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Feeder Series Weekly Round Up

Written by Ellie Nicholls, Sophie Harvey and Sean McKean

With racing in 2024 only about a month away, the clock is counting down, as teams continue to announce drivers for their 2024 seasons, as activity has once again begun to ramp up, following the holidays.

Image Credit - Maya Weug

Maya Weug Signs With PREMA

PREMA Racing is the first F1 Academy team to finalise their 2024 lineup — 19-year-old Maya Weug will partner Doriane Pin and Tina Hausmann in the upcoming season of the all-female championship.

Having spent time in both Italian Formula 4 and Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Weug brings a wealth of experience to the grid. There is no doubt that she’ll be looking to repeat PREMA’s previous success in the series, with the hope of clinching the title in a similar fashion to that of our inaugural F1 Academy Champion, Marta Garcia.

Rene Rosin, Team Principal of PREMA Racing, expressed how happy he was to have Weug on board: "We deeply respected Maya as a competitor, and we were always impressed by her potential and achievements. We are really delighted to finally get her on board for the second season of F1 Academy, and we think we will do a great job together.”

A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2021, it’s unsurprising that Weug will also take on the role of Scuderia Ferrari’s nominated driver. Although this comes with great responsibility, Weug is more than ready for the challenge:

“It’s a great honour for me to continue to represent Ferrari this year, especially on such an interesting platform like the F1 Academy. Now, I’m preparing hard with the Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy and Prema, with the aim of being a frontrunner this season.”

Kacper Sztuka Graduates to F3 with MP Motorsport

Credit: FIA Formula 3

MP Motorsport announced their second driver to their FIA F3 lineup earlier in the week, with 2023 Italian F4 champion Kacper Sztuka taking the helm of the #8 car.

The newly signed Red Bull junior comes off a title-winning season that witnessed nine wins, six of which coming consecutively. The 17-year-old also took part in the post-season tests at the end of 2023 with MP.

Upon the announcement, the Pole expressed the hope he has ahead of his rookie campaign:

“I’m extremely happy to be able to step up to FIA F3 with MP Motorsport. The team has a strong pedigree in the series, which will help me with a smooth transition from F4 to F3. I loved the car when I drove it in the Imola test, and can’t wait to step back into it for more testing and the new season ahead. It’s going to be a huge challenge but I’m up for the task. Bring it on!”

MP Motorsport Team Principal Sanders Dorsman showed his excitement as well:

“We are really pleased to welcome Kacper to the team,” Dorsman said. “He has had a sensational season in Italian F4, and being invited to join the Red Bull Junior Team was just reward for what has been a brilliant year. He immediately showed his promise in the Imola test, so we are confident that Kacper is ready for a strong debut in FIA F3. The whole team is looking forward to working with him during the season.”

Joshua Dufek Goes Full-Time with PHM AIX Racing

Credit - Formula 3

On Wednesday, PHM AIX Racing confirmed their first driver of their 2024 lineup, that being Joshua Dufek. The Swiss driver partook in the last round of the 2023 season with Campos Racing along with a Euroformula Open campaign, in which he took one win and seven podiums.

On the announcement, Dufek expressed gratitude for his team, now able to make a full-time stab at the championship. “I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be teaming up with PHM once again to make my debut in FIA F3! It's an exciting opportunity and I can't wait to hit the track and show what I can do. The official tests at the end of last year really helped us in setting a solid baseline and I hope to build on that to make this season together a memorable one!

PHM’s Sporting Director Roland Rehfeld stated: “Servus Joshua. We are very glad to welcome Joshua back in our team. We have been following Joshua for a long time now. Joshua is part of our closer circle of drivers, since he has already driven for us in the FRMEC 2023.

He has had a challenging 2023 at the beginning, but showed his real speed and abilities in various classes before and in our post-season testing. Joshua is part of our very strong driver line up and encourages the whole Team with his positive attitude and teamwork. We are convinced to be on a very competitive level this season.”

Victor Martins Sticks With ART Grand Prix In 2024

Image Credit: Formula Two

Alpine Academy driver Victor Martins rejoins ART Grand Prix for the 2024 Formula Two season, partnering rookie Zak O'Sullivan at the French team.

The 22-year-old driver's success with ART Grand Prix extends all the way back to the 2021 Formula Renault Eurocup Championship, when Martins, thanks to an impressive seven wins and 14 podiums across the season, claimed the title with a 44-point lead over second place.

After a season in Formula Three competing with MP Motorsport, Martins reunited with the French team in 2022 for his second F3 campaign. His impressively consistent results saw him clinch his second title with the team, narrowly beating second-place Zane Maloney despite Martins having just two wins across the season.

Following the announcement, Martins shared that this season he is aiming to add another title to his collection- as well as leading ART Grand Prix to a second consecutive year of victory in the constructor’s championship.

“Together with ART Grand Prix, we have a mutual past that is made up of passion and success. One which has seen the crowning of several titles, I hope to add another in 2024, a decisive season for my development.”

An impressive 2023 campaign for Martins saw him finish fifth overall in the standings- a win in the feature race at Silverstone and a record-equalling streak of 14 consecutive points finishes earning him the title of “Rookie of the Year”.

Having refined his talent and established himself as a strong driver over the course of 2023, a championship could definitely be in the cards for Martins in 2024 if he can build upon the success and consistency he found last season.

“I am holding all the cards I need to achieve my objectives,” said Martins. “But I will not have my eyes solely focused on the standings: I want to correct mistakes from last year, manage the championship over time and always strive to obtain the best possible result, whether the circumstances are favourable or complicated.”

Rafael Villagomez Steps Up to Formula Two With Van Amersfoort Racing

Image Credit: Formula Two

Rafael Villagomez will make the jump to Formula Two with Van Amersfoort Racing in 2024, joining Enzo Fittipaldi at the Dutch team for the upcoming season.

2024 will be the 22-year-old's fourth consecutive year with the Dutch team- a partnership that began with Villagomez's 2021 Euroformula Open campaign. Across the season, he claimed five podiums and achieved regular points finishes, claiming eighth place in the overall standings despite missing two of the eight rounds.

The following year, Villagomez switched to Van Amersfoort Racing for his second year of Formula Three as the team bought into the series, replacing the Mexican driver's previous team HWA Racelab.

During  this season, he scored his first ever points in the category, earning 25th place in the standings and chose to remain with the team in 2023, where he finished 25th in the standings for the second year in a row.

Having completed post-season testing with the team in 2022 and 2023, Villagomez has already had chance to adapt to the Formula Two machinery, and Villagomez shared that this has given him confidence ahead of his rookie season.

"I am very excited to step up to F2. The test has proven to both myself and the people around me that F2 is the right category for me to further develop myself as a driver," shared the Mexican driver after the announcement. "I look very much forward to continuing [my] journey and getting the season started.”

Roman Staněk Rejoins Trident For 2024

Image Credit: Formula Two

Trident became the latest team to finalise their driver line-up, announcing that Roman Staněk will return to the team for his second season in Formula Two.

The Czech driver first competed for the team in the 2022 Formula Three championship, his third season in the category. With four podiums across the season, including a win in the feature race at Imola, Staněk finished fifth overall in the standings after a difficult start to the season.

In 2023, Staněk graduated to Formula Two with the team, finishing 18th overall in his rookie season. The 19-year-old driver finished in the points on multiple occasions across the season, managing to keep up with and even regularly finish ahead of experienced teammate Clément Novalak.

Giacamo Ricci, the team manager at Trident, shared that he is certain the experience Staněk gained last year will significantly benefit him in his 2024 campaign, and is glad to keep him as part of the team for another year.

“We are certain that all the ingredients are there to do well and achieve increasingly ambitious goals together," said Ricci, following the announcement. "The experience acquired in 2023 will prove pivotal to start the new season with the best conditions and maximum determination.”


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