Renault Academy driver Anthoine Hubert has set his sights on pursuing the FIA Formula 2 title in 2020, with some of the top teams in the series wanting his signature thanks to his strong rookie season.
The BWT Arden driver has impressed in his first year within the series, having grabbed two sprint race wins under his belt at Monaco and at his home race in France. His performances have pushed him in the top ten of the standings, holding onto eighth overall behind fellow rookie and Renault junior driver Guanyu Zhou.
Hubert, who won the final GP3 Series in 2018, was a prospect coming into Formula 2, but couldn’t salvage a drive with a top team due to lacking a big budget compared to his ART Grand Prix GP3 team-mates Nikita Mazepin and Callum Ilott. Mazepin managed to bag a drive with ART’s F2 team whilst Ilott with his Ferrari support grabbed a seat with Sauber Junior Team.
The Frenchman joined Arden, who partnered up with HWA Racelabs for the season, and has performed strongly for the team. His impressive run of results over the first half of the year has sparked interest from the top teams, wanting the Frenchman in their squad for 2020.
Hubert told Motorsport.com that discussions have started for next year as he aims to secure a seat capable of competing for the title next year.
“Talks have started for next year, it looks like I’m going to do another season of F2. Of course, we need to find the money for it and work for it,”
“The target will be to fight for the title, so we are looking at different options. We have different possibilities. Because we did a strong first half of the season, that has helped us and we need to show what I am capable of and some teams are interested in me so that’s a really good point.
“At the same time, I’m staying focused on my job and what I have to do, I’m not happy about the two bad weekends, because I want to do well. Whatever is the future, we need to do well this year.”
Hubert doesn’t bring a strong budget with him in F2, so if a team does hire him, they’ll will need to sign a driver with a strong backing to offset the Frenchman’s potential weak backing.
ART could potentially be a seat Hubert can fill if championship leader Nyck de Vries wins the series, meaning he won’t return to the series as per regulations. Mazepin, who brings a large budget thanks to his father’s ownership of Uralchem, would be able to be an offset for Hubert to reunite with the team he won the 2018 GP3 Series with.
Nicholas Latifi is set to make the step up to Formula 1 next year with Williams Racing, meaning it could open a seat with the French squad DAMS next year. Likewise with UNI-Virtuosi Racing, with Luca Ghiotto ruling out of racing in the series for a fifth year. The opening could mean Hubert could join alongside Renault junior Zhou for 2020.
Hubert’s current team Arden are interested in retaining him for a second season. The team with the current support of HWA are looking to improve their position within the pecking order, thanks to the Frenchman’s efforts that leave the team sixth overall in the team’s standings with four rounds left.