6 remarkable performances by stand-in drivers throughout F1 feeder series

When it comes to single-seater feeder series racing it’s common for drivers to race in multiple categories of racing at once; Andrea Kimi Antonelli is racing in both ADAC and Italian F4 this year. Occasionally, due to scheduling conflicts, injury or lack of funding teams will need to replace their drivers. F1 Feeder Series explores the top 6 stand-in driver performances.

By Liam Plötner

Oliver Goethe (FIA F3)

Heading into the Hungaroring round of the FIA F3 Championship, Hunter Yeany announced he would not be racing due to a broken wrist following a crash in the previous round in Austria and what Goethe pulled off was remarkable. He had never driven the FIA F3 chassis before and yet, qualified 12th place for the Feature Race, and reverse grid pole for the Sprint Race. What was so impressive was that he had not only qualified in the upper half of the grid, but that he out-qualified his more experienced teammates Pepe Marti and David Vidales. 

The sprint race didn’t go particularly well, dropping down to 4th at the end of lap one and ending up in 8th by the end, but three points in his maiden race without any testing was extremely impressive for the Dane. The Feature Race didn’t go to plan with multiple spins and a poor start which resulted in him finishing in 27th place. Nonetheless, an incredible achievement to score points in your first F3 race. 

Goethe remained in the car for the Belgian round at Spa and qualified an incredible fourth and would have finished in the points in the Sprint Race had he not had a horrific high-speed collision with Zane Maloney. In the Feature Race, he led after a Safety Car and ended up finishing fourth after duelling with Oliver Bearman for the final spot on the podium. All in all, a brilliant display from the Dane considering he was new to the FIA F3 car. 

Ayrton Simmons (Euroformula Open)

When Ayrton Simmons started the season, he expected to be racing in FIA F3 with Charouz Racing System, but due to budget issues he sat on the sidelines for a few months. In July, he returned to racing with Drivex in Euroformula Open, a championship he briefly raced in during 2020. This was for the Hungaroring round.

He qualified 5th and finished 6th in Race 1, backed this up with a fantastic podium in Race 2 and 10th place in the final race of the round. To be fair, putting him straight after Goethe for anyone on this list is tricky due to the high standards set by Goethe. Nonetheless, Simmons performed well considering he hadn’t drove in the championship since 2020.

Lucas Romanek (GB4)

Romanek started racing in single seaters just last year, finishing 7th in Formula Ford and is racing in it again in 2022, winning at Knockhill. In Formula Ford in 2021 he competed against several drivers he would compete against in GB4 when he did was called up for an appearance in Round 3 at Silverstone. He qualified and finished 8th in the opening race and finished 7th in Race 2. The best was yet to come as he won the third race by 2 seconds from Logan Hannah, wrapping off a solid weekend for the Brit.

Charlie Wurz (Spanish F4)

Now, before you ask the question, yes, this is Alexander Wurz’s son, Charlie. His racing performances prove that he doesn’t get family name tax. He won the Formula 4 UAE Championship at the start of the season and has 3 podiums in both ADAC and Italian F4, being 5th in both championships as of August 29, 2022. He showed this impressive form when he took a seat with Campos for the Jerez round of the 2022 Spanish F4 Championship. He finished a brilliant 3rd driving for a team who he had never worked with before. Going on to finish in 7th in Race 2 and 6th in Race 3, ending the weekend with 25 points.

William Wulf (Danish F4)

Heading into the only non-Danish round of the Danish F4 season, it was announced that William Wulf would do Round 2 for FSP Racing. He didn’t start the race weekend well, retiring in Race 1, but would take a win in Race 2 and 6th in Race 3. He had previously raced in 2021 in the series, collecting two wins. Winning a race despite not racing in the car for 9 months.

Alex Quinn (USF2000)

When you expect anyone to race in a car they have little experience in you’d expect they would struggle right? Not for British driver Alex Quinn! He competed in one round of the 2022 USF2000 Championship at Indianapolis Road Course and showed utter dominance. You would think based on his CV of finishing 4th in his first full season of Formula Renault Eurocup that he would be good, BUT NOT THIS GOOD.

He won every single race, beating the likes of Myles Rowe, a driver highly praised and someone who is being watched by Penske, and Michael d’Orlando, who finished runner up in the series in 2021, demolishing them both, finishing on average, 2.7 seconds ahead of the rest of the competition. This is perfection personified.

Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Limited

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