endurance champion Anthony Davidson.
The final four
10th in Formula 3 with Jenzer, 2nd in Formula Regional Middle East with PHM
Photo by: Formula Regional Middle East Championship
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, the 19-year-old qualified on the front row at Barcelona and won at Spa on his way to 10th in the championship.
He says: “The jump is big from F4 to F3 and we struggled a bit to start with at the high-downforce tracks. When we went to lower downforce we got better as a team and, of course, I got more experienced. It was good to finish the season on a high.
“I’m looking forward to driving all the cars. I’m pretty good at jumping into different cars and getting up to speed so hopefully that will put me in good stead.”
Currently leading Italian F4 and 2nd in Euro 4 with Prema Racing
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Of Swedish descent but based in Surrey, Red Bull Junior Lindblad only turned 16 in August but has already won six races in Italian F4 with Prema Racing and tops the table with two events to go. He also lies second in the Euro 4 standings after a win last time out at Monza, also with Prema.
He says: “Going into the season I didn’t have too many expectations. I struggled a bit in testing, but when we got to the races I improved and it’s been a good year so far.
“I’m probably the least experienced of the finalists, but obviously I want to try and win the Award, so I’ll prepare the best I can. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s an honour and will be a great experience and challenge.”
Currently second in GB3 with JHR Developments
Photo by: JEP
Two inconsistent British F4 seasons didn’t suggest Loake would be a title contender upon progressing to GB3 this year. But four wins against more fancied opposition, a tally better than anyone else, has put the 18-year-old in championship contention with just the Zandvoort and Donington Park rounds to go.
He says: “If you’d said at the start of the season I’d be in the championship fight I’d have taken it with both hands. Stepping up from F4 to GB3 and being on the pace was a massive surprise and the GB3 car felt pretty natural.
“To be nominated in the top 10 was a surprise and I was happy to be in the list then, so to be in the final four is special. I’m looking forward to all of the cars – apart from Fiesta Junior I’ve never driven anything with a roof!”
Currently leading GB3 with Rodin Carlin
Photo by: JEP
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 the 17-year-old leading the points with two meetings to go, having taken his first 2023 win last time out at Brands Hatch.
He says: “Point-wise it’s exactly where I thought we’d be, but I only just got my first win, which wasn’t part of the plan but better late than never!
“The Award was in the back of my mind as I did get into the top 10 last year, so I wanted to do my best to get in there. It’s a brilliant opportunity to drive some pretty cool cars and I’ll be on the phone to drivers about them – fortunately my brother [Bailey] has GT and LMP3 experience.”
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