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Who are they, anyway 2010 - N to Z // Another look at the Young Driver participants

Published by Christine

Following on from the first half of the alphabet, we're running through some quick details of the young drivers who will be taking to the track for the Abu Dhabi test over the next couple of days. Some of them I have heard of and some of them I haven't, but hopefully we will see them all getting some seat time at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Gary Paffett

Gary Paffett

Gary has been linked with the F1 paddock seemingly forever - he's been signed as a McLaren test driver for a good few years now. At 29, he's one of the older "young" drivers, but he will be able to get good information for the team.

  • Age: 29
  • Nationality: British
  • F1 experience: McLaren test driver, Young Driver Test 2009
  • Team(s): McLaren
  • Notable Achievements: 1st DTM 2005, 2nd DTM 2009, 3rd DTM 2010

Sergio Pérez

Sergio Pérez

Pérez has already lined up a race seat for 2011, but we know little about him, other than he will join Kobayashi in the Sauber next season. This test will show both us, and the team, what they have let themselves in for.

  • Age: 19
  • Nationality: Mexican
  • F1 experience: Signed with Sauber for 2011
  • Team(s): Sauber
  • Notable Achievements: 1st British Formula Three – National Class 2007, 4th British Formula Three 2008, 2nd GP2 2010

Luiz Razia

Luiz Razia

Luiz has been a staple in the Virgin Racing garage, as reserve driver for the team. He's also pretty good at keeping everyone up to date on his training and the team's progress via Twitter. It'll be good for him to get some time in the car on track.

  • Age: 21
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • F1 experience: Test driver for Virgin Racing
  • Team(s): Virgin Racing
  • Notable Achievements: 1st South American Formula Three 2006, 3rd Euroseries 3000 2007, 11th and 19th in GP2 2009 and 2010 respectively

Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta

Paul has travelled with Force India to every single race this year, and if there is no requirement for the race drivers to get extra time in the car, he's been allowed to run during Friday Free Practice. He works with Mercedes in the DTM series, and has strong links with Force India for the future.

  • Age: 24
  • Nationality: British
  • F1 experience: Test driver for Force India, Young Driver Test 2009
  • Team(s): Force India
  • Notable Achievements: 1st in F3 Euroseries 2006, 2nd and 3rd in DTM 2008 and '09 respectively, 2nd in DTM 2010

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Disco Dan was present at the Young Driver test last year, and we all fell in love with him a little bit as he seemed terribly happy and smiley, no matter what was happening. He's also featured on the Red Bull podcasts several times during the season, and it's fair to say he's a popular chap.

  • Age: 21
  • Nationality: Australian
  • F1 experience: Young Driver Test 2009
  • Team(s): Red Bull
  • Notable Achievements: 6th Formula Renault Italy 2007, 1st Formula Renault WEC 2008, 1st British Formula Three 2009, 2nd Formula Renault 3.5 Series 2010

Dean Stoneman

Dean Stoneman

Stoneman secured the Formula Two Championship this year, which has granted him a prize of a seat in the Williams car at some point over the next two days. He's spent a lot of time building up his career in Formula Renault, so he's probably hoping to make the next step up now.

  • Age: 20
  • Nationality: British
  • F1 experience: None
  • Team(s): Williams
  • Notable Achievements: 2nd Formula Renault BARC 2007, 4th Formula Renault 2.0 UK 2009, 1st FIA Formula Two Championship 2010

Oliver Turvey

Oliver Turvey

I recognise the name Oliver Turvey from last year's test in Jerez, and I believe last year he featured in the McLaren garage. This year he will repeat the experience, still linked with the McLaren team. There's no space in the main team at the moment, but any track time is worth it.

  • Age: 23
  • Nationality: British
  • F1 experience: Young Driver Test 2009
  • Team(s): McLaren
  • Notable Achievements: BRDC Young Driver of the Year 2006, 2nd in British Formula Three 2008, 4th in World Series by Renault 2009, 6th GP2 2010

Davide Valsecchi

Davide Valsecchi

Hispania Racing are making headlines for all the wrong reasons at the moment, but assuming they can get to the track in good stead, Valsecchi should get a chance in the car. He's been working hard in GP2, and won the Asia series this year.

  • Age: 23
  • Nationality: Italian
  • F1 experience: None
  • Team(s): HRT
  • Notable Achievements: 7th Italian Formula Three 2005, 15th Le Mans Series 2006, 1st GP2 Asia Series 2009/10, 8th GP2 2010

Jean-Éric Vergne

Jean-Éric Vergne

Jean-Éric is our second Frenchman on the list, along with Jules Bianchi. He'll be driving for Toro Rosso on both days of the test. His previous experience is only taking an RB5 to the top of the Goodwood Hill, and presumably back down again.

  • Age: 20
  • Nationality: French
  • F1 experience: A Red Bull run at Goodwood FOS
  • Team(s): Toro Rosso
  • Notable Achievements: 1st Formula Campus Renault 2007, 2nd Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2009, 1st British Formula Three Championship 2010

That is an incredible list, and coupled with Part 1, we have 20 faces to learn more about. It's going to be an interesting couple of days in Abu Dhabi, so keep your eyes peeled for a dedicated thread for any testing talk.

Images copyright Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service, Daimler AG, GEPA and Sutton Images

All content in the series Abu Dhabi Testing November 2010