The five biggest young stars looking to reach F1 - Pourchaire, Piastri, Hauger and more

The junior ranks of formula racing are stacked right now, so who is in with the best chance of making the cut for F1?

Teams are increasingly beefing up their young driver programmes as they recruit the best racing prospects, to the point where affiliation with a Formula 1 team is now effectively vital for graduating to the top tier.

Even then though, the backing of a Formula 1 team does not guarantee a seat. Planet Sport takes a closer look at those with the best chance of reaching the pinnacle of motorsport.

Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri

Piastri, the reigning Formula 2 champion and current Alpine reserve driver, looks increasingly likely to be on the Formula 1 grid in 2023.

Piastri joined George Russell and Charles Leclerc in pulling off the rare achievement of winning the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles back-to-back, but with no opening on the 2022 F1 grid, focus turned towards finding Piastri a seat for 2023, while using the year on the sidelines to best prepare the Aussie for a career in Formula 1.

Williams' Nicholas Latifi is under pressure to keep his drive, and it is the Canadian's seat which Piastri is widely expected to take for 2023.

Theo Pourchaire

Theo Pourchaire at Sauber

Still only 18 years of age, Pourchaire was in contention to join the Formula 1 grid in 2022.

As a member of the Sauber programme, operator of the Alfa Romeo team, Pourchaire narrowly missed out on a 2022 seat. Alfa Romeo instead chose Zhou Guanyu while Pourchaire remained in F2 to gain another season of experience, with the goal of winning the title.

He is very much in contention to deliver on that goal, and should he pull it off, and thus be unable to race in Formula 2 again, then Alfa Romeo would have a decision to make.

The partnership of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou could well be in place for some time to come, so with Pourchaire's quality now well known throughout the F1 paddock, it would be no surprise to see a rival team make an attempt to swoop and poach the Frenchman if Alfa Romeo wait too long.

He very much looks ready for Formula 1.

Dennis Hauger

Another teenage racing hotshot, Hauger looked like a contender to join the back-to-back titles club based on how he crushed the Formula 3 competition in 2021.

It has been a less emphatic start to Formula 2 life for the Red Bull junior, but now a two-time race winner in his rookie campaign, 19-year-old Hauger is showing exactly what he is capable of when the cards fall his way.

Pierre Gasly's future at AlphaTauri, Red Bull's sister team, is very much in doubt beyond 2023, and Hauger would be a top contender to fill any vacancy.

Logan Sargeant

Now onto a driver who perhaps flies under the radar a little bit.

Brought into the Williams junior fold in 2021, Sargeant is now thriving in Formula 2, sitting P3 in the standings after seven rounds. He picked up his first series win at Silverstone, following two further podium finishes earlier in the campaign.

And on top of his Williams links, Sargeant's nationality also works in his favour.

Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the United States, Sargeant is a perfect fit for Formula 1's ambition of having an American driver on the grid, as the series continues its push in that market to take advantage of the recent popularity boom.

Sargeant, then, is very much a contender to join the Williams line-up in 2023 if they let Latifi go, but if Williams overlook Sargeant, then he may not be short of suitors.

Should Andretti Global get their wish of a spot on the 2024 grid, then a line-up of Sargeant and IndyCar star Colton Herta for example would firmly satisfy their desire to champion American talent in Formula 1.

Arthur Leclerc

Arthur Leclerc and Charles Leclerc

Leclerc is looking to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Charles by climbing the ranks into Formula 1 as a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Now 21, Leclerc is at a crucial stage of his career when it comes to that ambition, and currently he is embracing that pressure as a challenger for the 2022 Formula 3 title, race performances very much becoming his strength.

With Ferrari holding links to Alfa Romeo and Haas through their engine supply deal, Ferrari has a wide range of options when it comes to promoting their juniors to Formula 1, as Charles Leclerc and Mick Schumacher have found out.

Arthur Leclerc could well be next.

Read more: How much do current Formula 1 drivers earn?

Latest news