Red Bull has announced plans for six of their junior drivers in 2021 as they look to keep the conveyor belt running on their junior programme production line.
Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon’s respective failures to nail down the senior Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen means the team have taken a rare foray outside of their driver programme to sign the highly experienced Sergio Perez for the 2021 season.
But, the work is still going on further down the driving ranks in order to find their next diamond in the rough and Jehan Daruvula, Juri Vips, Liam Lawson, Jak Crawford, Ayumu Iwasa and Jonny Edgar have all had seats finalised in the junior categories to help build their experience.
Vips and Lawson will continue their association with Hitech and will be team-mates together during the F2 2021 season.
It will be Vips’ first full season in Formula 2 and the 20-year-old Estonian cannot wait to get started.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Hitech again,” Vips said. “We had a good year in F3 back in 2019, but we have some unfinished business together.
“They had a great season in their first year in F2 and I’m confident we will be able to fight for the title this season!”
Lawson, who alongside Albon will make appearances in the DTM series in 2021, is ready for the step up to F2 after spending the last two years in F3.
“I’m excited to be racing in F2 with Hitech this year,” Lawson added. “Following two years of Formula 3, I feel prepared to be in this championship and do a good job for the team.
“I learned a lot in the test and had a good feeling with the car. This being said, there’s definitely still a lot more to learn, so I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Hitech’s association with Red Bull does not end there as 15-year-old American Crawford and new recruit Iwasa, 19, are both part of their F3 driver line-up.
🚨 BREAKING: Red Bull juniors Lawson, Vips, Crawford and Iwasa join Hitech for 2021
Hitech protégé’s Jüri Vips and Liam Lawson join the Formula 2 grid
— Hitech GP (@HitechGP) January 15, 2021
Iwasa said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead. Joining Hitech in both FIA F3 and Asian F3 will be exciting, and I will be able to learn a lot with the success the team have had over the years.
“I’ll do my best to continuously achieve a good result.”
Crawford added: “I am very happy to spend the 2021 FIA F3 season with Hitech GP. I am excited to make a step up from F4 to compete in the competitive field of drivers.
“With the success the team has had in previous years, I hope I can achieve the same results and fight at the front of the field.”
Meanwhile, Daruvula will spend a second season with Carlin in F2 and Edgar will be driving for Carlin in F3.