The FIA Formula 3 Championship will start its new season in less than a week at the Bahrain International Circuit. 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 weekend format and scoring system, as well as a short report on the pre-season testing. At the end you will find my predictions for the drivers and team championships.


As usual, ten teams with three cars each will be on the grid again this year. The starting place of Charouz Racing System is now taken by PHM Racing in cooperation with Charouz. In addition, Hitech with software company Pulse-Eight has a new title sponsor. While Rodin Cars beacme the majority shareholder of the Carlin team and starts the season as "Rodin Carlin". Prema Racing enters the new season as the defending team champions.


Prema Racing

Dino Beganovic, Paul Aron, Zak O'Sullivan


The Italian Prema Racing team has two familiar faces and one new one on the grid for the 2023 FIA F3 season. Dino Beganovic is entering his first Formula 3 year after two years in Formula Regional. The Ferrari Junior is the reigning champion of Formula Regional EU by Alpine. In addition, the dual Swedish-Bosnian citizen finished third in the Italian F4 2020, also with the Prema team. One of his teammates already raced with him in Formula Regional last year. Paul Aron finished third in the championship with six wins and eight podiums. The Mercedes Junior from Estonia has also raced with Prema in Formula 4 and finished third in the 2019 Italian championship. Completing the team is Zak O'Sullivan. The Briton already brings one year of FIA F3 experience with Carlin. He made it to pole position once last season, turned a fastest lap and finished on the podium twice. He finished the championship in eleventh place. The Williams Junior was runner-up in the British F4 in 2020 and won the drivers' title in the GB3 championship the following year.



Leonardo Fornaroli, Gabriel Bortoleto, Oliver Goethe


The 2021 Team Championship winners from Trident will be competing with three new drivers. Leonardo Fornaroli raced with the team in Formula Regional EU by Alpine last year and is now making the move to FIA Formula 3. The Italian finished eighth in the Formula Regional championship. In 2021 he won a race in Italian F4 and was on the podium seven times. One of his teammates also comes from Formula Regional. Gabriel Bortoleto competed there last year with R-ace GP. The Brazilian won two races, stood on the podium five times and finished the championship in sixth place. The team is completed by Oliver Goethe. The descendant of German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe enters his first full season in FIA F3. Last year he became Euroformula Open champion. The Danish-German dual citizen won eleven races last year and was on the podium 18 times.


ART Grand Prix

Kaylen Frederick, Grégoire Saucy, Nikola Tsolov


The French ART Grand Prix team starts the new Formula 3 season with two new and one familiar driver. Kaylen Frederick is contesting his third year in FIA F3, having previously competed for one year each with Carlin and Hitech. So far he has not made it to the podium. His best race result to date is a fifth place in the sprint race at the Silverstone Circuit. The American won the British BRDC Formula 3 in 2020. Grégoire Saucy enters his second FIA F3 year and his fourth year with ART GP. The Swiss won the 2021 Formula Regional European Championship with them. He finished fifteenth in Formula 3 last year, taking a podium finish in the season opener at the Bahrain International Circuit. The third driver in the team is Nikola Tsolov. The Bulgarian is starting his first Formula 3 year. Last season, the Alpine Junior won the Spanish Formula 4 with 13 race wins, 15 pole positions and a total of 18 podiums.


MP Motorsport

Franco Colapinto, Mari Boya, Jonny Edgar


Three new drivers have been signed to the Dutch MP Motorsport team. Franco Colapinto is entering his second season in FIA Formula 3. Last year he was still competing with Van Amersfoort Racing and finished the championship in ninth place. The Argentine won the sprint races at Imola and Monza. He became a member of the Williams Driver Academy this year. Mari Boya is starting his first year in Formula 3. Last year the Spaniard was still racing in Formula Regional EU by Alpine with ART GP and MP. In the process, he stood on the podium once and finished the championship in tenth place. In 2020 he was also runner-up in the Spanish F4. During the preparation for the new season he already was victorious in Formula Regional Middle East. The team is completed by Jonny Edgar. The Briton was one of the top favorites for the title last year, but after his Crohn's disease diagnosis, which caused him to lose a lot of weight, he withdrew from the championship for the time being. On his comeback at Silverstone, he made it straight back into the points in eighth place. Back in 2020, the Red Bull Junior won the ADAC Formula 4.


Hitech Pulse-Eight

Sebastián Montoya, Gabriele Minì, TBA


At the British team of Hitech Pulse-Eight are so far only two drivers officially confirmed. Already confirmed are Montoya and Minì, two new F1 Team juniors. Sebastián Montoya joined the Red Bull Junior Team this year. The Colombian was still competing with Prema in Formula Regional EU by Alpine last year. In 2021 he finished fourth in the Italian F4 and at the start of the 2022 season won his only two races to date with Mumbai Falcons in Formula Regional Asia. His teammate this year is Gabriele Minì, who also competed in Formula Regional last season. The Italian was became runner-up with ART Grand Prix in that year, winning three races in the process. The 2020 Italian F4 champion has recently joined the Alpine Academy. The third place at Hitech will probably be taken, at least for a few races, by the reigning GB3 champion Luke Browning.


Van Amersfoort Racing

Caio Collet, Rafael Villagómez, Tommy Smith


The Van Amersfoort Racing team is entering its second F3 season with two of their three drivers not being part of the team last year. Caio Collet joins the team after two years with MP Motorsport. The Brazilian has won two races in the racing series so far. He won the French Formula 4 in 2018 and was runner-up in the 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup. One of his teammates for this year is Rafael Villagómez. The Mexican was already racing with Van Amersfoort Racing in FIA F3 last year. In preparation for the new season, he competed in Formula Regional Middle East, where he has so far clinched one podium finish. The third driver this year is Tommy Smith. In recent years, the Australian has mainly competed in the GB3 Championship, where he made it onto the podium twice.


Rodin Carlin

Hunter Yeany, Oliver Gray, Ido Cohen


The British-New Zealand team around Rodin Carlin is starting with three new drivers compared to last year. Nevertheless, two of them have already worked with the team. Hunter Yeany will start his second full season in FIA F3. The 2020 F4 US champion has unfortunately not yet been able to attract attention in Formula 3. His last podium came in 2021 in the GB3 Championship with Fortec at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Oliver Gray enters his FIA F3 rookie season this year. The Williams Junior battled for the British Formula 4 title last year, where he finished runner-up. With the Carlin team, he won two races and finished on the podium 16 times. The team is completed by Ido Cohen. The Israeli is entering his third Formula 3 season and was already racing with Carlin in 2021. Last year he scored his first two points with Jenzer Motorsport.


Campos Racing

Pepe Martí, Christian Mansell, Hugh Barter


Campos Racing is starting the new season with two new drivers. Only Pepe Martí was already racing with the team in Formula 3 last year. After his runner-up finish in Formula Regional Asia in 2022, he has not yet been able to match that performance in F3. In 2021, he finished third overall in Spanish Formula 4. One of his teammates is Christian Mansell. The Australian raced in the Euroformula Open last year, where he won three races, finished on the podium 15 times and finished the championship in third place. At the end of last year he already made his first steps in FIA F3 with Charouz. The third driver for this season comes from Formula 4, Hugh Barter was runner-up in both French and Spanish F4 last year. Together with the Campos team he took six victories in Spanish Formula 4 and was on the podium 13 times.


Jenzer Motorsport

Alex García, Taylor Barnard, Nikita Bedrin


The Swiss team around Jenzer Motorsport has signed three new drivers for this year. Alex García raced in the Euroformula Open last year, where he finished the championship in seventh place. The Mexican made the podium once in the process, finishing third at Monza. His teammates for this year were still racing with PHM Racing in Formula 4 last year, but both were victorious in Formula Regional Middle East just a few weeks ago. Taylor Barnard is the reigning and most recent runner-up in German ADAC Formula 4, with the Briton winning no fewer than five races last year and finishing on the podium a further five times. Nikita Bedrin won a total of five Formula 4 races in the Italian F4, German ADAC F4 and Formula 4 UAE over the last two years. Both Barnard and Bedrin were also extremely successful during their karting careers.


PHM Racing by Charouz

Sophia Flörsch, Roberto Faria, Piotrek Wiśnicki


The PHM Racing team, new for this season, has signed two Formula 3 rookies and a driver who is making her FIA F3 comeback. Sophia Flörsch last raced in Formula 3 with Campos Racing in 2020. Her best result was twelfth in the second race at Monza. In the past two years, she has mainly competed in the DTM and the European Le Mans Series. In the ELMS she finished on the podium twice with the Algarve Pro Racing Team. Roberto Faria has been racing in the British GB3 Championship for the last couple of years, where he scored a race win at Spa-Francorchamps in 2021. The Brazilian finished the last two championships in fifth place. He also is a member of the Sauber Academy since last season. The German team is completed by Piotrek Wiśnicki. The Pole raced in Italian F4 with Jenzer Motorsport in 2020 and 2021. Last year he competed with KIC Motorsport in Formula Regional EU by Alpine and finished the season in 35th place.


This year, two more races will be held. A total of 20 races will now be held on ten weekends. In addition to the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia, the weekend in Monaco is also new. For the first time since 2012, when the racing series was still called GP3 Series, F3 races will be held on the streets of Monaco. No longer on the calendar, however, is the race weekend at Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands. The season finale will again be held at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.


Round 1: Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir (4-5 March)


Round 2: Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne (1-2 April)


Round 3: Imola Circuit, Imola (20-21 May)


Round 4: Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo (27-28 May)


Round 5: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona (3-4 June)


Round 6: Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (1-2 July)


Round 7: Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone (8-9 July)


Round 8: Hungaroring, Mogyoród (22-23 July)


Round 9: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot (29-30 July)


Round 10: Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza (2-3 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.


There are two races per weekend, one sprint race on Saturday and the main race on Sunday. The practice and qualifying sessions will take place on Friday as usual.


The points system awards two points for the feature race pole position and one point for the fastest lap in each race. The following points are awarded for the sprint race on Saturday: P1 = 10, P2 = 8, P3 = 6, P4 = 5, P5 = 4, P6 = 3, P7 = 2, P8 = 1. And for the feature race on Sunday, these points are awarded: P1 = 25, P2 = 18, P3 = 15, P4 = 12, P5 = 10, P6 = 8, P7 = 6, P8 = 4, P9 = 2, P10 = 1.


From February 14-16, 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. On the first day, Grégoire Saucy was the fastest both in the morning and in the afternoon sessions. And also in the morning of the second day the Swiss was not to be beaten. Only in the afternoon session of day two, rookie Gabriele Minì managed to achieve a faster lap than the ART GP driver. Following a change in the test schedule, only one four-hour session was held on Thursday morning instead of two two-and-a-half-hour sessions. Gabriel Bortoleto was the fastest driver in this last practice session. The fastest time of the test overall was set by Grégoire Saucy in the morning session of Day 2 with a 1m46.642s.


Day 1 - Morning

P1: Grégoire Saucy - ART GP / 1m49.155s

P2: Taylor Barnard - Jenzer / +0.044s

P3: Zak O'Sullivan - Prema / +0.293s

P4: Jonny Edgar - MP / +0.301s

P5: Pepe Martí - Campos / +0.345s


Day 1 - Afternoon

P1: Grégoire Saucy - ART GP / 1m47.563s

P2: Paul Aron - Prema / +0.326s

P3: Pepe Martí - Campos / +0.562s

P4: Kaylen Frederick - ART GP / +0.573s

P5: Zak O'Sullivan - Prema / +0.599s


Day 2 - Morning

P1: Grégoire Saucy - ART GP / 1m46.642s

P2: Dino Beganovic - Prema / +0.479s

P3: Gabriele Minì - Hitech / +0.524s

P4: Gabriel Bortoleto - Trident / +0.555s

P5: Franco Colapinto - MP / +0.624s


Day 2 - Afternoon

P1: Gabriele Minì - Hitech / 1m48.175s

P2: Grégoire Saucy - ART GP / +0.036s

P3: Sebastián Montoya - Hitech / +0.099s

P4: Caio Collet - VAR / +0.143s

P5: Dino Beganovic - Prema / +0.154s


Day 3 - Morning

P1: Gabriel Bortoleto - Trident / 1m47.417s

P2: Gabriele Minì - Hitech / +0.035s

P3: Grégoire Saucy - ART GP / +0.102s

P4: Paul Aron - Prema / +0.224s

P5: Hugh Barter - Campos / +0.287s


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: Zak O'Sullivan

P2: Franco Colapinto

P3: Grégoire Saucy

P4: Dino Beganovic

P5: Gabriel Bortoleto


My top favorite for the drivers' title in FIA F3 this year is Zak O'Sullivan. The Briton has already proven his speed in recent years. And in a Prema car, the Williams Junior is definitely one of the strongest drivers on the grid. Behind him, things are very open for me. There are several interesting newcomers in the field like Paul Aron, Dino Beganovic, Gabriel Bortoleto, Gabriele Minì, Nikola Tsolov, Leonardo Fornaroli and some more. And there are several strong drivers who were already there last year. Franco Colapinto is one of them and high on my list. I also count Grégoire Saucy among the other candidates in the fight for the title. I already underestimated the Swiss in 2021 when he won the title in Formula Regional EU by Alpine and I won't do it again. All in all, though, the title fight in Formula 3 is wide open and an exciting season is guaranteed.


Teams Championship Prediction


P1: Prema Racing

P2: ART Grand Prix

P3: MP Motorsport


In the team championship, I see Prema in the lead once again. The driver line-up of Zak O'Sullivan, Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic is, in my opinion, the strongest of all teams. Behind them MP Motorsport, ART Grand Prix and Trident will probably duel for the other places. In the extended midfield I see Van Amersfoort Racing, Hitech, Carlin and Campos. I am especially curious about the performance of Jenzer Motorsport and the new team PHM Racing by Charouz. Both were usually at the back of the field last year, but are starting the new season with some promising drivers, such as Taylor Barnard, Nikita Bedrin or Roberto Faria.


The first race of the year will take place on Saturday, 4th March in Bahrain.

written by Claudio Graf  / 16th February, 2023