Top 10 drivers revealed as Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award returns

The final 10 candidates for the 2021 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award have been selected.

Top 10 drivers revealed as Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award returns

The Award, which started in 1989, aims to find and assist the best junior British racing drivers. There was a hiatus last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Award is returning in its familiar format.

Aston Martin joined the Award in 2019 and the prize for this year’s winner includes £200,000.

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

The final 10 are:

Oliver Bearman
Luke Browning
Jamie Chadwick
Jonny Edgar
Louis Foster
James Hedley
Zak O’Sullivan
Alex Quinn
Matthew Rees
Ayrton Simmons

Chadwick and Simmons are former Award finalists. The judging panel reserves the right to introduce a wild card for drivers excelling during the closing stages of the season.

British Racing Drivers’ Club vice-president and F1 driver steward Derek Warwick is the chairman of the judging panel, which includes Award winners Darren Turner, Andrew Kirkaldy and Alexander Sims, double British Touring Car champion Jason Plato, successful Lola and McLaren designer Mark Williams, top engineer Leena Gade, leading commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport Chief Editor Kevin Turner.

The judges will select the final four during the next month. After two days of testing at
Silverstone, in a range of machinery including MotorSport Vision Formula 2 cars, a BBM Sport Ginetta LMP3 sportscar and Aston Martin Vantage GT3 racers, the winner will be announced at the Autosport Awards on 19 December.

The final 10

 

Ollie Bearman

1st in Italian and German F4 with Van Amersfoort

The 16-year-old Essex lad has been the class of the ferociously competitive Italian and German Formula 4 championships in 2021. Bearman has won 12 races with Van Amersfoort Racing and leads the points in both series. Has also been a race winner in selected GB3 outings, despite limited mileage compared to his rivals.

 

Luke Browning

5th in ADAC F4 with US Racing

Having claimed last year’s British F4 title, Browning made the unusual move to the German series for 2021. Driving for Ralf Schumacher’s US Racing squad, he has taken one win so far after a coronavirus-delayed start to the campaign. Made a winning return to UK competition last weekend on one-off GB3 outing.

Jamie Chadwick

2nd in W Series

After a season in the Formula Regional European Championship last year, the 23-year-old from Bath is back on the W Series beat following her 2019 title success. She lies second in the points with two victories, only behind Alice Powell on wins countback. Has also been competing in the Extreme E series.

 

Jonny Edgar

18th in FIA F3 with Carlin

This 17-year-old, from Cumbrian karting royalty, won a thrilling German F4 title battle in 2020. He’s had a tough time this year in FIA Formula 3, with a best result of fifth with Carlin, and is 18th in the points. But bear in mind that 2021 title favourite Dennis Hauger was 17th last year on his step up from F4…

 

Louis Foster

2nd in Euroformula Open with CryptoTower

After a winning cameo outing last year, Foster has been racing full-time in Euroformula Open this season on his graduation from British F3, and is embroiled in a close title fight. The 18-year-old Hampshireman has won three races with the Motopark-run CryptoTower Racing Team – all of them on one incredible weekend at Spa.

 

James Hedley

3rd in British F4 with Fortec/Carlin

The 2019 Ginetta Junior champion made a sensational start to his sophomore British F4 season with two wins and a third at Thruxton. Continued to lead the way until nightmare Knockhill weekend where he took a solitary point. Has now swapped Fortec for Carlin as he bids to reclaim top spot.

 

Zak O’Sullivan

1st in GB3 with Carlin

O’Sullivan has been the driver to beat in GB3 this year. The 16-year-old continued the impressive form from his first single-seater campaign last season, when he came oh-so-close to securing the British F4 crown. Seems set to make up for that disappointment this year, as he comfortably tops the points ahead of the finale.

 

Alex Quinn

7th in Formula Regional European with Arden

The 20-year-old Cornishman won the Formula Renault Eurocup rookie title last year, and claimed fourth in the overall points, despite his deal with Arden coming at the eleventh hour. That series merged with Formula Regional for 2021 and Quinn started brightly with two seconds in the rounds supporting the grands prix at Imola and Barcelona.

 

Matthew Rees

1st in British F4 with JHR Developments

Rees was a surprise early frontrunner in British F4, the rookie flying out of the box and taking the first four poles, while others got up to speed. After two tricky weekends for Hedley, Rees now leads the points despite also struggling for form and only having won twice so far.

 

Ayrton Simmons

2nd in GB3 with Chris Dittmann Racing

After an unsuccessful Euroformula Open foray last year, Simmons has now returned to the familiar surroundings of Chris Dittmann Racing in GB3. Was one of the pre-season title favourites and won the opener but a differential issue linked to a Brands Hatch crash hampered him at Silverstone and he has lacked consistency since.

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Finalists revealed for 2021 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award

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