The FIA Formula 3 Championship finally starts its new season this weekend in Bahrain. In this preview I will introduce you to all the teams and their drivers. You will also get an overview of the race calendar, the adjusted format for the weekend and the new scoring system, as well as a short report on the pre-season testing. At the end you will find as usual my predictions for the drivers and team championships.


This year we welcome again some new drivers on the 'Road To F1'. With Van Amersfoort Racing, a new team is also added. In total, however, there are still 30 cars on the grid.



(1) Jonny Edgar, (2) Roman Staněk, (3) Zane Maloney


The defending champions of the Trident Team will again enter the new season with one of the strongest driver line-ups. Red Bull Junior Jonny Edgar is entering his second FIA F3 season. Last year he finished 18th in the championship with Carlin. The Briton won the ADAC F4 Championship in 2020. Roman Staněk from the Czech Republic is entering his third FIA F3 season. Last year he made it onto the podium twice with Hitech GP. The team is completed by Zane Maloney. The racing driver from Barbados was British F4 champion in 2019. Last year he competed in Formula Regional EU by Alpine with R-ace GP and finished the championship in fourth place with one win and seven podiums.


Prema Racing

(4) Arthur Leclerc, (5) Jak Crawford, (6) Oliver Bearman


Prema Racing will be competing with two Ferraris and a Red Bull Junior this year. Arthur Leclerc is entering his second season with the team and is one of the main favorites for the title. The Ferrari Academy driver already won two races in FIA F3 last year and earlier this year he won Formula Regional Asia with four race wins and nine podiums. Red Bull Junior Jak Crawford is also entering his second FIA F3 season. He finished on the podium once with Hitech GP and ended the championship in 13th place. The American also finished third in the Euroformula Open last year, although he was unable to compete in all the races. Nevertheless, he won seven of the races. In 2020, he finished as runner-up in the ADAC F4. Briton Oliver Bearman will make his debut on the 'Road To F1' this year. Last year, he won both the Italian and German ADAC Formula 4. In total, the Ferrari Junior won 17 races and finished on the podium 26 times.


ART Grand Prix

(7) Victor Martins, (8) Grégoire Saucy, (9) Juan Manuel Correa


ART Grand Prix starts with two new drivers. Besides Juan Manuel Correa, who enters his second season with the team, Victor Martins and Grégoire Saucy join the team. Alpine Academy driver Martins enters his second FIA F3 season. Last year, the Frenchman competed with MP Motorsport, winning one race and finishing on the podium six times. In 2020, he won the Formula Renault Eurocup with ART GP. Reigning Formula Regional EU by Alpine champion Saucy makes his FIA F3 debut this weekend. The Swiss won eight races last season and stood on the podium ten times with ART GP in FRECA. After his comeback last year, the American Correa will compete again in FIA F3. His best result last season was a sixth place in the first race at Circuit Paul Ricard.


MP Motorsport

(10) Caio Collet, (11) Alex Smolyar, (12) Kush Maini


For MP Motorsport from the Netherlands, the season already started with a shock. Due to the sanctions against Russia because of the war in Ukraine, Alex Smolyar could not keep his cockpit. So far it is not yet known who will replace the Russian driver. This afternoon a replacement will be announced at least for the races in Bahrain. Caio Collet enters his second FIA F3 season with the team. Last year he celebrated two podiums and finished the championship in ninth place. In 2018 he was champion in French Formula 4 and in 2020 he was runner-up in Formula Renault Eurocup. For Kush Maini it will be the first year on the 'Road To F1'. The Indian was runner-up in British Formula 3 in 2020, where he won three races and finished on the podium twelve times. Edit: On Thursday morning the team announced that Alex Smolyar will race the full season with the team after all.


Charouz Racing System

(14) László Tóth, (15) Ayrton Simmons, (16) Francesco Pizzi


Charouz Racing System is starting the season with three new drivers. Only Ayrton Simmons already contested his first races with the team at the end of last year in Sochi. The Briton finished last season as runner-up in the British GB3. He won four races and stood on the podium five times. In 2018, he was also runner-up in British F4. László Tóth is entering his second FIA F3 season. The Hungarian achieved his best result with Campos last year at the second race in Zandvoort in 16th place. Francesco Pizzi will make his FIA Formula 3 debut this weekend. The Italian raced with VAR in Formula Regional EU by Alpine last season and finished the championship in twelfth place. In 2020 he was champion in F4 UAE and runner-up in Italian Formula 4.


Hitech Grand Prix

(17) Kaylen Frederick, (18) Isack Hadjar, (19) Nazim Azman


Hitech GP is starting into the new FIA F3 season with two rookies. Kaylen Frederick, on the other hand, is already contesting his second season on the 'Road To F1'. The American started last year with Carlin, a sixth place in the first race at the Red Bull Ring was his best result so far. In 2020 he won the British Formula 3. Isack Hadjar enters his first FIA F3 year. The Red Bull Junior finished fifth in last year's Formula Regional EU by Alpine. Earlier this year, he already competed in Formula Regional Asia. The Frenchman won two races, finished on the podium five times and ended the championship in third place. Their teammate this year is Nazim Azman. The racer from Malaysia is also making his FIA F3 debut this weekend. Last year he finished fourth in the Euroformula Open and won a race at the Red Bull Ring.


Campos Racing

(20) David Vidales, (21) Hunter Yeany, (22) Pepe Martí


Campos Racing from Spain will start with a completely new line-up into the season. David Vidales and Pepe Martí will make their FIA F3 debut in Bahrain. Vidales competed with Prema in Formula Regional EU by Alpine last season, where he won one race and finished on the podium three times. The Spaniard finished the championship in tenth place. Hunter Yeany is starting his first full FIA F3 season. At the end of last year, he already contested a few F3 races with Charouz. The American became the youngest ever Formula 4 champion in the F4 US Championship in 2020. The team is completed by Pepe Martí. Earlier this year, he raced in Formula Regional Asia, where the Spaniard was the best rookie, finishing runner-up with five podiums. In 2021 he also finished third in the Spanish F4 Championship.


Jenzer Motorsport

(23) Ido Cohen, (24) Niko Kari, (25) William Alatalo


There are also three new drivers at Jenzer Motorsport from Switzerland. Ido Cohen is entering his second FIA F3 season. Last year, a twelfth place with Carlin was the Israeli's best result. William Alatalo makes his debut on the 'Road To F1' this year. Last year he competed in Formula Regional EU by Alpine with Arden and finished eleventh in the championship with one podium finish. In 2019, the Finn finished third in the FIA Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup for his country. At least for the first weekend, Niko Kari will be the teammate of the two. The Finn took a break from motorsport last year and is making his comeback to FIA F3 in Bahrain, the series where he won a race in 2017, when it was called GP3 Series. In 2019, he last raced in the championship.



(26) Zak O'Sullivan, (27) Brad Benavides, (28) Enzo Trulli


The British team Carlin is also starting the season with a completely new line-up. Reigning British GB3 champion Zak O'Sullivan makes his FIA F3 debut this year. The Williams Academy driver won seven races last season and finished on the podium 14 times. In 2020 he was British F4 runner-up and in 2019 he was also runner-up in the Ginetta Junior Championship. It will also be Brad Benavides' first year on the 'Road To F1'. Last season he competed in selected races in Formula Regional EU by Alpine and Euroformula Open. A sixth place in the second last race of the EF Open was his best result so far. The team is completed by Enzo Trulli. The son of former F1 race winner Jarno Trulli began his car acing career last year in the F4 UAE where he won the title at the beginning of the year. After that, the Italian competed in Euroformula Open. He finished four races on the podium and seventh in the championship.


Van Amersfoort Racing

(29) Franco Colapinto, (30) Rafael Villagómez, (31) Reece Ushijima


Van Amersfoort Racing is entering FIA F3 for the first time this season. As in F2, the Dutch team will also take over the grid spot and the cars from HWA Racelab in Formula 3. For two of the three drivers, it will also be their first year in F3. Franco Colapinto still contested races in Formula Regional EU by Alpine last year. He won two races, finished on the podium four times and ended the championship in sixth place. The Argentine won F4 Spain in 2019 and finished the 2020 Toyota Racing Series as the best rookie in third place. Rafael Villagómez is entering his second season in FIA F3. Last year, a 13th place in the second race at Zandvoort was the Mexican's best result. Their teammate this season is Reece Ushijima. The Japanese-American racer is making his FIA F3 debut with a British license this year. Ushijima raced in British GB3 last year, where he won two races, made the podium six times and finished the championship in fourth place.


Due to the new rule changes, there are two more race tracks and several more races in a row than last year, but we have three fewer races in total. This season, Formula 3 is back on the same weekends as F2.For the first time, the season opener will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit. The races at the Imola Circuit are also a premiere for FIA F3.  The Silverstone and Monza circuits are also back on the calendar after being absent in 2021.


Round 1: Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir (19-20 March)


Round 2: Imola Circuit, Imola (23-24 April)


Round 3: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona (21-22 May)


Round 4: Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone (2-3 July)


Round 5: Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (9-10 July)


Round 6: Hungaroring, Mogyoród (30-31 July)


Round 7: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot (27-28 August)


Round 8: Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort (3-4 September)


Round 9: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza (10-11 September)


If you have already read my F2 preview you can skip this part. In short, it's exactly the same weekend format and points system as in Formula 2.


The weekend format with three races, two of them sprint races, did not have many fans last year. Therefore, this year the format was changed back to two races per weekend, one sprint race on Saturday and the main race on Sunday. All in all, the renewed rule change brings us two to four races more than last year. The practice and qualifying sessions will take place on Friday as usual.


The points system has also been adjusted for this season. Now only half the points are awarded for a pole position or fastest race lap, namely two points for the first grid position and one point for the fastest lap in each race. In addition, there are significantly fewer points to be won in the sprint race. Previously, there were 15 points for winning the race with the starting order of the top 10 from qualifying reversed. From this season, the following points will be awarded: P1 = 10, P2 = 8, P3 = 6, P4 = 5, P5 = 4, P6 = 3, P7 = 2, P8 = 1. For the feature race on Sunday, there are still the same points as last season. P1 = 25, P2 = 18, P3 = 15, P4 = 12, P5 = 10, P6 = 8, P7 = 6, P8 = 4, P9 = 2, P10 = 1.


From March 2-4, the official FIA Formula 3 pre-season tests were held together with F2 at the Bahrain International Circuit. There were two practice sessions on each of the three days, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The last session on Friday afternoon was ended early as a sandstorm hit the race track. The fastest time of the test was set by Isack Hadjar in the final morning session. 


Day 1 - Morning

P1: Arthur Leclerc / 1m48.005s

P2: Zane Maloney / +0.013s 

P3: Reece Ushijima / +0.030s

P4: Isack Hadjar / +0.084s

P5: Kaylen Frederick / +0.123s


Day 1 - Afternoon

P1: Zane Maloney / 1:47.614s

P2: William Alatalo / +0.169s

P3: Jak Crawford / +0.185s

P4: Roman Staněk / +0.240s

P5: Franco Colapinto / +0. 329s


Day 2 - Morning

P1: Isack Hadjar / 1:47.516

P2: Victor Martins / +0.086s

P3: Jonny Edgar / +0.113s

P4: Grégoire Saucy / +0.288s

P5: Juan Manuel Correa / +0.318s


Day 2 - Afternoon

P1: Victor Martins / 1:48.250

P2: Roman Staněk / +0.129s

P3: Isack Hadjar / +0.240s

P4: Grégoire Saucy / +0.372s

P5: Alexander Smolyar / +0.447s


Day 3 - Morning

P1: Isack Hadjar / 1:47.247s

P2: Jak Crawford / +0.381s

P3: Grégoire Saucy / +0.472s

P4: Caio Collet / +0.535s

P5: Alexander Smolyar / +0.662s


Day 3 - Afternoon

P1: Roman Staněk / 1:48.182s

P2: Reece Ushijima / +0.616s

P3: Zane Maloney / +0.625s

P4: Franco Colapinto / +0.793s

P5: Jonny Edgar / +0.985s


As I already did with some racing series last year, I dare to make a little prediction for this year's FIA F3 driver and team championships.


Drivers Championship Prediction


P1: Arthur Leclerc

P2: Victor Martins

P3: Zane Maloney

P4: Jak Crawford

P5: Isack Hadjar


This year's Formula 3 drivers' championship is more open than it was last year. For me, there are several drivers who could win the title. The main favorites are Arthur Leclerc, Victor Martins, Zane Maloney, Jak Crawford or Jonny Edgar in the top teams. However, there are also a number of riders behind them who can compete for victories and podium places, such as Isack Hadjar, Caio Collet, Oliver Bearman, Roman Staněk, Grégoire Saucy or Kush Maini. With Zak O'Sullivan, Franco Colapinto or Pepe Martí, there are also some interesting names in the bottom ranked teams, which could well cause a surprise or two.


Teams Championship Prediction


P1: Prema Racing

P2: Trident Team

P3: ART Grand Prix


The team championship also promises a lot of excitement this season. I think Prema and Trident will fight for the title again, with the better end for Prema. Behind them, ART Grand Prix and MP Motorsport will probably fight it out for third place. Hitech GP could also move up to third place depending on how the season goes. 


The first race of the year will take place on Saturday. Enjoy it!

written by Claudio Graf  / 17th March, 2022