Britain’s F1 Future

In just five or ten years time we’ll be cheering on the next generation of British F1 drivers, but who are they?

There are currently hundreds of young British drivers racing in all manner of series both in Britain and across Europe; gradually working their way up the motorsport ladder and we’ve spoken to six of the best.

Dean Smith
The 23-year-old began karting in 2001 before winning the Formula BMW championship in 2005. He became Formula Renault UK champion in 2009 as well as picking up the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) Award before moving up to the F1 support series GP3, picking up 2 podiums last year.

Who made you first start racing?
My Grandad decided to take me indoor karting one weekend and I was hooked.

Who is your motorsport hero?
Ayrton Senna.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

Who is your toughest rival?
Myself!

What is your ultimate goal in motorsport?
To achieve the highest standard I can.

How do you see motorsport changing and developing over the next 20 years?
It depends on the economy.  We need far more large car manufacturers and other sponsorship companies backing the motorsport industry, otherwise motorsport will be very restricted and natural talent will not come through.

Has the balance between talent and money needed to progress in motorsport changed in recent years?
Yes – money is the number one goal! Talent is second best. For young drivers to progress we need a proper racing academy to give them a chance and to change the way motorsport is. If things carry on as they are, it will be few and far between for a British driver to get anywhere!

Riki Christodoulou
The 23-year-old won Super 1 National JICA Karting Championship in 2003 before moving on to Formula Renault UK, finishing second in 2007. In 2011 he picked up a race win and 51 points in the British Formula 3 International championship, despite only entering 9 of the 30 races. He is also a BRDC ‘Rising Star’.

What made you first start racing?
My Dad. My cousin Adam had a kart for his 7th birthday, I had a go the week later and the rest is history.

Who is your motorsport hero?
Michael Schumacher



What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning the Junior British Kart Championship at 15. I have many other great memories which were very close to beating that but the luck didn’t follow me all the way.

Who is your toughest rival?
There has been so many over the years through karting etc…I’d say Freddie Martin-Dye.

What is your ultimate goal in motorsport?
My goal is Formula One but right now it won’t happen unless I get millions of pounds to go up through the ranks and know the right people.



How do you see motorsport changing and developing over the next 20 years?
It will die. A massive change needs to happen because there already is average drivers on the grid taking up the best race seats because of money. Its all about who you know and how big your wallet is. You can buy your way into high end motorsport. Its not proper racing anymore. It has killed my love for driving and racing because I can’t compete unless I have money. Real talent is going to waste all due to a cheque book.



Has the balance between the talent and money needed to progress in motorsport changed in recent years?
Yes, the grids are full of people who have less talent but more money. The good guys who can drive like myself who have put all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears into over the past 15 years get nothing at the end due to this fact.

Dan Cammish
The 22-year-old began successfully racing karts in 2004 before picking up the Formula Ford GB Scolarship championship title in 2009. In 2011, he finished sixth in the Formula Renault UK championship, with 4 podium finishes. He is also a BRDC ‘Rising Star’.

What made you first start racing?
It was my father Peter who originally got me into Kart racing when I was 13. He has been a motorsport fan his whole life and he tried to go karting himself around the time I was born but he just didn’t have the time or the money at that point so he gave it up. As soon as I showed interest he couldn’t wait to get going again.

Who is your motorsport hero?
I wouldn’t say I have a hero. Nigel Mansell is someone who I look up to the most as he came up the hard way and made it through with sheer determination and talent.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have had many great moments in my career. My first car racing win was a big moment for me as I felt the pressure instantly subside and it was quite emotional. It had been a long time coming.

Who is your toughest rival?
This is a tough one. There are lots of good drivers out there and they are all difficult to beat. I don’t feel I have a main rival. But beating your team mate is always priority and I have had my share of fast drivers.

What is your ultimate goal in Motorsport?
My ultimate goal is to earn a living from it. F1 is a dream but I would say its virtually impossible without huge financial backing. I do think that becoming a professional is achievable although it’s still unbelievably tough.

How do you see motorsport changing and developing over the next 20 years?
I can see it having a very tough time. I think Formula 1 is already on the rocks and I think the public are turning away from it. I hope it has a major meltdown and out of it things will be much better. Maybe it will even be a sport again where talent is worth more than cash

Has the balance between the talent and money needed to progress in motorsport changed in recent years?
I can’t say whether it has changed as I wasn’t around to see years gone by. I know that in todays climate money is worth far more than talent. Talent only gets you so far but money can take you all the way. Regardless of whether you deserve to be there or not. It’s a fact of motor racing today that without large financial backing there is just no way forward. Talent helps bring the price down, but any percentage of a large number is still a large number.

William Buller
The 19-year-old started racing quads at the age of six, winning the Ulster championship before moving on to karts at nine. In 2005 he won the Irish Oval racing; Junior Rods championship, in 2007 the Kim Bolton TKM Kart Festival and in 2010 the Brazillian Formula 3 Open. Last year he finished fourth in the British Formula 3 International Series with three wins and nine podiums. He is also a BRDC ‘Rising Star’.

What made you first start racing?
I was always interested in cars and engines, and my family was always interested in horses which I didn’t have much interest in, so I started to race quad bikes and then moved on to karting at the age of 9.

Who is your motorsport hero?
I look up to a lot drivers but the ones who stand out the most is Sebastian Vettel and Joey Dunlop.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I haven’t decided the best moments of my career so far but to date would be winning in Macau in formula BMW.

Who is your toughest rival?
I couldn’t say one name, all my rivals are talented drivers and the competition is tough.

What is your ultimate goal in motorsport?

To win the formula one world title and to have a career in motorsport.

How do you see motorsport changing and developing over the next 20 years? 

I think the sport has changed massive over the last 20 year, it has got very technically strong but I think the sport will keep getting safer, faster and stronger!

Has the balance between the talent and money needed to progress in motorsport changed in recent years?
Yes it has, this is another way the sport has changed, because the drivers are starting to bring money to the table and pay their way to the formula 1 seats. You still need to have talent which I feel is more important, but if you had more money than talent you may reach your goal easier. That makes it harder for the drivers which don’t have the massive cheque book and you could nearly say impossible unless you become sponsored or picked up by a young drivers programme!

Seb Morris
The 16-year-old began karting in 2007, winning multiple championships before stepping up to the Ginetta Juniors where he finished second in the 2010 winter series before winning the full championship in 2011.

What made you first start racing?
I first starting racing after attending a karting party and lapping friends. The karting manager of the circuit suggested that I take it up professionally.

Who is your motorsport hero?
Michael Schumacher

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship.

Who is your toughest rival?
Charlie Robertson

What is your ultimate goal in motorsport?
F1 or a paid career driving within motorsport.

How do you see motorsport changing and developing over the next 20 years?
Safer, slower and more demanding plus a greater eye for detail and precision.

Has the balance between the talent and money needed to progress in motorsport changed in recent years?
More money is required these days and it is harder to find in the current economic climate.

Charlie Robertson
The 15-year-old won his first karting championship in 2006. He made the step up to car racing in 2011 where he finished second in the Ginetta Juniors Championship and became the youngest driver to score a race win, pole position and fastest lap at an MSA sanctioned event.

What made you first start racing?
I started racing karts when I was eight.  My dad asked me if I wanted to do a beginners course at a track near Edinburgh. I said yes and I’ve never looked back!

Who is your motorsport hero?
My motorsport hero is Lewis Hamilton.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning the Ginetta Junior race on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this year – Seb Morris put me under so much pressure on the last two laps and the heat inside my car was exhausting, so it was a great feeling to cross the line first.

Who is your toughest rival?
Last season it was definitely Seb Morris.  It’s too early to say who it will be in 2012.

What is your ultimate goal in motorsport?
I want to reach the top in single-seaters and sportscars, race all over the world and earn my living as a professional racing driver.

How do you see motorsport changing and developing over the next 20 years?
Motorsport technology is constantly improving. The tragic accidents of 2011 will put more emphasis on driver safety and race car engines will probably follow road car engines as they move away from fossil fuels.

Has the balance between the talent and money needed to progress in motorsport changed in recent years?
I don’t think so. Finding the budget to race competitively is one the toughest challenges in motorsport, but racing drivers have always needed wealthy sponsors to make it to the top.
Drivers have always needed talent to make it too, especially now that their rivals start racing much younger and focus more on fitness and training.

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One Response to Britain’s F1 Future

  1. Pingback: Formula Renault UK 2012 Championship Cancelled | The Driven Blog

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