2021 Finalists
  • Aston Martin
  • CRS
  • Grand Prix Racewear
  • Pirelli

Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award

The Award

The Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award aims to boost the prospects of young British racing talent and find the next Formula 1 star.

The 2021 process included simulator tests at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, fitness assessments by Athletic Thinking and a two-day test at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in MotorSport Vision Formula 2, BBM Sport Ginetta LMP3 and Garage 59-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3 machinery.

Prizes for the winner, who will be announced at the Autosport Awards on 19 December, include £200,000, full British Racing Drivers’ Club membership and an Arai helmet.

BRDC vice-president Derek Warwick is the chairman of the judging panel, which includes Award winners Darren Turner, Andrew Kirkaldy and Alexander Sims, successful Lola and McLaren designer Mark Williams, Le Mans-winning engineer Leena Gade, leading commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport chief editor Kevin Turner. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was the guest judge in 2021.

Previous winners of the Award include 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard, current F1 drivers Lando Norris and George Russell, four-time IndyCar title winner Franchitti and 2014 World Endurance champion Anthony Davidson.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and truncated season, the Award did not take place in 2020, it's back for 2021.

2021 Finalists

Ollie Bearman
Ollie Bearman

Age: 16

2019: 1st in Italian and German F4 with Van Amersfoort

Ollie Bearman

The 16-year-old Essex driver was the class of the ferociously competitive Italian and German Formula 4 championships in 2021. Bearman won 17 races with Van Amersfoort Racing and became the first person to take both titles in the same season. He was also a race winner in selected GB3 outings, despite limited mileage compared to his rivals.

Jonny Edgar
Jonny Edgar

Age: 17

2019: 18th in FIA F3 with Carlin

Jonny Edgar

This 17-year-old, from Cumbrian karting royalty, won a thrilling German F4 title battle in 2020. He had a tough time this year in FIA Formula 3, with a best result of fifth with Carlin, and finished 18th in the points. But bear in mind that 2021 champion Dennis Hauger was 17th last year on his step up from F4…

Louis Foster
Louis Foster

Age: 18

2019: 2nd in Euroformula Open with CryptoTower

Louis Foster

After a winning cameo outing last year, Foster raced full-time in Euroformula Open this season on his graduation from British F3, and finished second in the standings. The 18-year-old Hampshireman won three races with the Motopark-run CryptoTower Racing Team – all of them on one incredible weekend at Spa.

Zak O’Sullivan
Zak O’Sullivan

Age: 16

2019: 1st in GB3 with Carlin

Zak O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan was the driver to beat in GB3 this year. The 16-year-old continued the impressive form from his first single-seater campaign last season, when he came oh-so-close to securing the British F4 crown. He made up for that disappointment this year, as he comfortably took the GB3 crown, scoring seven wins along the way.

2018 Presentation video

Previous Winners

2019 Johnathan Hoggard

Hoggard was arguably the fastest driver of the 2019 BRDC Formula 3 championship, despite missing out on the crown. Hoggard shone in all three test cars at Silverstone before looking at sportscar and single-seater options to further his career.

2018 Tom Gamble

Gamble’s race-winning performances in BRDC Formula 3 with Fortec earned him a place in the final four. He showed impressive progress and pace over the two days, with his speed in the Ligier LMP3 car being particularly outstanding.

2017 Dan Ticktum

Picked the Eurocup category for his return to racing after a year out due to a ban, and won a race despite struggling with the new-to-the-series Arden team. Returned to Formula 3's Macau Grand Prix after the Award evaluation days and took a stunning victory.

2016 Lando Norris

Norris capped his rookie, title-winning Formula Renault Eurocup season with the Award, then followed that by winning the 2017 European F3 title as McLaren's next big thing in F1.

2015 Will Palmer

Palmer won the Award after dominating the 2015 BRDC Formula 4 Championship and then graduated to Formula Renault 2.0.

2014 George Russell

Another karting star stepping into cars for the first time, taking the BRDC F4 crown in 2014 before going on to clinch the Award.

2013 Matt Parry

After an impressive karting career, which included the Super 1 National Rotax Max Junior title, Parry stepped up to the British Formula Ford Championship in 2011 and won the Award in 2013.

2012 Jake Dennis

Became the 24th recipient of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in 2012 and the youngest yet at 17 years, five months and 16 days old.

2011 Oliver Rowland

Graduated to car racing with an impressive karting CV. Despite being hit by personal tragedy 'the death of his father and of mentor Martin Hines' Rowland became an exciting performer in his first year of Formula Renault UK.

2010 Lewis Williamson

Started car racing in 2008 and was Formula Renault UK runner-up in 2010, scoring more wins than anyone else. Won a race in GP3 in 2011, and tried Formula Renault 3.5 for 2012.

2009 Dean Smith

After winning Formula BMW in 2005, and being Formula Renault UK runner-up (and Award finalist) in 2007, Smith almost gave up on single-seaters, but instead won the FR UK crown in 2009. Has raced in GP3 for the last two years.

2008 Alexander Sims

Finished second in Formula Renault UK in his second season and was then a frontrunner in the F3 Euro Series for the next two years. Was a race winner in GP3 in 2011 on his way to sixth in the standings, and took a British F3 win on a one-off appearance.

2007 Stefan Wilson

Was second in Formula Palmer Audi in his first year of car racing. After a year in British F3, Wilson moved to Indy Lights in 2009 and finished third in the series in 2011.

2006 Oliver Turvey

Funding issues hampered Turvey's early career, but he was runner-up in Formula BMW UK in his part-campaign in 2006. Moved to the Formula Renault Eurocup after winnning the Award and then picked up Racing Steps Foundation backing for British F3. Narrowly missed out on crown, then won races in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2, and became a McLaren test and reserve driver.

2005 Oliver Jarvis

Formula Renault UK champion moved to F3 after taking the Award and won the F3 Macau GP in 2007. Impressed in A1GP before joining the DTM with Audi in 2008.

2004 Paul di Resta

Another winner in Formula Renault UK, di Resta moved to F3 in 2005 and took the Euro Series crown the following year. He then moved into the DTM with Mercedes and became a star, taking the title in 2010. Graduated to F1 with Force India in 2011 and put in an impressive rookie campaign.

2003 Alex Lloyd

Current IndyCar racer won the Award after his second year of Formula Renault UK. Dabbled in F3000, then switched to America in 2006. Won the Indy Lights title the following season and first raced in IndyCar in 2008.

2002 Jamie Green

Took the Award after finishing as runner-up in his first season of Formula Renault UK. Was second in British F3 in 2003 before taking the F3 Euro Series title the following year. Graduated to the DTM in 2005 and has become an established frontrunner with Mercedes.

2001 Steven Kane

Stepped up from Formula Ford to F3, via a brief appearance in Formula Renault. After racing in Formula Renault 3.5 he switched to tin-tops, first in the Porsche Carrera Cup and then the British Touring Car Championship. He won races in both. Kane was also an LMP1 winner in the ALMS in 2011 with Dyson Racing.

2000 Anthony Davidson

Formula Ford Festival winner was a British F3 frontrunner in his rookie year. Became a BAR Honda test driver and made it into an F1 race seat for two races in 2002 with Minardi. Was also part of the Super Aguri team in 2007-08 before moving to GTs and sportscars. Now an LMP1 ace with works Toyota squad.

1999 Gary Paffett

Formula Vauxhall Lotus champion starred in Formula 3 before moving into the DTM, while also becoming test driver for McLaren in F1. Took the DTM crown in 2005 and has also been runner-up in the series four times.

1998 Jenson Button

Karting ace exploded into car racing in 1998, winning the British Formula Ford Championship and the Award. Button was a British F3 race winner the following season and was in F1 by 2000. Went on to win the F1 world championship with Brawn in 2009 and is still a race winner for McLaren.

1997 Andrew Kirkaldy

Another Formula Vauxhall graduate, Kirkaldy made it to Formula 3 before switching to GTs. Took the British GT2 title in 2005 and was a race winner in FIA GT2. Now runs CRS Racing's GT programme and is helping develop McLaren's MP4-12C GT3 contender.

1996 Darren Turner

Formula Renault racer moved into F3 after winning the Award and was then a winner in the inaugural Formula Palmer Audi season. A long-term F1 test driver, Turner also raced in DTM, ASCAR, and the BTCC, but has established a sportscar career with Aston Martin, winning GT1 at Le Mans twice and racing for the companys LMP squad.

1995 Jonny Kane

Started in Formula Ford and raced in Formula Vauxhall Lotus before winning the British F3 title in 1997. Had a spell in Indy Lights, then moved into sportscars and GTs. Has been an LMP2 ace with Strakka Racing in recent years.

1994 Jamie Davies

Used Formula Vauxhall Lotus success to graduate into F3 and then F3000. Moved successfully into sports-prototypes and GTs, which he raced until 2008.

1993 Ralph Firman

Won the Award after a fine season in Formula Vauxhall Junior. Took the British F3 title in 1996 before a long spell in Japan, winning in Formula Nippon and the domestic GT series. Got to F1 with Jordan in 2003 before heading back to GTs.

1992 Dario Franchitti

Franchitti went from Formula Opel Lotus and British F3 to the DTM, where he proved rapid. He then made a successful switch to American single-seaters, becoming an IndyCar legend. Franchitti has won the Indy 500 twice and in 2011 took his fourth IndyCar crown.

1991 Oliver Gavin

Formula First champion in 1991, Gavin went on to take the 1995 British F3 crown. There were spells in the DTM and F3000 before Gavin found his niche in GT racing, where he has become a star with the crack works Chevrolet squad.

1990 Gareth Rees

Another Formula Ford star, Rees successfully graduated to Formula Opel Lotus and then British F3 before making it as far as F3000.

1989 David Coulthard

Awarded the prize based on his Formula Ford performances, Coulthard then starred in F3 before making it to F1 in 1994. He went on to score 13 grand prix wins for Williams and McLaren. Currently races for Mercedes in the DTM.