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Ferrari conundrum; who should step up to F1?

Ferrari conundrum; who should step up to F1?

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Ferrari conundrum; who should step up to F1?

Ferrari conundrum; who should step up to F1?

Ferrari has three young talents all knocking on the door of Formula 1 but who's star could rise the highest and who of the trio should be granted a promotion for 2021?

Callum Ilott, Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman will all gain experience of the top tier with outings in FP1 before the season comes to a close.

Both Ilott and Schumacher will compete the session for Haas and Alfa Romeo respectively at the Nürburgring while Shwartzman will have to wait until the season finale in Abu Dhabi to drive the Alfa Romeo.

The question is, who is most likely to be promoted by the Scuderia to a Formula 1 seat for 2021?

To draw a conclusion, GPFans has pitted the three F2 hopefuls against each other over three criteria: Qualifying, race and tactical awareness - a category judged on tyre management, composure and the overall ability to execute a strategy. .

Qualifying

Ilott - 9/10

Ilott has been supreme in qualifying this season.

He has taken pole position more times than any other driver so far, starting at the front on four occasions, and has only missed out on a top three slot twice.

With such a tight midfield battle in Formula 1 currently, Ilott's raw speed must be highlighted.

Schumacher - 6/10

Up-and-down would be the best way to describe Schumacher's qualifying performances. Five times he has started inside the top-five, and twice the German has qualified third, but those are the highlights.

A failure to qualify on the front row is certainly a black mark against Schumacher's name, but he has equally only failed to qualify inside the top 10 once. In such a competitive category, this is something not to be overlooked.

Shwartzman - 5/10

It would be interesting to see how much closer to his title rivals Shwartzman would be if he could hook a qualifying lap together.

Just twice has the Russian started inside the top five and, although his talent briefly shone through in Belgium as he qualified second, the moment was fleeting.

Single lap pace is an area the Shwartzman will need to improve if he is to improve his fifth position in the standings in the closing races of the year.

Race

Ilott - 7/10

The king of qualifying, Ilott has converted only one of his four poles into a feature race victory.

Having said this, starting at the front there is only really one way to go in a field as close as F2, but even still, the big prizes are dished out in the races and not in qualifying.

Generally speaking, Ilott has outshone his highly rated Chinese team-mate Guanyu Zhou across the campaign, but one or two errors have cost him the championship lead at this late stage in proceedings.

Schumacher - 8/10

Without question, Schumacher has been the strongest of the trio when it counts in the races. His starts have been sublime and the German had made positions off the line on countless occasions.

Similar to the development shown during his successful European F3 campaign, Schumacher has grown throughout the season.

It was not until the third weekend of the season that Schumacher finally stood on the podium, but in the past 10 races, he has only twice failed to finish inside the top three.

Factoring in the partially reversed grids, this achievement cannot be understated.

Shwartzman - 7/10

Much the opposite to his Prema team-mate, Shwatzman started strongly a has faded almost completely from the title fight.

Feature race victories for the reigning F3 champion in during the Styrian and Hungarian Grand Prix weekends thrust Shwartzman into contention for an immediate promotion to F1, but, despite a further sprint race win in Spain, results have been inconsistent since.

Poor luck has played a part in the Russian's struggles, but a failure to score a point across the past two weekends appears to have removed Shwartzman from title contention.

Tactical Awareness

Ilott - 7/10

Ilott has been largely unflappable during this season. During his rookie year, the Briton was open about his struggles with managing the Pirelli tyres, but the picture has changed in 2020.

There have still been moments of strife, a spin in the British Grand Prix sprint race highlighting how close the errors are to the surface, but the current campaign remains a marked improvement on previous years.

His strong qualifying performances have negated the need to attempt an alternate strategy and when it comes down to it, you don't run second in the championship through luck.

Schumacher - 7/10

Again, as he did in European F3, has stepped up his game considerably in his second year of racing in the category.

At home on the 18 inch Pirelli tyres, Schumacher has consistently shown strong pace in the closing stages of races and, as others struggle, this ability brings considerable rewards in terms of points.

Seldom is Schumacher seen making contact with other cars and this is all the more impressive when watching some of the daring moves he has pulled off across the year.

Shwartzman - 8/10

With his less than impressive qualifying performances, Shwartzman has often needed to use his full box of tricks in the races.

Never was this highlighted more than in the feature race in Hungary, when the Russian made an alternate strategy work to climb from 11th on the grid to stand victorious.

It is clear Shwartzman has an incredible racing brain, but maybe a further season in the junior category would allow him to work on the weaker areas of his driving before making the jump up to F1.

The Verdict

With a score of 23 out of 30, Ilott is the driver we view to be the most ready for a step up to F1. Completing FP1 at the Nürburgring with Haas, the American team is also most likely where the Briton would land a drive.

F2 championship leader Schumacher scores 21 of 30 and has long been linked with a move to Alfa Romeo for 2021. At this point in time, it would almost be considered a shock if the German failed to land the drive.

Just one point behind Schumacher on 20, Shwartzman is likely to remain in F2 for a second year.

Many drivers compete in the category for two years before gaining a promotion and, if the Russian continues to improve as expected, it is surely only a matter of time before he joins his fellow Ferrari Academy drivers in F1.

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