top of page

Feeder series preview: Australia

Written by Jacob Awcock and Ellie Nicholls

Formula Two Preview

Formula Two returns this weekend in Australia after a short break following the very eventful Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

It was a strong weekend out in the desert for MP Motorsport’s Enzo Fittipaldi, as the Brazilian driver inherited third place in the sprint race following Richard Verschoor’s disqualification, and went on to claim his maiden feature race win after starting fourth on the grid on Saturday.

Thanks to his impressive performance, Fittipaldi rose to second place in the standings, now just 15 points behind leader Zane Maloney. 

MP Motorsport had a successful weekend in Jeddah all round, with Fittipaldi’s rookie teammate Rafael Villagomez also scoring his first points in the series. The Dutch team, who ended the opening round of the season with no points, will also be hoping to continue their momentum this weekend- ideally in the form of another win.

Having also failed to score points in the opening round, PREMA Racing too saw a return to form in Jeddah.

Although they were unable to make the most of the race weekend due to Oliver Bearman’s last-minute call-up to Formula One, the Italian team will be happy to have found the performance they lacked in the opening round, and will be aiming for a good points haul this weekend to rise up the constructors’ standings.

Although the drama of Saudi Arabia seems hard to match, last year’s Australian race weekend proved that the Albert Park Street Circuit is more than capable of providing us with exciting racing.

The track itself offers plenty of overtaking opportunities, with its three high-speed DRS zones giving an advantage to the teams with good straight line speeds, and the street circuit element is a test of the drivers’ focus and precision. However, what really made the race so interesting last season was the rain.

The rain made it a tricky affair Down Under for the drivers; Credit - Formula 2

Following a weather-affected qualifying, rain began to fall midway through the Sprint Race, and the increasingly difficult track conditions caused chaos in the midfield.

The safety car was deployed as Jack Doohan spun out of his home race, and it remained on track until just two laps remained as Brad Benavides also crashed out- meaning drivers who switched to the wet tyres were unable to take advantage of the superior compound before the chequered flag.

Dennis Hauger, who started on reverse pole position, was able to hold onto the lead to claim his third win in the series- despite the best efforts of second-placed Jak Crawford.

In the feature race, pole-sitter Ayumu Iwasa overtook Theo Pourchaire for first place in the standings as he claimed his second win of the year.

Both Iwasa and Pourchaire, starting first and second in the feature race respectively, held onto their positions until the end of the race despite the two safety car periods- the first due to an incident between Crawford and Doohan, and the second deployed as Roy Nissany and Enzo Fittipaldi crashed in the same place just moments apart.

Victor Martins, who started from third place, was unable to convert this to a podium due to a collision with Dennis Hauger just before the end of the second safety car period which saw him drop down to the back of the field. Arthur Leclerc took advantage of this to claim his first Formula Two podium, finishing the race just ahead of Frederik Vesti.

With teams and drivers starting to push and challenge the limits of the new car specification and a track that promises to deliver thrilling action, this is certainly not a weekend to miss. 


Free Practice - 21st March, 23:00 GMT

Qualifying - 22nd March, 06:30 GMT

Sprint Race - 23rd March, 03:15 GMT

Feature Race - 24th March, 00:35 GMT

Formula 3 preview

Formula 3 returns to the land down under to pick up where it left off, following a dramatic season opener in Bahrain. Luke Browning leads the championship following his feature race win but with many drivers in close pursuit, and a whole new track to tackle the standings could change hands very easily.

What we learnt from Bahrain

It’s safe to say that we should expect a tantalising championship battle this year: Drivers across the grid, rookie or veteran, showed exactly why they should be world champion this year with a level of talent that has rarely been seen in previous years.

Over the course of the two races, half of the grid scored at least one point with seven of them being rookies, while all but three of the ten teams didn’t claim a point. 

Rookie Arvid Lindblad claimed a sprint race win having charged up the field from fourth on the grid to benefit from Nikola Tsolov’s rapidly degrading tyres; a performance usually expected of an experienced driver but for Lindbland it was his first ever race.

Elsewhere on the grid, Tsolov’s early race pace was undoubtedly impressive but was overshadowed by degrading tyres which ended up relegating him to fourth place, having led the race for 16 of the 19 laps.

Despite the end result, there were positive signs for ART with Tsolov’s teammate, and rookie, Laurens Van Hoepen claiming the runners up spot, along with an extra point for fastest lap.

Elsewhere, it was a difficult weekend for Rodin Motorsport as all of their drivers struggled to make progress during the race:  Callum Voisin was the highest placed driver out of the trio finishing in 17th place while his other teammates (Joseph Loake and Piotr Wisnicki) could only finish in 25th and 26th.

Trident have started the season strongly but can they keep this impressive and consistent pace up? Image Credits: Clive Mason/Getty Images

In the feature race though, it was Prema’s worst nightmare: having secured pole through a stellar Dino Beganovic lap the team’s fortunes drastically changed as the lights went out; a slow, stuttering start dropped the Swede straight to the back of the field.

While an impressive recovery drive promoted him to 13th place plus the fastest lap the question of what could have been was left for Prema to ponder. There were contrasting fortunes though for Trident who left the desert top of the team’s championship with 38 points following all three of its drivers scoring points in the feature race.

Rookie Sami Meguetounif was the highest scoring out of the trio, claiming fourth place just over 3 seconds off a podium.

But it was all about the Brit on Sunday who, having competed strongly last year in Formula 3, was looking to kick start his season in the strongest way possible and he did just that: leading from the first corner on the first lap to the last corner on the last lap a truly dominant display that he will hope sets the tone for the remainder of the season.

Mayhem in Melbourne 

Last year it was a new circuit for Formula 3; a trip down under for the drivers and the opportunity to experience a track like no other. Crisscrossed around the picturesque Albert Park, the circuit features 16 corners with 4 DRS (drag reduction system) zones, allowing for overtaking in multiple spots as well as battles to continue for large parts of the lap.

In 2023 drivers were caught out multiple times throughout the course of both the sprint and feature race.

Drivers struggled coming into the fast left hander of turn 11 that required them to dab on the brakes, having just finished a monumentally long straight that had been extended the previous year in an attempt to increase wheel to wheel action. Ido Cohen had a big shunt there during the sprint race, while contact was not uncommon throughout both races.

In the end it was Gabriel Bortoleto who triumphed in the feature race, claiming his second win of the season with a dominant display. Having claimed pole on the Friday, the Brazilian was untouchable over the course of the race despite two safety car restarts which were dealt with in a measured fashion.

ART will hope to repeat their success from last year having managed a podium in the feature race while MP Motorsport will be extra cautious: having led all of last year’s sprint race, Franco Colapinto, and teammates Mari Boya and Jonny Edgar were disqualified, following technical infringements which could have easily been prevented.

Who will succeed and who will stutter around the picturesque Albert Park? Image Credits: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Last year it was Gabriele Mini who showed the most promise out of our current drivers, securing fourth in the sprint race and an impressive third in the ensuing feature race, having come under significant amounts of pressure in the closing laps.

After a rocky start in Bahrain, not scoring the amount of points he would have liked to, he will hope to propel himself back to the front of the field. For the rookies, Albert Park will prove to be a challenge for many of the drivers: They won't have dealt with a circuit like Albert Park before, and if they are to reach the top of motorsport, they must tackle the challenge that Australia provides head on.


bottom of page