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FIA European F3 Round Up 2015

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Jordan Wilkins, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Formula 3.jpg
    This is the time of year when many drivers are confirming their plans for 2015, especially amongst young drivers in junior categories who want to snap up drives with the top line teams as soon as possible. This month has so far seen the FIA European F3 series grid begin to fill as many talented young drivers are announcing their plans within the series for this year.

    The latest driver to do this is Charles Leclerc, who this morning announced he was joining Van Amersfoot Racing for this year. Leclerc was widely expected to move up to the Formula Renault Eurocup after an impressive debut season in cars where he finished 2nd in the Formula Renault ALPS series. Leclerc tested for several European F3 teams during the winter, including front running teams Prema, Carlin, Van Amersfoot and Fortec before joining Van Amersfoot.

    Leclerc gave his thoughts on the announcement "I’m very happy to join Van Amersfoort Racing and the highly rated FIA F3 European Championship for this season,The team and I have an exciting challenge ahead of us. Following the test I did last December in Valencia, I really look foward to working with such an experienced and successful squad.The FIA F3 European Championship produced great champions in the past, so i think it’s the best place for me to keep growing as a driver."

    Alongside Leclerc this year at Van Amersfoot Racing it appears karting star Alessio Lorandi will follow the path of Max Verstappen last year and go from karting star to junior single seater prodigy as he steps up for a debut season in cars. Lorandi has tested for several European F3 teams but it appears he will join Van Amersfoot for this year although nothing has yet been confirmed.

    Another promising young driver to have recently confirmed his plans in the FIA European F3 championship is George Russell. The BRDC F4 champion and BRDC McLaren/Autosport Award winner also impressed with 4th in the Formula Renault ALPS series and was a race winner in sporadic Formula Renault Eurocup outings. After this hugely impressive debut season in cars the 17 year old Briton tested for Carlin during the winter before joining the team for this year.

    Russell added his thoughts on his new deal with Carlin "I am very excited to be starting the next chapter of my motor racing career with a team that has such incredible pedigree,My aim is to win races and championships and Carlin have plenty of experience in doing exactly that. To join the list of names that have driven for the team is a great honour and I am focused on making 2015 a strong year."

    Carlin are looking strong this year as they have also confirmed Gustavo Menezes alongside Russell. Menezes will be embarking on a second year in the series, after a debut year which netted two podiums and 11th overall with Van Amersfoot racing. Menezes will be looking to improve on the promise he showed last year, as he looks to cement his case for moving up the single seater ladder in the future.

    Reigning teams champion Prema powerteam is reloading with talent after last year, as the team have already signed Jake Dennis for this year. Dennis will be in his second year of the series, after being underwhelmed with his debut season with Carlin last year. Dennis still showed promise with three podiums and finished 9th overall in a high quality field last year. Dennis will be looking to challenge for the title this year, and with Prema the highly rated British driver will have the best chance possible of achieving this.

    Finally partnering Jake Dennis at Prema will be the very highly rated Canadian racer Lance Stroll this year. The Canadian is backed by Ferrari and their young driver academy, and after a successful karting career continued his success into his first year of cars last year. He dominated the Italian F4 championship with 7 wins and will now step up to the FIA European F3 championship. Stroll could be a rookie contender for victories if he lives up to his promise, although his rookie status may hinder him as he takes on talented second year drivers such as Jake Dennis.

    This year is shaping up to be another great year for the FIA European F3 championship, with plenty of talented and very quick young drivers looking to make their mark on the series. The quality of the field so far is not far off the quality of the 2014 European F3 grid, which is no mean feat considering the amount of quality drivers in the series last year.

    What are your thoughts on the 2015 FIA European F3 championship grid being assembled? Please feel free to comment below.
  2. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Commentator/Contributor Staff Premium Member

    A little bit on Lorandi, from PaddockScout.com:

    "In the previous two years, Lorandi was one of the most successful karters at KFJ level, and this year he carried his great form into the KF championships, too. Since 2012, he has finished every WSK series he has entered in the top three. This includes victory in the Super Master series in 2013, five runner-up spots (including this year’s Super Master and Champions Cup) and two third-places from eight championships.

    In additon, in 2012 he finished sixth in the CIK-FIA KF3 World Championship, before winning it the following year. This year, he finished the European championship in sixth and also won the two major early-season races – the Winter Cup and the Andrea Margutti Trophy."

    In addition, five of the currently announced drivers have made the top 30 within PaddockScout's Top 50 Prospects list this past season. Charles Leclerc is the highest-ranked at 17th, behind 16 other drivers who are already racing above Formula 3, or are set to move up to a higher-ranked category - and he just graduated from karting last season.

    European Formula 3 has, once again, restocked the shelves with a great crop of talent.