Former Carlin driver Lucas Foresti has made the switch to close British Formula 3 rivals Fortec Motorsport, it has been announced. The Brazilian will enter his second season in the series in 2011, having made his British F3 debut with the Carlin team last season.
Foresti suffered a rather lackluster year in 2010, managing only 13th place in the championship with a team that are used to dominating the series with its high number of drivers. In Foresti’s defense however, the 18-year old was competing in the GP3 series and the Toyota Racing Series in the same season, arguably affecting his ability to focus entirely on one championship campaign.
Foresti ended his F3 season with Fortec at the Macau Grand Prix, perhaps signalling team’s and his own desire to compete for them. It is understood that Foresti will also bring the livery of red and white seen in Macau to his Dallara throughout 2011, courtesy of his main backing sponsor Radiex. After the announcement of his move, Foresti stated his reasons for the switch:
“At the end of last season I was with them (Fortec) at the GP of Macau and I was really pleased with their work and the attention of everyone in the team.” He added, “I'm sure that the combination of a winning team and a driver who now knows all the tracks will be the ingredients for victories. In addition, the tradition of Mercedes-Benz engines will certainly help us in our title push.”
The switch now means Foresti will be teamed with Irishman William Buller, who will also begin his second year of F3 and Britain’s Harry Tincknell, who confirmed his step up from Formula Renault to British F3 in January.
Buller, who finished 8th overall in 2010 also drove for Fortec in Macau alongside championship challenger Oli Webb, finishing 15th on his debut for the team. He is confident in his decision to join them, “We had several offers on the table but this is the right decision for me. The Fortec car is very competitive and I have a good relationship with all the guys on the team. I have learned a lot this year and we are now in a good situation to plan our title bid for next year.”
Team owner Richard Dutton was also happy to sign Buller for a full season. “I am really pleased to have Will back with us at Fortec. He is a true racer with excellent car control and certainly will be a championship contender next year.”
19-year old Tincknell competed last year in Formula Renault, securing 2 wins at Rockingham and Snetterton on the way to 5th place in the championship. He too has several positive reasons to make the jump into Formula 3.
“Fortec had a good year in Formula 3, taking Oli Webb, who I raced against in my first year of Formula Renault, to vie for the championship in his debut season,” “That really helped my decision to join them.” Harry said. “Formula 3 has such a great history, it's the next step on an exciting ladder, and it's one step closer to GP2 and Formula 1. It's a championship that people really take notice of.”
Dutton also commented on signing Tincknell, saying: “I'm delighted that Harry has signed for Fortec. Having watched him over the last couple of years, his progress has been outstanding and we look forward to a successful year ahead in Formula 3.”
With the first day of official testing for the 2011 British Formula 3 Championship completed, a dominant Carlin display looks already tough to beat. However, the nature of testing is always one of unpredictability and constant attempts to keep rivals unsure and unaware of their own true abilities, so Fortec’s championship-winning potential could be as-of-yet unrevealed.