Race 100 in FIA Formula 3 history is fast approaching and who better to ask about the action over the years than the drivers that can call themselves FIA F3 Champions?

So, from 2019 all the way through to 2023, we asked our Champions about their favourite moments from their time in F3, from title-deciding moments to their best races in the Championship.

Up first, our inaugural winner, Robert Shwartzman, 2019 FIA F3 Drivers’ Champion.

Robert Shwartzman – 2019 Drivers’ Champion with PREMA Racing

Shwartzman put together a hugely impressive season to become F3s first Drivers Champion
Shwartzman put together a hugely impressive season to become F3's first Drivers' Champion

“The top one is going to be winning the title in the final round. It was the most challenging moment of my career and also one of the best because the pressure was crazy in that race.

“Before Qualifying I didn’t sleep properly for at least a couple of nights before, barely sleeping and I was really tired, so I was surprised by the level of performance. It was like something special happened. I also had my dad there so everything was just perfect that day.

“At that point in the year, you’re about to achieve something like that's a dream, it’s still not there yet so not certain and anything can happen. So, at that point, there can be doubts creeping in, what ifs in your head, what if this happens or what if that happens? So there can be negative thoughts along with the positive ones, but you’re always thinking about what might happen. That pressure is unavoidable, it’s impossible not to have it.

“Winning the F3 title helped a lot, any title win does but especially Formula 3. It definitely showed the F1 and F2 paddock that if you manage to win it means you’re one of the best drivers in that category, so you’re at the top of the list for teams to make a decision.

“From that moment, I moved up to F2 with PREMA. The discussions were quite simple, plan was to keep winning after making the jump from F3 to F2. The season wasn’t the smoothest like it had been in F3, but we still had some nice moments and good results.

“I still watch races sometimes; I don’t follow every race but if I’m at the track I’m watching F3 and F2 as well. It’s a good reminder of where I came from. It’s good to see the new guys coming through and how they race and what’s going on there. So, I still watch both Championships.”

READ MORE: Road to 100: Shwartzman and PREMA become F3’s first Champions

Oscar Piastri – 2020 Drivers’ Champion with PREMA Racing

In a nail-biting finale Piastri triumphed at Mugello to win the 2020 title
In a nail-biting finale, Piastri triumphed at Mugello to win the 2020 title

“My favourite memory is definitely winning the Championship, it’s just a really good memory. I can remember the weekend pretty much perfectly, winning my first race in Austria too was a very nice way to kick things off but there is not really any better feeling than winning a Championship.

“The night before I was pretty nervous. I think going into the final race Logan and I were level on points, and I was starting 11th and he was starting like third or fourth. To be honest I kind of accepted that there was a big chance I wasn't going to win the Championship. I had some good fortune, or some bad fortune for Logan and then had a good race and managed to win from there. I had been very nervous the night before but the night after I was just extremely happy. We all went back to PREMA because it was not far from there and had dinner with all the team, so that a very cool way to cap off.

“I think in terms of who I am now it didn't change a massive amount, but I think as a driver it definitely added a lot. I think it was difficult me for quite a few reasons on track, a lot of adversity at different points and I think the way I tried to handle it, I definitely learned a lot about myself and came out of the other side of some things pretty happy with how I reacted, some things needed to be worked on but really learned a lot about that. You can always say you learned more in the hard times than in the good times, even if I still did win.

“Even for what it meant for my career, it was my second Championship in a row, created quite a bit of hype going into F2 and expectation of if I could win three in a row, but being able to say that I won three Championships in a row without that middle one would have definitely not had the same effect or impact of getting me into Formula 1.”

READ MORE: Road to 100: Piastri wins a nail-biter as PREMA make it two in a row

Dennis Hauger – 2021 Drivers’ Champion with PREMA Racing

Hauger put the pieces together for the 2021 Drivers crown
Hauger put the pieces together for the 2021 Drivers' crown

“I would say the Red Bull Ring in 2021 is a good memory. I went from P12 to P1 which was quite a nice race and quite a fun one. I guess also my first win in F3, in Barcelona was actually a pretty good memory. I came from the Sprint Race fighting for the win but crashing then then having a bit of a redemption on Sunday, getting the win and that was my first win of the season that year which was a good way to start it.

"Race two - it's always quite crazy around the Red Bull Ring. I didn't have the best start but just overtook one by one. Three of us were fighting for the win but in the end, they crashed out and I managed to stay out of it and get the win. I mean in terms of points it was not the most important, but it was the most enjoyable in terms of a fight and just having fun around there, so that was just a cool moment I would say in a race.

“I think you learn from every season in the end and the year before was quite a tough one for me and not getting what I wanted out of the season. That was the COVID year in which I lived in the UK at the time, alone. That year was quite tough so then to be going back and getting the F3 Championship I feel like proving more to myself than anyone else so I think that was definitely important, it definitely made me a better driver, helped improve my mindset and my mental state so that was an important year for me as a person, in terms of growth but also as a driver."

READ MORE: Road to 100: Hauger’s moment finally arrives as Trident deny PREMA

Victor Martins – 2022 Drivers’ Champion with ART Grand Prix

Martins held off six other drivers to claim the title in 2022
Martins held off six other drivers to claim the title in 2022

“My favourite F3 memory I would say is the Monza weekend where I got the title, which felt like freedom. You fight for it throughout the season, you go through ups and downs, and you finally do it and after a difficult situation like Monza at the last race, I felt a freedom that finally we got it.

“It was a reward for all the hard work we did with ART, personally also because I knew this title was going to be really important for me to get a chance to step up to Formula 2 in 2023.

“When you start to look too much into the results, you put too much pressure on yourself, and I started to be too focused on how to drive perfectly every time rather than just driving like I know how to and just enjoying it. But in the end, you realise everyone is in the same situation, everyone is having difficult moments, and the key is to keep believing, keep having the right approach, keep the confidence high and you will be able to deliver at some point.

“In the pitlane it was just a relief, the result of the whole year that we had a lot of ups and a lot of downs and I think in the end, going through what happened on Sunday in Monza, with track limits, the Red Flag, I still believe that the race I was doing in Monza until the Red Flag was my best of my career. It felt like I was just thinking 'wait I am going to lose this Championship while I just did my best race of my career? And I couldn't accept this.

“I was going through every type of emotion, I had a lot of anger, I was really upset, I was sad, I was happy. I went through everything in 30 minutes while waiting and I think it was just a big relief in the end to get it and to think about the future also and what was waiting for me.”

READ MORE: Road to 100: PREMA regain title as Martins wins epic Drivers’ Championship

Gabriel Bortoleto – 2023 Drivers’ Champion with Trident

Bortoleto was uncatchable in 2023 winning the Championship with Trident
Bortoleto was uncatchable in 2023, winning the Championship with Trident

"My very favourite one is when I won the Championship in Monza. It was just so special after a long season, a lot of work, a lot of effort on the season, trying to do everything perfect to nail the season as best as I could and being able to win in Monza with my entire family, friends, girlfriend, and everyone there, was just really special.

“It's crazy because I knew it was just one point I needed and the chance of someone scoring full points in a weekend it's almost impossible, but you never know, anything can happen in this world. So, I was just trying to focus on my result, do my thing the best I can, and I was able to win the Championship in Quali. But it was just very difficult to accept it before it actually happened for me.

“On Friday, we just went to have dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in Milan, nothing special, just me and my family, we went there, had fun, came back home early to sleep because there was a Sprint Race the next day and I wanted to do very well for the team because there was still a Teams' Championship that was possible to win, so I was fully dedicated to winning that.

“The next day we had a great race, finishing P2 on track and then on Sunday it was crazy because we did the race, season finished, Trident actually booked a table in Milan, and we just had fun with my family, friends, girlfriend, and everyone. Then I woke up the next day thinking about F2 already.

“Obviously, it's been a boost of confidence winning a Championship that big. It proves to you that you won one of the most challenging Championships in the world, at the base of Formula 1 because it's just one more step and you are in F1. For me, it was just a boost of confidence having this Championship in the bag now."

READ MORE: Road to 100: Bortoleto unstoppable as PREMA fend off Trident challenge