FIA Formula 3 will return for its second season on March 1, as the teams hit the track for three days of pre-season testing in Sakhir, Bahrain.

What to expect

With the knowledge of a debut season safely under their belts, the teams will make their hotly anticipated return to action in Bahrain.

Sessions will take place in the warm and dry conditions of the Sakhir desert, on the Bahrain International Circuit, which is set to host an F3 event for the first time later in March.

Running Sunday, March 1 to Tuesday, March 3, the day will be split into a morning session, from 9am until 11.30am, and an afternoon session, from 2.30pm until 5pm.

Driving on medium compounds, temperatures are expected to range between 22-25 degrees, in dry conditions, handing teams maximum track time to test the cars for the first time this year.

Peroni makes his return from injury following his crash in Monza

Fresh faces and returning favourites

With the top six drivers from the 2019 Championship all moving on – five of whom have graduated to Formula 2 – a host of new faces are set to do battle at the top of the table.

Lining up in Championship winning machinery, PREMA Racing’s new trio of drivers will face the daunting task of picking up from where their predecessors left off. Frederik Vesti and Oscar Piastri join the Italian side on the back of winning the Formula Regional European title and the Formula Renault Eurocup title. Lining up alongside them will be the returning Logan Sargeant, a podium finisher at this year’s FIA F3 World Cup in Macau.

Looking to take the fight to PREMA in 2020 will be 2019 Teams’ vice-champions Hitech Grand Prix, who have recruited the returning duo of Max Fewtrell and Liam Lawson, both of whom were podium finishers in the 2019 campaign. Joining them will be Italian F4 Champion Dennis Hauger.

ART have opted for a similar style of line-up to PREMA, running returning racer Sebastian Fernandez alongside a rookie pairing of Theo Pourchaire and Alexander Smolyar. Jake Hughes - the highest place finisher from 2019 to return to the grid – retains his seat at HWA RACELAB, alongside rookie duo Enzo Fittipaldi and Jack Doohan.

Meanwhile, Sophia Flörsch will become the first female racer to compete in F3 at Campos Racing, alongside Alessio Deledda and Alexander Peroni, who makes his return to the Championship following his recovery from a spinal injury suffered from a crash in Monza last year.