Formula 3

PREVIEW: FIA Formula 3 Testing – Sakhir

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Credit: FIA Formula 3

The 2022 FIA Formula 3 Championship roars back into life this week (2 March – 4 March) as pre-season testing begins at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The 30-car grid will feature 18 nationalities, three F3 race-winners and six podium-finishers, with plenty of promising and proven talents looking to follow in the footsteps of Robert Shwartzman, Oscar Piastri and Dennis Hauger and take the title.

Notably, the last three Drivers’ champions have come from the Prema Racing stable, and the Italian outfit took the 2019 and 2020 Teams’ Championship, only usurped last year by Trident.

Prema were dominant in 2019 and 2020, only missing out on the Teams’ title by four points after 20 races.

It would be logical, then, to look there first when discussing where the 2022 Drivers’ champion might come from. The returning Arthur Leclerc and Jak Crawford will be joined by Italian and ADAC F4 champion Ollie Bearman, with the Ferrari Driver Academy prospect looking to keep the second-year drivers on their toes.

Prema will have a new team to compete against in 2022, with HWA Racelab being replaced by Van Amersfoort Racing. Of HWA’s 2021 drivers, Hungaroring race winner Matteo Nannini, Oliver Rasmussen and Rafael Villagomez, the latter has moved to the Dutch team for its first year in F3.

Nannini appears to be without a drive at time of writing, while Rasmussen will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA Endurance Cup with Jota Sport in the LMP2 class.

All but one of the 30 seats has been filled at time of writing, with Jenzer Motorsport announcing on Tuesday (1 March) that Patrik Pasma will test with the team in the only seat left unfilled.

The 2022 FIA F3 pre-season test will offer 15 hours of track time at the Bahrain International Circuit, before the season begins in the desert for the first time in the Championship’s history on Friday 18 March.

The six sessions will be particularly representative, as all ten teams will use the hard tyre in both testing and across the first race weekend of the season.

Last year’s highest-placed rookie, Victor Martins, has moved to ART Grand Prix and must be considered among the title favourites.

Teams’ champions Trident have an all-new driver line-up for 2022, with Jack Doohan and Clement Novalak graduating to the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Virtuosi Racing and MP Motorsport respectively. David Schumacher will compete in the DTM with Winward AMG.

That left three seats available at the top table with Trident, seats which were quickly filled by Jonny Edgar, Zane Maloney and Roman Stanek.

Carlin will run three rookies in GB3 champion Zak O’Sullivan, Brad Benavides and newly-announced Enzo Trulli, having finished in the bottom three of the standings in the last three seasons, and last outright in 2021 with 25 points.

FIA Formula 3 Championship Sakhir Pre-season Test Entry List

No.NameTeam
1Jonny EdgarTrident
2Roman StanekTrident
3Zane MaloneyTrident
4Arthur LeclercPrema Racing
5Jak CrawfordPrema Racing
6Oliver BearmanPrema Racing
7Victor MartinsART Grand Prix
8Gregoire SaucyART Grand Prix
9Juan Manuel CorreaART Grand Prix
10Caio ColletMP Motorsport
11Alex SmolyarMP Motorsport
12Kush MainiMP Motorsport
14Laszlo TothCharouz Racing System
15Ayrton SimmonsCharouz Racing System
16Francesco PizziCharouz Racing System
17Kaylen FrederickHitech GP
18Isack HadjarHitech GP
19Nazim AzmanHitech GP
20David VidalesCampos Racing
21Hunter YeanyCampos Racing
22Josep Maria MartiCampos Racing
23Ido CohenJenzer Motorsport
24Patrik PasmaJenzer Motorsport
25William AlataloJenzer Motorsport
26Zak O’SullivanCarlin
27Brad BenavidesCarlin
28Enzo TrulliCarlin
29Franco ColapintoVan Amersfoort Racing
30Rafael VillagomezVan Amersfoort Racing
31Reece UshijimaVan Amersfoort Racing
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Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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