Formula 3 teams don’t just have to work with drivers and their sponsors, but also Formula 1 academies, and few sides have as much experience in that area as PREMA Racing, who have now won titles with the Ferrari, Alpine and Red Bull junior teams.
Robert Shwartzman of Ferrari took the crown in 2019 and was followed by Alpine’s Oscar Piastri, before Dennis Hauger of Red Bull clinched the title this season, and it’s an achievement that Team Principal René Rosin is extremely proud of.
“I think that it is quite important to push on the fact we've taken three Drivers Championships in a row with three different F1 academy teams,” said Rosin. “I don't think many teams will have done this before.
“We have always worked with young drivers. We prefer focusing on younger drivers more than experienced drivers because I think that one of our secrets is our ability to extract the maximum from each driver. We are really proud to be able to work with them and win with them.”
Winning all three Drivers’ Championships since F3 began in 2019, as well as two Teams’ titles, PREMA have enjoyed unrivalled success in the third tier, winning a total of 24 races and 56 podiums.
Of those, Hauger took nine podiums, including four wins, on his way to the 2021 title. Ferrari junior Arthur Leclerc added a further two wins and a podium, with Olli Caldwell scoring one win and three more podiums.
“I’m proud to be able to work with different manufacturers all of the time and be able to always achieve the maximum. The fact that we've worked with three different teams shows that we can achieve with all drivers.
“This year, we had Arthur Leclerc winning races with Ferrari, as well as Hauger, and we also had Olli Caldwell taking podiums and wins. It shows that we are always capable of achieving the best results, with any driver.
“At the end of the day, yes they are representing an F1 driver academy, but they are PREMA drivers, and we always want to give our drivers the best.”
In particular, Hauger underwent a remarkable transformation after joining PREMA on the back of a difficult rookie season with Hitech Grand Prix, where he’d flattered to deceive, taking just two top 10 finishes.
Finishing out of the points just four times in 2021, the Norwegian was able to regain his confidence with the help of PREMA and is now regarded as one of the most promising junior drivers on the Road to F1.
“He was a bit worried after a difficult season, but since the first test this year, we saw exactly what he was capable of. It was just a question of self-confidence,” said Rosin. “Straight away from the first test last year, we immediately saw that Dennis could do a very, very good job.
“Apart from the mistake in Race 2 at Barcelona where he crashed out with (Matteo) Nannini (while fighting for the lead), everything worked pretty well. He was impressive and has had a very solid season in this championship.”