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Crash.net's 10 to Watch in 2017 (Pt.1)

2016 is already last year's news, so Crash.net is turning its attentions to this season with our big tips for the coming months...
2016 is already last year's news, so Crash.net is turning its attentions to this season with our big tips for the coming months outside of F1...

Our editors have chosen 10 drivers (5 revealed here and another 5 to be revealed in Pt.2 tomorrow)... and we want to know whether you agree or whether you think someone else is destined for a breakthrough year!

Lando Norris

1.
Lando Norris
Carlin, European Formula 3 Championship

Three titles in 2016 saw Norris awarded the McLaren BRDC Award and has been identified as the next big name in British motorsport. In 2013, Norris became the youngest-ever CIK-FIA karting world champion and a smooth transition to single-seaters saw him win his first series title in 2015 in MSA Formula.

Last year Norris continued to grab headlines with titles in the Toyota Racing Series, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC which has accelerated his progress into Euro F3 this year with Carlin aged just 17.

Charles Leclerc

2.
Charles Leclerc
Prema Powerteam, GP2 Series

After lighting up the karting world, Charles Leclerc has never been far away from the sharp end of the grid in any junior category he has competed in. On his single-seater debut he finished runner-up in the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Alps before being top rookie and fourth overall in the 2015 European Formula 3 championship.

The Monegasque driver was duly snapped up by the Ferrari Driver Academy last year and enjoyed testing duties with Haas F1 on his way to clinching the GP3 Series title this year. Leclerc steps up to the GP2 Series with defending champions Prema Powerteam and despite his inexperience at 19 is tipped as an early favourite for the title.

Mick Schumacher

3.
Mick Schumacher
Prema Powerteam, European Formula 3 Championship

The name alone will catch the eye on any timing screen or results page, Mick Schumacher is progressing steadily up the junior ranks in the single-seater categories and will make his European Formula 3 championship debut this year with defending champions Prema Powerteam. Two runner-up finishes in the German and Italian Formula 4 championships last year show the 17-year-old has promising pace.

Ed Jones

4.
Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar Series

Having swept to the Indy Lights Championship in only his second season of American-based racing, British-Emirati racer Ed Jones has rightly earned a promotion in the IndyCar Series with Dale Coyne Racing alongside ex-F1 driver Sebastien Bourdais.

As the only rookie currently confirmed to an almost-completed 2017 IndyCar grid, Jones faces a challenge to make his mark in a series where experience is key but has been tipped to follow in the path of some impressive Brits to have made their names stateside.

Nick Tandy

5.
Nick Tandy
Porsche LMP1, World Endurance Championship

A dream realised for Nick Tandy who having battled through the rigorous ranks of the Porsche Supercup to become a factory driver, finally gets his LMP1 World Endurance Championship shot along with his 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning team-mate Earl Bamber.

Jumping into the two-time and defending WEC title-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid, the pressure might be on for Tandy to demonstrate his worth across a season of LMP1 against seasoned rivals but with a wealth of IMSA and WEC experience at GT level as well as testing mileage, the British driver was 'at the top of the list' for LMP1 according to Porsche bosses.

By Ollie Barstow and Haydn Cobb


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Charles Leclerc - ART Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc, ART Grand Prix, GP3 [Credit: XPB]

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