You’ve probably never heard of him, but Will Stevens is the next Lewis Hamilton. At least that is the way his backers see it and they are supporting their decision with heavy investment. The 17 year old from Essex has a contract in his pocket with Honda, which lays out in intricate detail his path from karts to Formula 1. It has been put together for him by his management team of ex F1 drivers Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle, who took him on when he was just 14 years old.
It’s only been done once before, but with spectacular success. McLaren boss Ron Dennis discovered Lewis Hamilton, backing him from the age of 13 and steering him through the ranks to Formula 1. The crucial advantage a deal like this gives to a driver is that it virtually guarantees that he will be driving competitive machinery at every level. There are only one or two top teams in each category and the seats fill up quickly each season as the cream rises to the top. The experience and judgement of Brundle and Blundell in selecting teams allied to the clout of Honda should assure Stevens a winning car at every level, as Hamilton had. The rest is down to him.