Who's in reserve for Formula 1 teams in 2019?
Formula 1 teams typically have more than just two drivers – and for each squad there is a slightly different structural set-up for those beneath the racers. Motorsport Week takes a look at who each team has as a tester, reserve driver, development driver – and who’s on their respective young driver schemes.
Mercedes has appointed Esteban Ocon as its test and reserve driver for 2019 in the wake of its long-term protégé missing out on a race seat, following prior spells at Manor and Force India.
It also has Esteban Gutierrez on its books for simulator duties, the ex-Sauber/Haas racer having joined in 2018, while it can also call upon Stoffel Vandoorne courtesy of the former McLaren man’s new alignment with HWA in Formula E.
Ferrari has not officially appointed a reserve driver but still has a connection with Alfa Romeo racer Antonio Giovinazzi, while it has ex-Manor/Sauber F1 racer Pascal Wehrlein, Toro Rosso refugee Brendon Hartley, Antonio Fuoco and Davide Rigon on simulator duties.
Ferrari Driver Academy
The highest-profile addition to Ferrari’s young driver scheme is Formula 2 racer Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 champion Michael, and also the reigning European F3 champion. 19-year-old Schumacher already has sufficient points for a Super Licence and is in line for in-season F1 test runs this season, alongside his full-time programme in F2 with Prema.
Schumacher’s stablemates on Ferrari’s Driver Academy include Giuliano Alesi (F2, Trident), Callum Ilott (F2, Sauber Junior Team by Charouz), Marcus Armstrong (F3, Prema), Robert Shwartzman (F3, Prema), Enzo Fittipaldi (F3 Regional, Prema) and Gianluca Petecof (TBD).
Red Bull has retained the services of ex-Toro Rosso racer Sebastien Buemi for an eighth successive season, with the Swiss driver formally occupying the role of test and reserve driver. He last sampled Formula 1 machinery in 2014 but has a busy schedule courtesy of duties in Formula E and WEC. It also has GT racer Jake Dennis on hand.
Red Bull junior scheme
Red Bull has aligned with Honda for its junior programme this year – following its Formula 1 collaboration – and has a large roster of youngsters at various stages of their career. On its scheme are ex-DTM ace Lucas Auer (Super Formula, B-Max), Jack Doohan (F3 Asia, EuroFormula Open), Jonny Edgar (Italian F4, Jenzer), Dennis Hauger (ADAC/Italian F4, Van Amersfoort), Liam Lawson (Formula European Masters, Motopark), Harry Thompson (karting), Dan Ticktum (Super Formula, Mugen), Yuki Tsunoda (F3, Jenzer) and Juri Vips (F3, Hitech)
Renault has re-recruited 2018 Williams F1 racer Sergey Sirotkin as its reserve driver, with the Russian returning to the role he held through 2016/17. Jack Aitken, meanwhile, has graduated from Renault’s junior scheme and will act as test driver, entrusted with duties for the rookie tests in Bahrain and Spain. Guan Yu Zhou – part of the junior scheme – is development driver.
Renault Sport Academy
As well as Zhou (F2, UNI-Virtuosi), on the Renault Sport Academy are reigning GP3 champion Anthoine Hubert (F2, BWT-Arden), Max Fewtrell (F3, ART Grand Prix), Christian Lundgaard (F3, ART Grand Prix), Caio Collet (Formula Renault Eurocup, R-ace GP) and Victor Martins (Formula Renault Eurocup, MP Motorsport)
Haas has appointed Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 champion Emerson, to the role of reserve driver. Fittipaldi, the 2017 Formula V8 3.5 champion, shadowed Haas at two events last year and sampled its VF-19 during pre-season testing in Barcelona. He has yet to outline a 2019 race programme.
With Lando Norris having stepped up to a race seat his role as test/development driver has been taken by 2018 F2 team-mate Sergio Sette Camara. The ex-Red Bull junior could receive runs in the MCL34 (though Norris remains eligible for the Bahrain rookie test) and will remain in F2 this year, switching from Carlin to DAMS. Ex-McLaren racer and double World Champion Fernando Alonso has stayed on as an ambassador and is poised to test the MCL34 mid-season, while also acting as a mentor-of-sorts to Carlos Sainz Jr. and Norris. McLaren also has long-term member and Formula E racer Oliver Turvey available for simulator duties, alongside the winner of its World's Fastest Gamer contest Rudy van Buren.
Racing Point is yet to nominate a test/reserve driver
Team stalwart Marcus Ericsson officially occupies the role of reserve and brand ambassador, having lost the race seat he held for four years, but his presence is likely to be limited due to his IndyCar programme. Tatiana Calderon has been retained as test driver and is set for 2019 F1 outings – though it has yet to be specified if this will be in contemporary or historic machinery. She steps up to Formula 2 this year with BWT-Arden.
Sauber Junior Team
Sauber Motorsport has formed a junior team for 2019 and has linked up with Charouz Racing System to field teams in Formula 2, Formula 3 and Formula 4. Juan Manuel Correa and Ferrari-backed Callum Ilott (F2), Lirim Zendeli, Fabio Scherer and Raoul Hyman (F3), Alessandro Ghiretti and Roman Stanek (ADAC/Italian F4) and Theo Pourchaire (ADAC F4) make up the roster.
Toro Rosso has yet to appoint anyone as back-up to its race drivers.
Williams has recruited ex-Renault tester and Force India third driver Nicholas Latifi as its reserve for 2019. Latifi is in line for six FP1s, along with outings during testing, and will continue to compete for DAMS in Formula 2, his fourth year with the team.
Honda’s Formula Dream Project continues and its leading prospect is Nobuharu Matsushita, who returns to Formula 2 following a year’s absence, this time with Carlin. Matsushita needs a top-four finish to secure enough points for a Super Licence. Also on the scheme are last year’s Japanese F4 top two (and also on Red Bull’s scheme) Yuki Tsunoda (F3, Jenzer) and Teppei Natori (F3, Carlin) Toshiki Oyu (Japan F3, Toda) and Atsushi Miyake (Japan F4, HFDP/SRS/Kochira).