With four titles in the five-year history of FIA Formula 3, PREMA Racing have been the dominant force in the Championship since its formation.

But there has been no letting up from the reigning Champions as they got stuck into their work at the three-day pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Team Principal Rene Rosin described the test as “important” as while PREMA are looking to make further gains on their rivals, they are also trying to get their new driver line-up ready for the new season.

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“In Formula 3 apart from Dino Beganovic we have a completely new line-up,” said Rosin. “So, it's important now to regroup, understand all what we have done, see the plus and minus and just get ready for the first round.”

In Beganovic, they have a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy who has been a part of the team since 2020 when he took part in the Italian F4 Championship, where he finished third in his lone season in the category.

He is all set for a second campaign as a part of the team in FIA Formula 3 and comes into the year as the highest placed finisher from the 2023 Standings on the grid. With four podiums to his name, he ended up sixth in the Standings.

Beganovic and Minì will be looking to win the title in their second seasons in F3
Beganovic and Minì will be looking to win the title in their second seasons in F3

The Swedish driver looked in good touch throughout his 143 laps in Sakhir and later converted that strong pace by topping the timesheets in the afternoon session on the final day.

It’s a good start to a season in which Beganovic admits he is looking to become more consistent. He hopes this will help him repeat his title-winning exploits from the Formula Regional European Championship in 2022 in F3 this year.

But there will be another driver sitting in the garage next to him that will also have desires of winning the title. Gabriele Minì makes the move over from Hitech Pulse-Eight to PREMA for what will also be his second season in the Championship.

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The Alpine Academy driver cut a very relaxed yet focused figure in the paddock and that could be because he is returning to familiar surroundings where he has enjoyed success in the past.

Minì beat Beganovic to win that Italian F4 title in 2020 with PREMA and looked in good form throughout testing as he led the way for the team in all four sessions in the opening two days.

He was constantly in an around the top of the timesheets throughout testing and was fifth in each session on Day 1 before going third in the morning segment on the following day.

Mini returns to PREMA in 2024 after racing for the team in 2020
Mini returns to PREMA in 2024 after racing for the team in 2020

The Italian driver will be keen to build on his rookie campaign in the category that included victories in the Monaco Feature Race and the Budapest Sprint event.

His 139 laps in pre-season serves as a good start for him and for PREMA as it gives both parties a solid foundation from which to build ahead of round one.

The final driver in PREMA’s 2024 line-up is rookie Arvid Lindblad, the 16-year-old being the youngest driver in this year’s grid.

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Rosin was impressed with the performance of the young British racer, saying that he was “satisfied” having viewed Lindblad’s showing in his 134 laps in Sakhir.

While he has plenty of history driving for PREMA, which includes winning the Macau Formula 4 race at the end of 2023 and placing third at last year’s Italian F4 Championship with the team, this will still be a new experience for him.

Therefore, it could take a while for him to adapt to the new car as well as the new tracks that he will have to face. This showed in the fact that he trailed his teammates on the timesheets in each session, although the pair should serve as useful benchmarks for Lindblad.

Lindblad is the lone rookie in PREMAs F3 line-up in 2024
Lindblad is the lone rookie in PREMA's F3 line-up in 2024

But his pace seemed to improve compared to Beganovic and Minì with each passing session, showing that he was learning pretty quickly. He wound up in an impressive fifth in the afternoon segment on the final day.

This is eye catching when you consider that he was just over a tenth behind Minì in fourth, and about two and half tenths off pace-setter Beganovic. In such early stages that is a very positive start.

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But PREMA still believe there is plenty of work left to be done and despite how strongly they ended pre-season Rosin is not resting on his laurels.

“We need to keep looking forward,” said Rosin. “We need to continue working, never stop, and I think that everything will be okay.”