Dubai-born Ed Jones is the reigning European F3 Open champion, clinching the title in the season ending race at Barcelona for his West-Tec F3 team. This year he is making his debut in the ultra-competitive FIA European Formula 3 Championship for Carlin.
The nineteen-year-old has been racing single-seater cars since 2011, primarily with Fortec Motorsport and West-Tec, but has moved to Trevor Carlin’s team and feels it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
“Joining Carlin, a team with so many race wins and championships in Formula 3 was a great opportunity for me,” said Jones to The Checkered Flag. “I have full confidence in the team and am trying to soak up as much as I can from the experienced people I will be working with this year. This is my first year in Euro F3 so it will be interesting to see how it goes.”
Jones made his series debut in the recent Silverstone round and finished in the points twice before an incident relegated him to fifteenth in race three. He qualified reasonably well in both qualifying sessions, made good starts that gained him positions and admitted it was a good weekend for him.
“Overall Silverstone was a successful weekend for me. Although we showed strong pace in pre season testing you never really know where you stand until you get to the first race weekend. Fortunately our work paid off and from the get go we were up near the front, P4 in practice and then P7 and P9 in qualifying.
“Finishing the first two races in P8 and P7 respectively we were unlucky when I was taken out in the third race running P6 at the time. Nevertheless the weekend was a strong base for the season and we can work from there to move even closer to the front over the coming races. We have identified a few areas we need to improve to achieve better results; a few with myself as well as with the car.”
Jones commented that he has grown as a driver in the past few years, and he was pleased his hard work was paying off, especially with the F3 Open title last year, and admits he is aiming to reach Formula 1 in the future but acknowledges the competitive nature of the FIA European Formula 3 series will make it a challenging season.
“I feel like I have developed massively as a driver over the last couple of years, last year being the highlight for progression,” said Jones. “It is also satisfying that I now understand a lot more about the driving and how the car works that every time I drive I am learning a little bit more to enhance my skill.
“This year is extremely important for myself. After learning so much last year in different series I now have the chance to put all my focus into just the FIA F3 Championship and perform at my best. The level this year is hugely competitive and creates an even greater value for good results in the championship.
“I do not set any particular targets as they are always changing on the circumstances at the time. However I am confident that I will be challenging for podiums in the near future with an aim to run in the top 5 consistently.
“In the end getting into F1 is about results, if I perform well enough I am sure I will get the opportunity to be there. In the mean time it is just about putting the work in and fulfilling my potential.”
Looking back at his European F3 Open Championship winning season in 2013, the United Arab Emirates driver was happy to have won the European F3 Open title.
“It is a great feeling to be the 2013 European F3 Open Champion. The title is one of the rewards for all the hard work and dedication I have put into motorsport over the years, I hope there are many more to come! Last year was very tough for me competing in a number of different series, changing between cars from one weekend to another can be quite challenging at times. Nevertheless I managed it in the end performing well in both F3 open and Formula Renault Eurocup. I learnt a huge amount about every aspect in racing that can be carried into this season and my future seasons.”