JANUARY 9, 2021
Latin American second generation settles in Europe
Second generation Latin American drivers are coming through the ranks in Europe, with Rubens Barrichello's elder son, Eduardo, moving to race in the Formula Regional European this year, while Sebastian Montoya, Juan Pablo's son will be having his second season in the Italian Formula 4 championship. Elsewhere, Pastor Maldonado's young cousin Manuel, will swap single seaters for Sports Cars, as he's just announced he'll join United Autosport both for the Asian and the European Le Mans Series.
"Dudu" Barrichello has signed a deal to race with JD Motorsports this year, after three seasons in the junior formulas in the United States. Rubens' elder son, started his racing car career back in 2018 in the USA Formula 4 Championship, before moving to the faster US F2000 category for the two following years. His progress in 2020 was remarkable, the 19-years old finishing the championship as runner-up to the more experienced Christian Rasmussen, before deciding to move to Europe.
With backing from Toyota and XP Investimentos, the young Barrichello became one of the first drivers confirmed in the new category that comes from Formula Renault and Formula Regional joining forces, with two of its events being part of the Spanish and the Monaco Grand Prix schedule, a major boost for the youngsters, as they'll be racing in front of all Formula One team bosses.
A move to this category was also a possibility for Sebastian Montoya, but there are strong indications the young Colombian will complete a second season with Prema in the Italian Formula 4 Championship, after finishing 11th in 2020, as 7th best rookie. Given Sebastian will only turn 16 next April, a second season in this highly competitive category will be the right step for his progression, especially in the most competitive team in Formula 4.
Older than his two fellow Latin American youngsters, Pastor Maldonado's cousin will move out of single seaters, after an unremarkable career in Formula 4, Formula 3 and Euroformula. In the Spanish category the Venezuelan scored four second places last year, on his way to P4 in the championship and at the age of 21, the man who gained worldwide fame by being carried out of a blazing Williams' garage after the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix win by his cousin Pastor, has moved into Sports Cars. With strong backing, Maldonado will be racing both in the Asian and European Le Mans Series with champion team United Autosport. In the Asian Series he'll race in the LMP3 category, before moving to LMP2 for the European series.