Sebastian Vettel before the end of his career, Mick Schumacher before the end? In the worst case, not a single German will start in Formula 1 in 2023. There are no really big talents in sight. The greatest beacon of hope is an old acquaintance.
It was by no means always the case that with Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher only two German drivers were represented in the Formula 1 starting field.
In 2010, the black, red and gold faction still made up almost a third of all drivers. Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg, Timo Glock, Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld were all in the premier class at the same time. The Schumacher hype from the 90s made it possible.
Despite four world championship titles from Sebastian Vettel, there was no boom in young talent in the 2010s. And as a result, there are currently only a few German talents who really have ambitions to reach the top.
The name Schumacher appears here again. Mick’s cousin and Ralf’s son came out of karting with great advance praise. Andreas Dresen, vice president of Kartclub Kerpen, attested that “DSC” had even more talent than cousin Mick.
However, the 20-year-old was not able to fully bring these skills to the streets. In Formula 3, after his debut season in the backbench team Charouz, he then had a good chance of winning the title in 2021 with the Trident racing team. While his teammates Jack Doohan and Clement Novalak came very close to triumph with second and third place, Schumacher only managed eleventh place in the championship.
In 2022 he switched to the DTM after the unsuccessful adventure with the monoposti. Schumacher is still waiting for his first point here and is only 26th in the overall standings. Not enough to attract attention in the higher classes.
David Beckmann is already one step further. The 22-year-old has been Mick Schumacher’s big challenger since his karting days and has beaten his compatriot in all the important championships. This was initially transferred to formula racing, because in the GP3 series, the man from Hagen rocked the racetracks with the small Jenzer racing team and was promoted to Trident. Beckmann made a big mistake when he switched to ART and only finished 15th in the newly introduced Formula 3. A serious traffic accident of his father also threw the young German back. A return to Trident and a better season followed, but the damage was already done.
In 2021 it was only enough for a weak team in Formula 2, but Beckmann still showed his talent with two podium places, but was unable to finish the season due to financial difficulties. Only a role as a test and reserve driver in Formula E remained before another opportunity in F2 opened up. This is where Beckmann ends the 2022 season for Van Amersfoort. He’s still performing well, but seems to have lost some of the magic of the old days.
Yes, Nico Hülkenberg is certainly no longer a talent at the age of 34, but in fact the most likely German candidate for a cockpit in the premier class should it not work for Mick Schumacher. If Mick loses his seat at Haas, Hülkenberg is the favorite to succeed him.
The fact that Hülkenberg can perform immediately is known from his assignments as a strong substitute driver. Of course, there is no longer any great potential for development at the Emmericher.
He’s just a constant who, despite three years with little racing experience, is still held in high esteem.
But the greatest hope for youngsters is Tim Tramnitz. The 17-year-old from Hamburg is currently competing in the Formula Regional, the precursor to Formula 3. Twelfth place in the rookie season is not a sensation, but Tramnitz almost always scores points in the top-class field of drivers. And the young age gives him plenty of time to take the necessary steps in development.
In 2021 he became vice champion in German Formula 4. Only Oliver Bearman was just ahead of him – and this year the Brit fought for the title in F3 right from the start. We will certainly hear more about Tramnitz in the future. Unfortunately, whether it is enough for the big hit is not only due to his talent.
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