F3 Asia has been renamed and it's called "Formula Regional Asian Championship" from 2022 on. But the intensity of the racing action hasn't changed. An extremely strong grid is set to fight for the championship title. 28 cars for the season opening round are a record for F3/FR Asia. The winter series will conclude already in one month. Check out my preview about the drivers, teams, circuits, the weekend format and more. At the end you'll find my predictions for this series. 


Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema

Paul Aron, Jak Crawford, Hamda Al Qubaisi (R), Amna Al Qubaisi, Khaled Al Qubaisi (M)


Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema will start with five cars this year. In addition to the two Prema drivers Paul Aron and Jak Crawford, the Al Qubaisi family will start with three cars. The youngest Hamda will make her Formula Regional racing debut this weekend. She is the only woman so far who has made it onto the podium in Italian Formula 4 last year. Her sister Amna already competed in the F3 Asia Championship last year. A 14th place was her best result. Their father Khaled will also compete again, as he did last year. Red Bull Junior Jak Crawford is using FR Asia to prepare for his FIA F3 campaign with Prema in the main season. The 2020 ADAC F4 runner-up and multiple EF Open race winner could become one of the main contenders for the title. But his Estonian teammate Paul Aron can also be mentioned among the favorites. The Mercedes Junior finished the past Formula Regional EU by Alpine in a strong third place overall.


Hitech Grand Prix

Gabriele Minì, Isack Hadjar, Leonardo Fornaroli (R), Joshua Dufek (R), Owen Tangavelou (R)


Hitech Grand Prix sends four cars into the races at a time. The five drivers will rotate again and again. Gabriele Mini, the 2020 Italian Formula 4 champion, will contest only two of the five rounds. Leonardo Fornaroli, who is competing as a Formula Regional rookie, will start the first three rounds. The Italian won one race in Italian Formula 4 last year, finishing on the podium seven times. Joshua Dufek will also start as a Formula Regional Rookie and he also won a race in the Italian F4 Championship last season. The Swiss will also only be on the grid for the first three rounds. Owen Tangavelou will be another Formula Regional rookie and will race in the final three rounds. He still competed in French F4 last year and finished the championship in 5th place. The only driver who will contest all five rounds with Hitech is Red Bull Junior Isack Hadjar. The Frenchman is the reigning Formula Regional EU by Alpine Rookie Champion and already competed three rounds with Evans GP in F3 Asia last year. He therefore already knows the tracks. It is possible that another driver will join Hitech GP during the season.


BlackArts Racing

Ido Cohen, Brice Morabito, Thomas Luedi (M)


BlackArts Racing is entering three cars this year. Besides the Master driver Thomas Luedi, Brice Morabito starts for the first time in the Formula Regional class. He previously competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 series VdeV Single-Seater Challenge and in the Ultimate Cup Series. They get Israeli Ido Cohen as a teammate for this year. He competed last year for twenty races in FIA F3 with Carlin and then moved to Formula Regional EU by Alpine where a 13th place with JD Motorsport was his best result.


Mumbai Falcons India Racing

Arthur Leclerc, Dino Beganovic, Sebastián Montoya (R) & Oliver Bearman (R)


Mumbai Falcons India Racing is made up entirely of Prema drivers this year. Not surprisingly, as the team also receives technical support from Prema. Arthur Leclerc and Dino Beganovic will use the full five rounds to prepare for their main season. Both, FIA F3 driver Leclerc and FRECA driver Beganovic, can be counted among the favorites for the championship. Arthur won his first FIA Formula 3 race last year. Dino already started for three rounds in F3 Asia last year and therefore already knows the tracks. Oliver Bearman, a third Ferrari Junior, will also be on the grid. The double Formula 4 champion from last year will be present at the last two race weekends to prepare himself in the best possible way for the upcoming FIA F3 season with Prema. Sebastián Montoya will start as a Formula Regional rookie at the first three rounds. Nevertheless, he will be a hot contender for the rookie title, as a rookie is only allowed to participate in 3 out of 5 rounds. 


Evans GP - Evans Academy

Cem Bölükbaşı, Frederick Lubin (R), Nicola Marinangeli, David Morales (R) & Levente Révész (R)


Evans GP will start with five cars and split them into two teams. Frederick Lubin as a rookie and Nicola Marinangeli will start for the main team. The Briton Lubin started last year in the British Formula 3/GB3 Championship. For the Italian Marinangeli, it will be his third time on the grid in the UAE. In 2019 and 2020 he already competed for Xcel Motorsport in the F4 UAE. 2022 will be his third year at Formula Regional level. Evans GP will be completed by Cem Bölükbaşı. The Euroformula Open race winner was recently confirmed as Charouz's Formula 2 driver. So far, the Turk has only been entered for the first round. Evans' second team is called Evans Academy and consists of rookies David Morales and Levente Révész. American Morales competed in British Formula 4 last year, while Hungarian Révész competed in Italian and ADAC F4.


3Y Technology by R-ace GP

Gabriel Bortoleto, Hadrien David, Oliver Goethe, Lorenzo Fluxá, Francesco Braschi (R) & Léna Bühler


3YTechnolgy by R-ace GP will start with four cars. Oliver Goethe, Lorenzo Fluxá and Gabriel Bortoleto will contest the full program. The Dane Goethe started last year with MP Motorsport in the Formula Regional EU by Alpine. The Spaniard Fluxá already competed in the past two years in the UAE. 2020 in the F4 UAE and last year with BlackArts in the F3 Asia. He is therefore one of the most experienced drivers in the field in terms of track knowledge. Hadrien David, the reigning Formula Regional EU by Alpine runner-up, has so far only been announced for the first race weekend. The Swiss Léna Bühler, who already competed in FRECA last year, will only be present for the last two rounds. She is preparing for the W Series shootout, where she hopes to get a seat for 2022. Italian Francesco Braschi, who raced in Formula 4 last year, will compete in the final three rounds. The Brazilian Gabriel Bortoleto is also one of my main title favorites. He has already been on the Formula Regional EU by Alpine and Italian F4 podium several times.


Pinnacle Motorsport

Dilano van't Hoff (R), Pepe Martí (R), Ayato Iwasaki (R) & Salih Yoluç (M)


Pinnacle Motorsport is fielding three Formula Regional rookies this season. The reigning Spanish Formula 4 champion Dilano van't Hoff already contested a couple of Formula Regional EU by Alpine races at the end of last year. Pepe Martí from Spain won two races in Spanish Formula 4 last year and finished the championship in 3rd place. Japan's Ayato Iwasaki competes with a Philippine license and makes his debut in car racing. He finished second in the 2020 IAME Asia Cup in Malaysia. The team is completed by Turkish Le Mans winner Salih Yoluç, who will also compete in the Master category.



As was the case last year, this season will only be raced in the United Arab Emirates due to the ongoing Corona pandemic. All five race weekends will be held in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit and in Dubai at the Dubai Autodrome. They'll race the season opener and finale on the Grand Prix Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Dubai will host three rounds and will use a different circuit for Round 3 with the International Circuit instead of the Grand Prix Circuit version.


Round 1: Yas Marina Circuit - Grand Prix Circuit (22-23 January)

Round 2: Dubai Autodrome - Grand Prix Circuit (29-30 January)

Round 3: Dubai Autodrome - International Circuit (5-6 February)

Round 4: Dubai Autodrome - Grand Prix Circuit (12-13 February)

Round 5: Yas Marina Circuit - Grand Prix Circuit (19-20 February)


Each race weekend features at least one free practice session, plus two qualifying segments and three races. The results of the first qualifying session will form the starting grid for the first race. The starting grid for the second race will be in reverse order to the finish of the first race. The starting grid for the third race will again be the result of the second qualifying session.


The points system is the same as in Formula Regional EU by Alpine. The top ten finishers of every race get points like this. 25 points for the race winner. 18 for P2. 15 for P3. 12 for P4. 10 for P5. 8 for P6. 6 for P7. 4 for P8. 2 for P9. And 1 for P10. No points are awarded for pole positions or fastest laps. In addition to the driver and team championships, there will also be a rookie and masters title.


As I already did with some racing series last year, I dare to make a little prediction for this year's Formula Regional Asia drivers and teams championships.


Drivers Championship Prediction


P1: Jak Crawford

P2: Arthur Leclerc

P3: Isack Hadjar

P4: Gabriel Bortoleto

P5: Paul Aron


Overall, the starting field this year is probably a bit more talented than it already was last year. It feels like Prema has floated the grid with their drivers. It's almost impossible to make predictions this year. I think there are more than seven drivers who potentially can win the championship. Among them I count Jak Crawford, Arthur Leclerc, Isack Hadjar, Gabriel Bortoleto, Paul Aron, Dino Beganovic and maybe Cem Bölükbaşı or Hadrien David, depending on how many races they will enter. I picked Jak as my main title favorite. But probably I will be completly lost here.


Teams Championship Prediction


P1: Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema

P2: 3Y Technology by R-ace GP

P3: Mumbai Falcons


Like for the drivers title, we can expect an exciting battle for the team championship as well this year. I think there will be a three-way fight at the top between Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema, 3Y Technolgy by R-ace GP and Mumbai Falcons, closely followed by Hitech GP & Evans GP. But in the end Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema will win by a narrow margin, provided both of their top drivers are spared from defects and crashes as far as possible.


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

written by Claudio Graf (youngdriversmonthly) / 19th January, 2022