2012 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Jake Dennis has confirmed he will compete in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with category powerhouses Carlin this season.
Dennis will make the move into Formula 3 machinery for the first time after two seasons competing in Formula Renault 2.0, a title-winning campaign in the Northern European Cup in 2012 followed by a “frustrating” run to fourth in the Eurocup last year.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver is confident of a strong season, and hopes to make some outings in the British Formula 3 Championship alongside his European campaign.
“I’m excited to be joining Carlin and racing in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship,” Dennis told The Checkered Flag at the Autosport International Show.
“The car isn’t that much of a step-up from the Renault. When I tested it recently, I was on the pace pretty much straight away. Most people say F3 is a two-year programme, but [James] Calado showed you can do it in a season, finishing second in British F3, so it can be done. But we’re going to wait and see how it goes.”
The 18 year old had headed into the 2013 Eurocup hoping to add the championship to his NEC and InterSteps title wins, but a tough campaign meant he was unable to complete a unique championship treble.
“Last year was okay I guess,” he concluded. “Myself and the team wanted more, but when the new car came out we found we were off the pace initially at the start. We worked hard over the season, but the first three quarters of it we just couldn’t get the car right.
“Then the last three rounds when the car was at its best, we should have scored big points but bad luck meant we didn’t. Overall, finishing fourth as the top Eurocup debutant wasn’t too bad in the hardest junior category out there.”
*Keep an eye on TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk in the coming weeks for an interview with Jake on his recent Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One test drive, part of his prize fund for winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.*