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Motivated returning drivers and ambitious rookies – our Formula 3 title preview for 2024

Junior Staff Writer

Nadim Bart-Williams
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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 10: The car of Luke Browning of Great Britain and Hitech Pulse-Eight

The 2024 Formula 3 season is just around the corner with the teams and their drivers set to resume battle at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.

In what is set to be an exciting campaign, it starts with PREMA Racing looking to defend their title, while the remaining nine teams set their sights on dethroning the Italian powerhouse. Both Championships last year went down to the final weekend with Gabriel Bortoleto joining the likes of Oscar Piastri and Robert Shwartzman by taking the Drivers’ title. But which one of our 30 contenders can follow in their footsteps this season?

READ MORE: Ones to watch and title favourites – our Formula 2 season preview for 2024

Can anybody beat PREMA to the teams' title?

Reigning Champions PREMA will start as the favourites and the ones to beat in 2024. Rene Rosin’s squad have been the dominant force in the five seasons of Formula 3, winning four Teams’ titles during that span.

The Venetian outfit will however expect to be pushed close once again by their Italian rivals Trident. They are the only team in the paddock to have beaten them to the crown back in 2021, and will no doubt be keen to do so again.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 11: Rene Rosin, Team Principal of PREMA Racing walks in the Pitlane

Rene Rosin's PREMA Racing squad have been the dominant force in F3

Those two teams have separated themselves from the pack in the last three seasons, with MP Motorsport proving to be their closest challengers last year when they finished third.

The Dutch squad have made steady progress since the start of F3 – going from finishing sixth in 2019 and 2020 before placing fourth in the following two campaigns – and will be looking to continue that upward trend in 2024 by putting themselves in the title mix.

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Keep an eye out for Campos Racing who will be hoping to build on a stellar 2023 which saw them finish fourth, their best result to date. Similarly, Hitech Pulse-Eight have consistently been top-five finishers in Formula 3 – barring the 2021 campaign where they placed sixth – and will hope to be competitive once again.

ART Grand Prix will also be keen to reassert themselves towards the front of the field. This comes after a disappointing campaign that resulted in them slipping to eighth place, after ending the previous four seasons in third.

It is a very talented chasing pack meaning PREMA will have their work cut out for them if they are to add a fifth trophy to their collection.

Formula 3: Ultimate Guide to the 2024 season

A wide-open drivers' championship

Drivers for PREMA tend to be amongst the favourites to win the title and their line-up this year possesses the two highest-placed pilots from the 2023 Standings.

Dino Beganovic, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, is hoping to build on his sixth-place finish last season by mounting a title challenge. He lines up next to the Alpine-backed Gabriele Minì, who ended up seventh in 2023.

Both drivers will be keen to take top honours, but they may have to fight with another returnee in Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli. He is looking to build on a strong rookie campaign in which he achieved a maiden pole position at Silverstone alongside three podiums.

READ MORE: Oliver Bearman on a whirlwind 2023 and his glimpse into F1 life with Ferrari and Haas

ART will also have aspirations of their own, with their pair of second-year drivers in Nikola Tsolov, another member of the Alpine Academy, and Christian Mansell, both keen to make an impression.

Elsewhere, Hitech’s Luke Browning threw his hat into the ring after an eye-catching performance at pre-season testing. The Williams Academy Driver ended up with the fastest times on both days two and three of running in Bahrain.

Campos’ experienced trio of Oliver Goethe, Mari Boya, and Sebastián Montoya will be dark horses, with all three having stood on the podium in Formula 3.

However, as last year proved with Bortoleto winning as a rookie, anything can happen in Formula 3, and with each driver starting with zero points, it is all to play for in 2024.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 11: Dino Beganovic of Sweden and PREMA Racing (1) and Gabriele Mini of

Dino Beganovic and Gabriele Mini will be keen to take top honours in F3 this year

Rookie to keep an eye on

There are 17 rookies on the grid and MP Motorsport bring three of them in Alex Dunne and the Red Bull backed pair of Tim Tramnitz and Kacper Sztuka. They each boast impressive resumes from karting to single seater racing and also enjoyed a successful three days of testing.

PREMA also have a Red Bull Academy rookie in their line-up in 16-year-old, Arvid Lindblad. He is the youngest member of the grid but given that the team have twice won the Drivers’ Championship with rookies – Robert Shwartzman in 2019 and Oscar Piastri in 2020 – a title this year for the Briton, while difficult, could never be ruled out.

Elsewhere Van Amersfoort Racing’s Noel León is another driver with a trophy-laden record in single seater racing and he also caught the eye at testing. He topped the timesheets on the opening day, before placing second behind Beganovic in the final afternoon session.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2024 F1 ACADEMY season

Trident’s newcomers Santiago Ramos and Sami Meguetounif will also be hopeful of repeating Bortoleto’s 2023 efforts.

They are joined by Jenzer Motorsport’s and Rodin Motorsport’s trio of newcomers, with all six drivers no doubt keen to make a name for themselves in Formula 3.

It all starts in Bahrain this weekend and kicks off on Thursday, February 29 for Free Practice and Qualifying. This will decide the grid for the Sprint Race on Friday, March 1 at 13:15 before lights out for the Feature Race at 12:00 local time on Saturday, March 2.

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