After five months without racing, the start of a new FIA Formula 3 season is here, with the paddock descending upon the Bahrain International Circuit for round one of what is sure to be a fascinating year.

After a solid three days of pre-season testing at the same venue the teams return to the Sakhir venue looking to use what they learned to make a fast start to the campaign.

They get that chance this weekend and here is all you need to know ahead of the first round of the 2023 campaign.

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The 17 rookies in this year’s field will line-up next to the 13 returning drivers, which include the likes of Dino Beganovic, Leonardo Fornaroli, Nikola Tsolov, Tommy Smith, and Luke Browning who all return to the teams they raced for in 2023.

Beganovic continues with PREMA Racing and will line-up next to Gabriele Minì, the Italian coming over from Hitech Pulse-Eight, and rookie Arvid Lindblad. Trident have two drivers making their debuts in F3, with Sami Meguetounif and Santiago Ramos joining Fornaroli.

READ MORE: What to watch for ahead of the season-opener in Bahrain

Elsewhere, MP Motorsport field a team of newcomers with Alex Dunne, Tim Tramnitz and Kacper Sztuka all preparing for their debut seasons. Jenzer Motorsport follow suit as they bring to the grid Charlie Wurz, Max Esterson and Matías Zagazeta.

Campos Racing have gone down the opposite path by opting for experience, as second year drivers Oliver Goethe, Sebastián Montoya, and Mari Boya make up their line-up.

Hitech also bring to the grid a couple of rookies with Cian Shields and Martinius Stenshorne joining Browning, while Sophia Floersch and newcomer Noel León are paired with Smith at Van Amersfoort Racing.

Christian Mansell makes the move over from Campos to ART Grand Prix and lines up next to Tsolov and another rookie in Laurens van Hoepen. Nikita Bedrin returns for a second season in the Championship but this time with PHM AIX Racing, where he will line up next to rookies Joshua Dufek and Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak.

Finally, Rodin Motorsport bring a couple of first year drivers themselves with Callum Voisin and Joseph Loake joining Piotr Wisnicki.

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FROM THE GRID – Dino Beganovic, PREMA Racing

“After such a long break it's really nice to be back. As a track Bahrain has got everything. Slow, medium, and high-speed corners, and that's what I like about it. At the same time, it has three DRS zones, so it gives you opportunities to overtake in the race and it gives you the possibility to go forward as well.

“F3 is very particular in qualifying. A lot of things need to go right but I would say to have a good starting point and not to start too far from the references is important. Then, you just build up and most of the time, if everything goes right, the best lap is always at the end.

“But then you never know there can be a red flag, so you always need to be there at the top, so you don't have to just count on the last lap and that's how you put it together.


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“Down to Turn 1 is a very good overtaking zone, as well as Turn 4 and Turn 11 which are all after the DRS zones. That's what I really like about this track because you can overtake, and it brings good racing.

“I want to have a good start to the year; I think it’s important. Looking at what Gabriel Bortoleto did last year was impressive, to get a gap at the beginning and just keeping it and maintaining it for the whole year.

"I am looking for that but it's not a tragedy if we don't do that, we can still fight back in the second part of the season or later in the first part.”


Managing tyres will be the name of the game for the teams in both the Sprint and Feature Races in Bahrain with heavy braking zones in play on an abrasive track surface in hot temperatures.

The track possesses four long straights with three of them being DRS zones but given the amount of slow speed corners and the twisty nature of the second sector, it means the teams can’t sacrifice too much downforce or they risk overusing the tyres.

Fuel will be a key talking point as well due to the layout of the circuit, with those heavy braking points, in particular Turn 1 and Turn 10, also making for substantial brake usage.

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The drivers will once again have their hands on the most durable of the Pirelli compounds, with the hard tyres set to be bolted on to their cars. However, a softer version of the compound with be used this weekend.

It will still also let the drivers deal with the abrasive nature of the Bahrain track, the heavy braking and traction demands, as well as the hot temperatures that generate heat in the tyres.

Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director

“Teams and drivers will have Pirelli’s latest hard tyre at their disposal for the first round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship. This is down to the particularly abrasive nature of the Sakhir track and the heavy braking and traction demands, as well as the high ambient temperatures that put plenty of heat into the tyres.

"A new version of the hard tyre makes its debut this weekend, which is a bit softer than last year’s equivalent. The teams were able to work on the set up with this new compound during testing at Sakhir two weeks ago: an additional challenge for a series that always guarantees close and unpredictable racing.”

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  • The Drivers’ Champion in each Formula 3 season has won at least one race at the opening round of the year.

  • Gabriele Minì and Oliver Goethe are the only drivers on the current grid that have won a race in Formula 3.

  • Minì and Goethe alongside Leonardo Fornaroli are the three drivers to have claimed pole position in the Championship.

  • Goethe and Dino Beganovic scored their maiden podium finishes in F3 at round one last year in Bahrain.

  • Beganovic is the highest placed finisher to return from the 2023 campaign, the PREMA Racing driver scored four podiums in total last year on his way to finishing sixth.

  • This year’s field is made up of 18 different nationalities, with Matías Zagazeta the first Peruvian driver, while Thailand is represented for the first time by Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak.

  • Sophia Floersch is the most experienced member of the grid with 34 race starts to her name.