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Feeder Series weekly round-up - All the Bells and Whistles from the Feeder Series Paddock

Written by Vyas Ponnuri and Ellie Nicholls 

The Motorsport world is enveloped in an atmosphere of celebration and belongingness, exchanging gifts and spending time with their loved ones, as they ring in Christmas and the New Year. However, the Feeder Series Paddock continued to churn news, as teams rang in the changes, and signed new drivers for the upcoming year of motorsport. Here is the weekly news round-up from the Road to F1. 

Santiago Ramos completes Trident’s driver line-up for 2024

Trident became the next team to announce their trio of Formula 3 drivers for 2024, announcing Mexican racer Santiago Ramos as their final driver for the upcoming season. 

Aged only 19, Ramos comes from Guadalajara, a city known for producing another poster boy in the motorsport world, Red Bull racer Sergio Perez. Ramos will certainly be looking to become the city’s next motorsport star, and has booked his ticket to the lowest rung on the Road to F1. 

Having graduated to single-seaters in 2019, the 19-year old has raced in Italian F4 for three seasons, whilst also dabbling it with a touch of Spanish F4 and the ADAC F4 series in 2021. He then stepped up to the Formula Regional European Championship (FRECA) series in 2022, the primary feeder series to the official Formula 3 championship. 

The high point of Ramos’ season was a podium at the Hungaroring, while the Mexican also finished fourth at Catalunya and Mugello too, bringing home a tally of 67 points for RPM Racing, albeit ten less than teammate Maceo Capietto. Ramos finished 11th in the standings, only two places behind future teammate Meguetounif, and one behind recently-announced ART racer Laurens van Hoepen. 

The Mexican has already integrated with the team, having clocked up over 400 km across testing in the off-season, at Jerez, Barcelona, and Imola, and is looking forward to 2024:

“So happy to announce that I’m joining Trident Motorsport for the FIA F3 championship! Working closely with them during post-season testing has been fantastic. I’m excited about this new chapter, ready to give it my all, and looking forward to making every race weekend a memorable experience. Huge thanks to Trident, Escudería Telmex, and my sponsors for this opportunity!”

Cian Shields Takes the Final Hitech Pulse-Eight Seat for 2024

Hitech Pulse-Eight have become the fifth team to confirm their driver line-up for 2024, the team announcing 2023 Euroformula runner-up Cian Shields as their final driver for the 2024 season, alongside the continuing Luke Browning, and another rookie driver Martinius Stenshorne. 

The Euroformula Vice Champion earned four victories during a stellar season for Team Motopark, and scored points in every race of the season, finishing runner-up to the newly-announced VAR driver Noel Leon. 

Shields graduated to single-seaters in 2022, driving for the same Hitech outfit in the local GB3 series, earning a win at Silverstone, as he held off Nick Gilkes to claim the victory. The youngster from Glasgow would finish a strong 13th in the standings, scoring 186.5 points across the season, before receiving the call-up to race in the Euroformula series. 

The announcement was met with a sense of elation and disappointment, though, as many well-wishers of the 2023 GB3 runners-up Alex Dunne expected the Irishman to step up to Formula 3 with the team.

Dunne had finished only 18 points off eventual champion Callum Voisin, and had even driven for the Hitech team in the non-championship Macau GP in November, sparking speculation of Dunne taking part in the series for 2024. 

However, a 2024 Formula 3 drive never materialised for the Irishman, with the Euroformula runner-up Shields receiving the call up instead. Shields was looking forward to the challenge of Formula 3 in 2023, and commented:

“I am excited to join Hitech in FIA F3 next year. It will be a new challenge for me, but one I am looking forward to. Having raced with the team in GB3 in 2022, I have every confidence that they will allow me to develop in my rookie season in the series. Looking forward to getting the season started in Bahrain!”

Juan Manuel Correa Switches to DAMS for 2024 Formula Two Season

DAMS became the latest Formula Two team to finalise their 2024 driver lineup, announcing that Juan Manuel Correa will join fellow American Jak Crawford at the team next year.

Correa made his Formula Two debut in 2019 and impressed with two second-place finishes- however, his rookie season was cut short as he sustained serious injuries during the tragedy at Spa-Francorchamps.

Following a long rehabilitation, Correa returned to motorsport in 2021, competing in Formula Three. The following year he returned to the series, claiming a podium at the sprint race in Zandvoort, as well as competing in the European Le Mans Series where he earned a win at the 4 Hours of Portimao race.

After replacing David Beckmann at Van Amersfoort Racing for the last round of the 2022 Formula Two season, the 24-year-old returned full-time to the series this year with the Dutch team and achieved multiple points finishes across his sophomore season, including a fourth-place finish in the Spielberg sprint race. 

Speaking after the announcement, Correa said that he is excited to continue his development following the post-season testing he completed with the team in Abu Dhabi, and feels that DAMS will be the best place for him to push towards his long-term goals:

“I’m delighted to be a part of DAMS for the 2024 season,” shared Correa. “I’m eager to begin working with the team and to show what I can do on track.”


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