Last weekend the first round of the 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series took place at the Mike Pero MotorSport Park, Christchurch.

Just one round and three races into the series and already there is a band of drivers showing incredible speed and race craft and judging by previous seasons these young men are destined for bright futures in the sport.

Whether they all make it to the very top level, and by that I mean Formula 1, is frankly doubtful. Whether one or two of them get to their personal 'Holy Grail' is more than likely.

Despite Red Bull cutting Kvyat from their roster he is a good driver and has recently found a berth with Scuderia Ferrari as a 'development driver'

That position, held by many drivers in the past, is not normally one that leads back to the F1 grid but has proven to be another rung downwards on this constant real life game of 'snakes and ladders'.

Pascal Wehrlein is another young driver seemingly teetering on the brink of the abyss of Formula 1 oblivion. Touted just recently by Mercedes F1 boss Toto Woolf as "definitely deserving a place in Formula One. He is among the fastest drivers." It seems that Wherlein is destined to be back in the German DTM series with no place available on the F1 grid. Has his chance, his moment in time, evaporated due to the vagaries of being in the wrong teams, at the wrong times?

His fellow teammate in the Mercedes young driver programme, Esteban Ocon, who was also his teammate at the Manor Racing F1 team in their rookie F1 season is very much still on the ladder, now making a big impact with the Force India team.


After Manor Racing Wherlein went on to drive for the floundering Sauber F1 team. Once a young driver misses a trigger point or a season of success or sometimes even just a competitive season, that conveyor belt of talent pushes on and the next protégé miraculously appears.

Lando Norris, winner of the TRS just two short years ago is now a member of the McLaren Young Driver Development Programme and he is one, among many thousands, who trust that the good times will return for that team so his personal star will be able to shine.

The route to success in Formula 1 is not only about talent, all the drivers on the grid are talented, not only about speed, all the drivers have speed, but it is also about keeping the momentum of youth going and being in the right place at the right time.

These young drivers in the 2018 TRS season are very definitely in the right place at the moment, they have amazing speed, they have prodigious talent, but they must keep the momentum going or that aforesaid conveyor belt with keep rolling without them.

This weekend sees the second round of the TRS 2018 season at Teretonga Park, Invercargill and those Kiwi and international drivers will renew their already intense battle.

That battle will not finish on the track but will, in future months and years, be fought out in the world of 'management' and 'politics' together with a huge helping of 'right place, right time'.