16-year-old Roman Staněk will become the youngest driver in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, with the Czech driver being announced as Niko Kari’s replacement at Charouz Racing System.

Staněk, who was set to compete in this season’s Formula Regional European Championship with PREMA, split with the side in June, and will now instead compete in F3.

Staněk, who only turned 16 in February, will join Igor Fraga and David Schumacher at Charouz and is set to make his debut on the official Road to F1 in Spielberg this weekend.

“If I was told that I was going to race in Formula 3 this year, I would not believe it, of Course,” Said Staněk. “But you have to seize these chances, so I am very well prepared to learn and fight. I want to race in Formula 1, so Formula 3 is the next logical step.”

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The Czech driver finished fourth in ADAC F4 last season and fifth in Italian F4, scoring three wins and a further six podiums across the two Championships.

Team owner Antonín Charouz said: “Yes, we will give Roman a chance. We sense that he is very talented and it would be a waste for him to drive anywhere else.

“I know, it’s an unusual step, to put Roman into the Formula 3 car after only one year in the junior series. On the other hand, it is not the first time.

"Previous young drivers received a similar chance already and they used it wisely. We all know that Roman has 'it'. He knows what to do, so there is no reason for him to not make it in F3.”