One round down, nine to go. Sakhir offered everyone the chance to hit the ground running in 2024 but there were a few names that stood above the rest on the Formula 3 grid.

Namely, Luke Browning will be happiest of all to have taken the first Feature Race win of the season in convincing fashion, while PREMA Racing rookie Arvid Lindblad produced a great drive himself for the Sprint Race victory.

Here’s a look at the 2024 grid, team-by-team coming out of Bahrain.


That’s right, it’s not Hitech Pulse-Eight who top the Teams’ Standings nor is it PREMA Racing atop their now familiar perch, instead it is their compatriots Trident that are on top of things after Sakhir.

They are no strangers to the summit of F3, but the team quietly went about their business and looked every bit as strong as you’d expect the Formula 3 outfit to be based on their past performances. There was no headline-grabbing result like a pole or race win, but all three drivers in Santiago Ramos, Sami Meguetounif and the returning Leonardo Fornaroli each looked comfortable top 10 contenders.

The former was spun around and out of the points in the Sprint after contact with Dino Beganovic on the opening lap, but that is the only blight on their record going into Melbourne. Strong one-lap pace and consistent race speed, watch out for Trident as they look to be contenders once again in 2024.


ART Grand Prix looked to be back on form with Mansell securing a podium in the Feature Race
ART Grand Prix looked to be back on form with Mansell securing a podium in the Feature Race

That’s more like it from the French squad. A tumultuous 2023 has given way to a much more familiar feeling of competitiveness after back-to-back podium results to kick off the year. Laurens van Hoepen and Nikola Tsolov battled for the Sprint victory, and it was the Dutch rookie that captured a podium result on his F3 debut to start the season on a high note. In the Feature Race, new arrival Christian Mansell looked every bit a second-year contender as he’d have hoped going into his follow-up F3 campaign and first with ART.

Nikola Tsolov’s Sakhir weekend in his words

Three top five finishes and two podiums was a great way to begin the new season but there is still work to be done if they are to maintain that level of performance. While all three were able to put together efforts that placed them inside the all-important top 12 in Qualifying, race pace ultimately cost Tsolov a points finish as he slipped away from the top 10 in the Feature. Next up is Melbourne, a track where they maybe could have been victorious around last season.


Following a weekend in which PREMA will have expected more, it’s rookie Lindblad that leads the way for the team after experienced teammates in Gabriele Minì and Dino Beganovic suffered misfortune and miscalculations. The Briton was in imperious form on Friday, winning the Sprint Race from fourth on the grid in what was his F3 debut to become the Championship’s youngest-ever winner at just 16 years old. Beganovic made a costly misjudgement at Turn 1 and collided with Trident’s Ramos, causing damage, and taking him out of contention.

RACE ANALYSIS: How rookie Lindblad showed experience beyond his years in Sakhir

In the Feature, a 1-3 on the grid gave the team a great opportunity to fight for the win but a slow getaway from the pole-sitting Swede left him last into Turn 1, and baulked Minì in the process, which also dropping the Alpine Academy talent down the order. Both fought back with the Italian taking points in P6 while Beganovic’s potential was on display as he fought back to 13th from last. Still, the reigning Champions will have no doubt wanted more from their opening salvo in Sakhir.


Browning kicked off the year with a win after a strong pre-season showing
Browning kicked off the year with a win after a strong pre-season showing

One Feature Race down, one race win notched up. Luke Browning and Hitech Pulse-Eight made their intentions clear over pre-season testing after topping days two and three in Sakhir and that pace wasn’t a mirage. The Briton was electric in Qualifying, losing out to Beganovic’s stellar lap in the fight for pole, but didn’t let that setback deter him. A penalty for an off-track overtake on Mansell dropped him out of the points in the Sprint, but his response in the Feature Race was exactly the kind of drive he’d been threatening for some time.

READ MORE: What We Learned: The Main Takeaways from the season-opening Sakhir weekend

Rookies Martinius Stenshorne and Cian Shields experienced tougher starts relative to Browning, but as expected ahead of the season by the team, both would be using the early rounds to get their feet under the table and learn the F3 ropes. With the British outfit fourth in the Standings and within touching distance of the top, alongside Browning heading up the Drivers’ Championship, it has been a hugely positive start to 2024 for the team.


Perhaps one of the overlooked stars of Round 1, Tim Tramnitz enjoyed a great F3 debut weekend with MP Motorsport, achieving back-to-back top five finishes including a third-place finish in his maiden Feature Race. The Red Bull Junior Team member was in fine form around the Bahrain International Circuit, a track he was visiting for the very first time in his career. His pace during testing had been promising though didn’t catch the headlines. Coming out of the race weekend though and might Tramnitz have made himself one to watch going forward in 2024? He will certainly hope so.

READ MORE: Dunne laments costly ‘mistakes’ in Sakhir but remains pleased with P9 Feature Race

Alex Dunne was frustrated leaving Bahrain but did secure points in his first race weekend. The Irishman was P9 after a spirited battle in the Feature Race but believes there was more for the taking. He is targeting an improvement in Qualifying performance for Melbourne, another first-time venue for much of the grid. Kacper Sztuka built up his confidence levels after stepping up from Italian F4. The Red Bull junior was 20th and 28th with both results not worth reading into too much. We will have to wait and see how the trio of rookies go in Melbourne next time out, a venue which MP showed competitive pace around last year.


Errors and misfortune disguised Campos Racings true level of performance in Bahrain
Errors and misfortune disguised Campos Racing's true level of performance in Bahrain

It was a far from ideal opening to the campaign for Campos Racing. The Spanish outfit entered the season as the only team with three returning drivers in 2023 and hoped that experience would pay off early on. That wasn’t the case as all three drivers endured their own issues. Sebastián Montoya had his best Qualifying time deleted for exceeding track limits, leaving him down in 29th on the grid. Mari Boya and Oliver Goethe were hardly happy on Thursday either, ending up 15th and 17th respectively, and the weekend hardly improved from there.

READ MORE: Team Principal Campos Jr says pace is there after bad luck halts Sakhir progress

Boya sustained a puncture on the second lap of the Feature Race as the Spanish outfit left Bahrain with six points to their tally. What makes them optimistic moving forward is the strong underlying pace that they weren’t able to fully display in Round 1. Boya showed promising speed running in clean air, but they all will be aiming to start further forward on the grid in Melbourne for Round 2.


It was a positive start to the year at Jenzer Motorsport though as Max Esterson stuck his car inside the top 12 in Qualifying and fought for a podium in the Sprint Race. The American ultimately fell back to sixth by the chequered flag, but it was a promising platform from which to build in what will be his first full F3 campaign. Teammates Charlie Wurz and Matías Zagazeta didn’t score in either the Sprint or Feature Races, but the duo will be aiming to replicate Esterson’s efforts next time out Down Under.

READ MORE: Esterson pleased with unexpected points finish in Sakhir Sprint


Van Amersfoort Racing will be aiming to bounce back and secure their first points of the season in Melbourne
Van Amersfoort Racing will be aiming to bounce back and secure their first points of the season in Melbourne

It was hardly the start to 2024 that Van Amersfoort would have been hoping for with Noel León, Sophia Floersch, and Tommy Smith each missing out on points in Sakhir. After what had been a positive pre-season test around the Bahrain International Circuit, the team were hopeful of a strong opening round to kick things off, but León missed out on reverse grid pole by just 0.069s as the lead VAR in Qualifying. It made the weekend very difficult from there on. None of the trio could recover to the points, though León made a good attempt of things, ultimately ending up just short in P12. They will be hoping for better things in Australia next round.


It was a much better start to 2024 than the team’s first F3 campaign last year. After securing just one top 20 in Sakhir in their maiden campaign, they achieved the feat four times over, with a best finish of P13 in the Sprint by Nikita Bedrin. The foundations to build from are stronger then and, as the team showed last season, they definitely build as the year goes on. What might Melbourne bring next time out? A fight for points isn’t out of the question.


A tough start to the year but there were some bright spots for Rodin Motorsport to kick off the campaign. Callum Voisin achieved P17 in Qualifying, a strong start for the British rookie in his first session. Joseph Loake misjudged an overtake at Turn 4 on MP’s Sztuka but had been battling for a top 20 result himself. It wasn’t the ideal start for the team but there is a feeling of positivity in the camp for what they can achieve going forward.