Red Bull announced a host of their drivers’ placements for the Red Bull Junior Team’s upcoming 2021 season. The update finally lets us slot in some across F2 and F3 after a relatively quiet off-season thus far. There are some promotions, some retentions, and some series switches. Let’s go through from the top.
Red Bull Junior Team 2021 Formula 2 Drivers
Retained in F2 – Jehan Daruvala
Jehan Daruvala will continue on with Carlin for 2021 after his 2020 season with the British team. Daruvula, of course, left last season on a high after taking a season finale victory. His sprint race victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix was somewhat overshadowed by a Mr Schumacher winning the championship. Red Bull scored two Sakhir wins that weekend with the fellow Carlin of Tsunoda taking the feature race win on Saturday, too.
Nonetheless, the Indian’s latter half of the year was a vast improvement on the first. Jehan suggests his early-season engine woes flattered teammate Yuki Tsunoda’s superior results. We’ll see if he can prove that by collecting more top step podium visits in 2021.
Promoted to F2 – Juri Vips
Juri Vips looks set for a more standard season as a Red Bull Junior driver in 2021. He returns to his 2019 F3 team, Hitech for 2021. A promotion seemed an inevitability after Vips contested four rounds and eight races in Formula 2 last year. The third-place finish at Mugello’s sprint race suggested he was more than capable of replacing Sean Galael permanently, rather than the short-term fix he had to settle for.
The visit Vips enjoyed at Turkey as a reserve driver shows Red Bull have high hopes for him. The Estonian will look to outdo his teammate at Hitech in 2021 should Red Bull be looking at F2 for their next young driver. His teammate, you ask? Fellow F3 promotee…
Promoted to F2 – Liam Lawson
Liam Lawson takes the step up to Formula 2 after two seasons in Formula 3. He’ll enjoy another year working with the Hitech team who he scored his first F3 wins with 2020. Lawson was the star performer of the squad last year. He comfortably outperformed fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver, Dennis Hauger, though the Norwegian was in his rookie season.
Another Red Bull Junior Team teammate awaits Lawson in 2021. Juri Vips has a little more experience in F2 than the New Zealander but should be a great barometer. Lawson will be a busy boy this season. He faces another Red Bull driver in Alex Albon as the two will take on DTM.
Red Bull Junior Team 2021 Formula 3 Drivers
Promoted to F3 – Jak Crawford
Jak Crawford makes the jump from Formula 4 straight into FIA Formula 3. The American will join Hitech for 2021. Crawford raced in German and Italian F4 throughout 2020 in his first European season. He joined the Red Bull Junior Team a year ago for his ADAC and Italian F4 adventures.
The 15-year old showed he has the necessary skill to fit right in by taking P2 in ADAC in his rookie season. He finished just 2 points shy of Jonny Edgar by the season’s end. An adversary he’ll face in F3 as the Edgar joins Carlin in F3, too.
Promoted to F3 – Jonny Edgar
Jonny Edgar is one of Red Bull’s longest-serving Junior Team drivers. He will extend his tenure in 2021. Edgar edged out Jak Crawford to the German ADAC title in 2020 and also enjoys a promotion straight to FIA F3. Edgar joins Carlin for 2021. The team will hope the British teenager can pull out the performances he did in ADAC last year. Edgar had a race/podium ratio of over 50%!
Promoted to F3 – Ayumu Iwasa (new to Red Bull Junior Team)
Ayumu Iwasa is a new recruit to the Red Bull Junior Team for 2021. A poorly kept secret, it seems, as his profile appeared on their website over the Christmas period! Iwasa raced in French F4 last year which gave Red Bull the confidence to add him to their ranks. We say raced; we mean dominated. Iwasa was on the podium every single race weekend. 9 wins in 21 races, with 15 total podiums is a prolific record. The Japanese driver joins Crawford at Hitech for 2021.
Retained in F3 – Dennis Hauger
Dennis Hauger didn’t get a promotion to F2 for 2021 but still enjoys a promotion. The Norwegian will race for Prema this year which can’t hurt, can it? 2020 wasn’t a sensational rookie season by any stretch of the imagination with only two points-scoring races. Both came at the rain-affected Hungarian Grand Prix.
Nonetheless, Hauger’s sprint race podium visit should become a little more likely for 2021 with the Italian team’s expertise. Prema represents the only F3 team with a fully announced line-up now. Arthur Leclerc and Olli Caldwell will be Hauger’s 2021 teammates.
It’s notable that Jack Doohan was not mentioned in any press release today. Rather than speculate, we’ll wait for further news from Red Bull about where Doohan will land in 2021. The Australian had a pointless F3 season with HWA Racelab in 2020, but his Asian F3 visits which saw two consecutive P2 championship finishes shows promise.