The Formula 3 (F3) European Championship has seen its silly season well and truly heat up with two big announcements on the driver front.
The first announcement is that Dutchman Dennis Van de Laar will join F3 front runners Prema Powerteam from his 2013 team Van Amersfoort Racing.
Van de Laar is the first team announced for the Mercedes powered Italian’s who aim to kick off their testing programme over the next few weeks.
The Dutch driver said about the move: “It isn’t apparent to be invited to race for a team with such an impressive history and track record. My extensive training with Van Amersfoort Racing has been the foundation that led towards this great step to the absolute top team in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. I can hardly imagine not to be driving with them, because ever since my very first time driving in a race car we have been connected. However it is also important to continue my learning curve and educational development in these new surroundings. Therefore I reported as of yesterday on behalf of Prema in Jerez for the start of our elaborate testing program in preparation of the 2014 season.”
From one driver entering Prema to one shock announcement of one leaving. Fourth placed finisher in the championship Lucas Auer, will join up with champion team kfzteile24 Mucke Motorsport.
After a season which saw one victory and eight podiums, Auer will move to Peter Mucke’s long standing F3 operation: “I am certain that I will be one of the front-runners again with the Mücke team next year. I would like to thank the Prema team for the good co-operation in the season that has now come to an end. Certainly, they don’t do such a good espresso at Mücke’s, but as I don’t drink coffee anyway, that doesn’t play a role for me.” Commented the 19-year-old.
Indeed Mucke himself is confident that he has made a good signing: “We already watched Lucas in the ATS Formula 3 Cup and also kept a close eye on his development this year. Signing him for next year was our goal and I am happy that we have achieved this. I am sure that he will make his way and I am looking forward to a successful season together with him.”
Austrian Auer will be in good company when he makes his race debut on 19/20 April in Silverstone, the team have already seen two Austrians through its doors in the past – both Martin Ragginger and Christian Klien have raced for Mucke in F3.