Since the birth of the Formula One Championship, in 1950, there has been a ladder for potential Grand Prix drivers to climb to qualify, or rather amass the necessary skill set/finance, to be able to race at the top level. Obviously, like all things, there have been notable exceptions along the way, but for the most part, drivers have begun their professional racing careers in junior formulae progressing step by step to the highest echelon of the sport. During that course of time, for so many reasons, countless numbers of men (and to a lesser extent women) have fallen by the wayside realizing they don’t have what it takes, or get that lucky break, to be part of the hallowed Formula One circus. Some of that group become great drivers in other disciplines of our sport, while inevitably others fall away completely. Along that path, motor racing enthusiasts have witnessed this very public natural selection process, which continues to this day. However, it has to be said in the current era, for far more than a handful of years, finance rather than pure driving technique seems to be the ultimate attribute to ascend the ladder.
Nearing the top, drivers used to advance from the junior ranks via Formula 3 and Formula 2 to be eligible to drive in Formula One. While the Formula One series has kept its name throughout, Formula 3 and Formula 2 have had gone through a good number of changes and rebranding along the way, which have confused many. Thankfully, since the 2017 Bahrain GP, Mr. Chase Carey, now in charge of Grand Prix racing, and his team have seen sense and reverted back to the tried and tested notations, so Formula 3 and Formula 2 are alive and kicking once again. There are many who have commented that the 2017 Formula 2 season, while a one make series—a Dallara chassis powered by 4-liter Mechachrome V8 engine— proved to be some of the best entertainment during the course of a Grand Prix weekend, despite being dominated by the Monégasque driver Charles Leclerc who’ll naturally elevate to Formula One joining the Sauber team for 2018.
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