The Antoine Hubert Award was inaugurated last year as a reward for the Formula 2 rookie who scored the most point in the season.
It takes its name from the late French driver Antoine Hubert, who tragically died in his rookie season, during the 2019 Spa-Francorchamps FIA Formula 2 round. While the accident came as a shock for the whole motorsport world, his legacy will live on also thanks to this initiative.
Last year’s winner, Guanyu Zhou, had 140 points against his name, with 5 podiums, 2 fastest laps but no victory.
So far, six rookies have been confirmed on the 2020 Formula 2 grid, besides Dan Ticktum and Christian Lundgaard, who also competed in the last round of the 2019 Formula 2 championship. However, only drivers with no previous F2 experience will be eligible for the Antoine Hubert Award, and therefore they will not be considered in our list.
If we look at last year’s results, the most likely candidate to win the award is Robert Shwartzman, the reigning 2019 Formula 3 champion. While his performance in F3 has been very convincing, the same cannot be said for his new F2 team, Prema, who finished 9th in the Teams standings, ahead only of Trident.
Robert is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), the same as his new teammate Mick Schumacher. This season will be an important one for both of them, with Robert trying to confirm his reputation as the hottest prospect in the junior Scuderia, and Mick aiming at a Formula 1 seat in 2021.
Speaking of Ferrari Drivers, the second most likely candidate for the Antoine Hubert Award is Marcus Armstrong, who finished 2nd in the 2019 Formula 3 championship. During last season, Marcus showed great potential, but he needs to have a more consistent streak of wins and podiums if he wants to convince the rest of the paddocks to give him an F1 seat.
After the two young cavallini in the FDA Scuderia, Yuki Tsunoda is an unlikely candidate to win the award, but probably the only remaining rookie who can deliver a surprising outcome at the end of the season. Backed by both Honda and Red Bull, Tsunoda reached the highest point in his last year’s F3 campaign towards the end, with a stunning win in the Italian Feature race, matched with a good podium finish in The Sprint race.
On the other hand, Jehan Daruvala made quite the opposite journey during his 2019 F3 season. He started off strong, with two wins in the first three rounds of the championship, but then the championship slowly slipped away from him. While he was more experienced than Armstrong or Shwartzman, he couldnâ€™t match the pace at which the two FDA drivers grew over the season. It remains to be seen how well he will cope with a new car this year.
Pedro Piquet, son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Nelson, finished 5th in the 2019 Formula 3 Championship. He managed to score a win in Spa-Francorchamps but struggled to achieve a consistent podium streak throughout the season. He scored more points than Tsunoda in F3 last year, but he also had more F3 experience under his belt. In 2020, he will join the Charouz F2 team and will have a chance to prove its worth in a very competitive field.
The most unlikely candidates to win next year’s Antoine Hubert Award are both from Brazil: Felipe Drugovich and Guilherme Samaia.
Drugovich is the only rookie who cannot boast any win or podium from his 2019 F3 campaign. He scored only 8 points, after his 6th place earned during the Feature race in Hungary.
Samaia, on the other hand, did not compete in F3 last year but had a couple of victories in the Euroformula Open Winter Series, and one podium in the Euroformula Open Championship.
With a new season about to start, the future of many drivers hangs in uncertainty, even more so for every rookie.
Who do you think will win the Antoine Hubert Award in 2020? Is it going to be one of the FDA young drivers, or will it be between Tsunoda and Piquet as the drivers Chase their dream of F1
Let us know in the comments!
*Featured Image: Bien Sports