5 Amazing performances by ‘guest drivers’ in 2019

Jake Hughes HWA F3
© Colin McMaster/FIA F3

In single-seater feeder series racing it’s not uncommon for drivers to compete in multiple series in a season. Sometimes it means a driver combines two series, like Liam Lawson who did FIA F3 and Euroformula Open. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. No, these drivers stepped up to the plate during a season with minimal preparation and surprised the field with an amazing drive. Let’s have it!

By Floris Visman

Toshiki Oyu (21, Japan)

Toshiki Oyu Motopark Euroformula Open
© Euroformula Open

Series: Euroformula Open
Team: Team Motopark
Rounds: 1 (2 races)
Poles: 2
Wins: 2

Because championship leader Marino Sato got his big break at Campos in Formula 2 and Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda chose Formula 3 over Euroformula Open because of clashing rounds, replacements were called up. And they were no slouches: Dennis Hauger (ADAC F4 and Italian F4), Enaam Ahmed (Japanese F3) and Toshiki Oyu (Japanese F3). And that last one set the series on fire.

Oyu dominated the weekend at Silverstone from the beginning. His new team mates Hauger and Ahmed couldn’t keep up with him, as well as Team Motopark’s other drivers Niklas Krütten and Cameron Das. In fact, the entire field wasn’t a match for the Japanese 21-year old. Oyu returned to Japan with two pole positions and two wins under his belt. He eventually finished the Japanese F3 season in fourth, scoring only one win in twenty races.

Giorgio Carrara (18, Argentina)

Giorgio Carrara F3 Jenzer
© Joe Portlock/FIA F3

Series: Spanish F4
Team: Jenzer Motorsport
Rounds: 1 (3 races)
Poles: 1
Wins: 3

Jenzer was in Spanish F4 this year, I hear you think? Yes, for two rounds. For the first one they recruited Red Bull Junior Jonny Edgar, rookie Emidio Pesce and Giorgio Carrara. The Argentinian has been with Jenzer since he started climbing the feeder series ladder in 2017. He even made his debut in FIA Formula 3 for the team. And his performance in Spanish F4 might have (indirectly) lead to that.

In qualifying Carrara was closely matched with Edgar ad the both took a pole position. But in all three races The 18-year old from Argentina showed him who’s boss as he won all three races at Paul Ricard, with Edgar finishing behind him on the podium three times (two times second and once third). Pesce was off the pace with a highest finish of ninth.

William Alatalo (17, Finland)

William Alatalo ADAC F4
© ADAC Motorsport

Series: ADAC F4
Team: ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
Rounds: 1 (3 races)
Poles: 0
Podiums: 2

In 2019 William Alatalo competed in Italian Formula 4 with Mücke Motorsport. The one off for ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V sounds less weird when you know it’s just another name Mücke Motorsport uses in ADAC F4. For the second round of the German Formula 4 championship Alatalo got to partner up with Nico Göhler and the talented Joshua Dürksen. The Paraguayan scored a second place in the final race of the first round at Oschersleben, so he was someone Alatalo could measure himself with.

The 17-year old did truly well against his Paraguayan team mate. While Dürksen had a weekend to forget, Alatalo stormed to two podiums, with a highest finish of second at the Red Bull Ring. His other team mate Göhler was also nowhere to be seen. The interesting part about the Fin’s performance in ADAC F4 is that in a full season of Italian F4 he failed to score a single podium. oh, and Alatalao finished above Göhler in the final ADAC F4 standings, while the German completed the entire season.

Check out a list with all the 2019 single-seater feeder series champions

Hadrien David (15, France)

Hadrien David F4 France Champion 2019
© Renault Sport

Series: F4 SEA
Team: Meritus GP
Rounds: 2 (8 races)
Poles: 3
Wins: 6
Podiums: 7

If someone has rocked the feeder series ladder this year it’s Hadrien David. It’s hard to believe the young Frenchman is in his first year of car racing. Straight form karting he won the French F4 championship in 2019 and made his debut in ADAC F4 with R-ace GP. But his first steps in car racing where earlier this year in the South-East Asian Formula 4 series.

In F4 SEA everybody drives in the same car and for the same team, so you can make a good comparison between drivers. And it’s safe to say David was the class of the field. He won six out of eight races, spread over two rounds (He competed in the first round and returned for the seventh, both in Sepang). And to think the Frenchman is still only 15-years old, there’s no telling where (and if) the success will end.

Jake Hughes (25, Great-Britain)

Jake Hughes HWA F3
© Colin McMaster/FIA F3

Series: Formula Regional European Championship
Team: KIC Motorsport
Rounds: 1 (3 races)
Poles: 0
Podiums: 3

Jake Hughes seems to be a fan’s favourite and his social medium presence, surely confirms that. But the British driver is also seriously fast. In 2019 the feeder series veteran finished the FIA F3 championship in seventh, scoring a win and four podiums, while outperforming his team mate Bent Viscaal. He also set the fastest lap at the Macau Grand Prix.

At Mugello he got the chance to drive for Finnish KIC Motorsport, who were down to one driver after the departure of Isac Blomqvist. 25-year old Hughes partnered up with full time driver Konsta Lappalainen for three races at the Italian circuit. His experience and consistency showed as he finished on the podium three times (third), holding off the likes of race winners Enzo Fittipaldi and Igor Fraga.

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