The 2014 Formula One season sees three new drivers join the grid alongside the return of Kamui Kobayashi. We will also be seeing six drivers in different team to last year, including Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.
In this article, we will see the top five dark horses that can spring surprises with their performances on track.
5. Kamui Kobayashi-Caterham
Kamui Kobayashi has returned to Formula One after a previous five-year spell between 2007-2012.
Kobayashi became Toyota's third driver in 2007 and was the team's test and reserve driver throughout the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
The Japanese driver competed in his first practise sessions at the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix and made his debut at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix due to Timo Glock's injury.
He qualified in 11th and finished in 10th, but was later moved up after a Kovalainen penalty.
He also raced in the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, securing his first Championship points after moving up six places from his qualifying position to sixth.
It was believed that he would have had a permanent drive with Toyota in the 2010 season had the team stayed in F1, but that wasn't to be.
Kobayashi then drove for Sauber for the 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons, finishing 12th in the Championship in all three of them.
Kobayashi will start 15th on the grid for the first race of the 2014 season after driving his Caterham into Q2, but can still use his aggressive racing style to become a formidable force.
4. Max Chilton-Marussia
Max Chilton is entering his second season in Formula One and will be once again driving for Marussia.
Chilton became the first rookie to finish every race last season, and despite usually being the last across the line he showed reliability, booking his drive for the 2014 season.
Chilton achieved his best qualifying result of 16th in Belgium last year and his best race result of 14th in Monaco, although only fifteen cars finished that chaotic race.
3. Kevin Magnussen-McLaren
After the controversial decision to let Sergio Perez go McLaren have given 21-year-old Danish driver, Kevin Magnussen a chance to show what he can do, and he certainly impressed in the first qualifying session of the season, after out-qualifying his team-mate, Jenson Button, by seven positions, and qualifying 4th on the grid, ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Magnussen drove for McLaren at the 2012 young driver's test in Abu Dhabi and has impressed in the simulator. He may not be a championship contender, but certainly has the potential to be standing on the podium.
2. Daniel Ricciardo-Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo competed in two young drivers test with Red Bull in 2009 and 2010 and made his Formula One debut in 2011, replacing Narain Karthikeyan in July for the remaining races.
It was then announced that Ricciardo would race for Toro Rosso. He raced there for two years before replacing Mark Webber at Toro Rosso's sister team, Red Bull.
After qualifying second on the grid in his home race, and first race for Red Bull, Ricciardo has proved that he will not play second fiddle to Sebastien Vettel and he could well be in the running for the championship with a little luck.
1. Daniil Kvyat-Scuderia Toro Rosso
Kvyat will be the youngest driver in this season's Formula One season, at the age of nineteen.
The Russian has previously raced in Formula Renault and GP3, prior to his debut season in Formula One with Toro Rosso, and only has a few practise sessions from the 2013 season under his belt.
Similar to Ricciardo, he is joining Toro Rosso as a fairly unknown driver, not expected to compete in the top ten, but Kvyat will start had a fantastic debut qualifying performance in Australia and could cause a few surprises this season.
Inexperience may hold Kvyat back, but I believe he can become a regular points scorer as the season progresses.
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