16 new names are rocketing up the timing screens when the fifth Formula 3 campaign burst into life with the season opener in Sakhir this weekend. Meanwhile, the Formula 2 grid also has its fair share of fresh faces – as 10 of last year’s F3 stars step up to the second tier.
Having learnt plenty of lessons from their time in the Championship, a selection of our 2022 graduates have shared their wisdom on how to thrive in F3. From playing the long game to putting in the graft, there’s lots for the class of 2023 rookies to take note of.
VICTOR MARTINS – ART GRAND PRIX
“I’ll go simple – bring together the one thing you want and how much you work for it, then you see if it’s balanced. Like some people, they want something, but they don’t do everything for it. Just to work really hard on it, on every aspect of the driving, the mental and physical side and then it will bring you to the top.”
ZANE MALONEY – RODIN CARLIN
“The one thing I would say going into your rookie season, especially in F3, is not to be too eager - let the results come to you and don’t force the results. The Championship is very long, so many points are available and there’s so many races for those points to be had. So, take your time with the Championship and don’t be too eager like I was.
“Stay calm and have as little crazy situations, crashes and mistakes as possible. Of course, if you have any speed at all, then you will be in contention for the Championship. It’s all about scoring points and not just crazy amazing results.”
OLIVER BEARMAN – PREMA RACING
“Just don’t forget that there’s DRS! Well not like that, but just be smart with the DRS because you have to really be careful with it. Some overtaking opportunities look amazing, but then you get passed in the next straight with DRS. It’s massively strategic with that extra thing, so just be wary of it.”
ISACK HADJAR – HITECH PULSE-EIGHT
“First of all, compared to if you come from Formula Regional or an F4 Championship, just be careful. Even if the guy in front doesn’t have the DRS or you don’t have the DRS, the tow is massively powerful. If you get to overtake someone before the main straight, I think you’re definitely going to be overtaken back because the tow is already super powerful and plus with DRS, it’s a disaster.
“Secondly, be ready to adapt to the Qualifying grip because from Free Practice to Qualifying there’s a lot of difference. Last year, I was shocked in Bahrain when I was going like 2 to 3 seconds quicker in Qualifying than Practice. I think that’s really something I would have liked someone to tell me before going into Qualifying. Also, just push the limits in Quali because the grip is improving a lot.”
ARTHUR LECLERC – DAMS
“Score as many points as possible – not like me! Finish every single race, especially because F3 is a Championship where a lot of things are happening and a lot of action. I would say, score as many points as possible, even in the bad weekends, just don’t try too hard.”
JUAN MANUEL CORREA – VAN AMERSFOORT RACING
“Number one would be to do a lot of simulator work to get familiar with the circuits because that will make a huge difference with the limited amount of driving time that we have. The second and most important one would be to just really, really send it.
“People say that, but when you’re going from Free Practice to Qualifying, putting two new sets on in Quali and going a few seconds faster, it’s very difficult to adapt to that when you’re coming from different categories. So, the best approach is just to really push like hell in Quali, find that limit of the car early on and keep it there. The same goes for the races in F3, you can push very hard the whole. It’s a competitive field though, so the key for me in F3 is the Qualifying.”