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Where are the 30 drivers from the debut F3 grid today? - Part I

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

Barcelona’s feature race earlier this weekend was the 100th Formula 3 outing. If you haven't forgotten, Barcelona was also the scene of the maiden Formula 3 race, when 30 drivers took to the track on one Saturday morning. In this special two part feature, let’s take a look at the drivers on the Formula 3 grid on that day in 2019, and where they are today…..

The first part dives into the top five teams from the constructors standings at the end of the season.

PREMA Racing - Robert Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala, Marcus Armstrong

The first stop on our trip down Formula 3’s glorious memory lane is at our maiden Formula 3 champions — PREMA Racing. Their talented line-up consisted of Robert Shwartzman, Jehan Daruvala, and Marcus Armstrong locked out the top three in the standings. 

The former two have a special place in Formula 3’s history, being the first two winners in the series, as Shwartzman was declared the winner after Christian Lundgaard received a penalty after the chequered flag fell, while Daruvala emerged on top at the end of the following day’s race. 

Shwartzman would go on to become the maiden Formula 3 champion, before graduating to Formula 2 with Prema Racing. He would be the teammate to two Formula 2 champions in Mick Schumacher and Oscar Piastri during his time in the series, apart from taking six wins and 14 podiums in two seasons. 

The Prema racer would be signed into the Ferrari Driver Academy too, serving as the team’s test driver, taking part in mandatory FP1 sessions for the team. 

Shwartzman currently races for Ferrari’s privateer hypercar, the yellow #83 Ferrari 499P, alongside fellow 2019 F3 racer Yifei Ye and one-time Formula One race winner Robert Kubica. The team currently sit 11th in the standings, with 26 points to their name, and led 83 laps at Le Mans before electrical problems ended their race earlier than expected. 

As for Daruvala, he went on to race three seasons in Formula 2, two for the erstwhile Carlin team (now Rodin Motorsport), before moving to Prema Racing in 2022 and MP Motorsport for 2023. He would be signed as a driver for Maserati MSG Racing alongside former F2 racer Maximilian Gunther, cutting short his F2 career one race weekend from the end. 

Daruvala has scored eight points into his rookie Formula E campaign, taking two points at Misano and six from the Berlin weekend, and heads into the final two race weekends of his rookie Formula E season. 

Completing our Prema Racing trio is Marcus Armstrong. After finishing second in Formula 3, the Kiwi moved up to Formula 2, racing for ART alongside fellow F3 graduate Christian Lundgaard. After scoring two podiums in his first season, including at the season opener in Spielberg, he moved to DAMS Racing for 2021, partnering Roy Nissany. 

Another tough campaign followed, as he would notch up two podium finishes across the season, before his best would come for Hitech Racing a year later, when he took three wins on his way to 13th in the standings, for the third consecutive season. 

He would then test for Dale Coyne Racing stateside, being in the running for a drive at the team, before being snapped up by Chip Ganassi Racing for 2023 for road courses. 

In this 12-race campaign, he would score a strong haul of 214 points, learning from his more illustrious teammates Scott Dixon and Alex Palou as he went along his IndyCar campaign. His learnings have paid off, as Armstrong took a podium at Detroit earlier in June, as he continues to make himself a stronger force stateside. 

Hitech Racing - Juri Vips, Yifei Ye, Leonardo Pulcini

Prema Racing’s closest competitors were Hitech Racing, a distant second, while Vips was the best of the non-Prema drivers, finishing fourth in the standings. 

He would step up to Formula 2 as a Red Bull junior, before being dropped from the academy halfway through the season after he was found to have used racist slurs on a live stream hosted by fellow Red Bull junior Liam Lawson. 

Vips went on to race one more season in the series for Hitech, winning the sprint at Monza, apart from scoring four further podiums on his way to eleventh in the standings. 

He would then fill in for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing for the penultimate race at Portland in 2023, as well as the season finale at Laguna Seca. He wasn’t selected for a full campaign at the team for 2024. 

As for Ye, he moved to endurance racing after an unsuccessful Formula 3 season, becoming a seasoned campaigner. The Chinese racer won the Asian Le Mans Series title in his rookie season in 2021. He would also win the title for Team WRT in the European Le Mans Series.

Ye would make his way into WEC, racing for Hertz Team JOTA’s #12 hypercar alongside Will Stevens and Antonio Felix Da Costa in 2023. He would crash at the Porsche curves in the Centenary edition of the Le Mans race, although the team would ultimately finish the race. Ye moved to the #83 AF Corse hypercar, alongside Shwartzman and Kubica in 2024. 

As for Pulcini, he finished eighth in the standings in 2019, the highlight of his season being victory at Silverstone, as he amassed 78 points. After another two races for Carlin in 2020, he moved into sportscar racing, taking part in the Italian GT Championship, before winning the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe and the International GT Open in 2021 and 2022. 

He would move to the GT World Challenge Europe for Iron Lynx in 2023, before heading stateside to take part in IMSA at Sebring in 2024, finishing sixth in the GTD Pro class. 

 ART Grand Prix — Christian Lundgaard, David Beckmann, Max Fewtrell

An established team across feeder series, ART Racing finished third in their maiden Formula 3 season, scoring 174 points courtesy of their trio of Christian Lundgaard, David Beckmann, and Max Fewtrell. 

The former would be the highest placed ART driver, finishing sixth in the standings, most famously losing victory in Formula 3’s debut weekend at Barcelona after exceeding the speed limit under the safety car. He would win later in the season though, at Hungary. 

The Dane would step up to ART Racing’s Formula 2 operations, racing alongside Vips in 2020, and a young Theo Pourchaire in 2021, claiming two wins across both seasons. 

He too headed stateside to race in IndyCar, securing a drive for RLL in 2022. While his first season didn’t yield much success, Lundgaard finishing on the podium at the Gallagher Grand Prix, 2023 would be his best season, as he won at Toronto, finishing a stellar eighth in the standings. 

The RLL racer sits 11th in this year’s table, having finished third at the Indianapolis Road Course once again, this time in May. 

Beckmann has mostly served as a super sub after he graduated from Formula 3. He stayed on for another Formula 3 season, before stepping up to the erstwhile Charouz Racing System in 2021 for the first four races. After stepping aside from his F2 campaign due to financial issues, he signed a contract with Campos Racing for the following two rounds. 

He would make cameo appearances in 2022 too, stepping in for Cem Bolukbasi at Charouz, before filling in at VAR Racing twice during the season

Beckmann would also make an appearance at the Jakarta E Prix for Avalanche Andretti, in place of Le Mans-bound Andre Lotterer. 

As for Fewtrell, he took part in six weekends for Hitech Racing, before leaving the series altogether. He is now a Twitch streamer, and soon became a part of Lando Norris’s ‘Quadrant’ YouTube and esports racing group.

Trident - Devlin DeFrancesco, Pedro Piquet, Niko Kari

Another major name in Formula One’s feeder series, Trident finished fourth in the inaugural Formula 3 season, their charge led by Piquet who finished fifth in the standings. 

After a successful campaign yielding 98 points, Piquet would move up to Formula 2, racing for Charouz in 2020, amassing only three points in a difficult season for the team. 

The Brazilian, son of triple world champion Nelson Piquet, made one appearance in the Stock Car Brasil series, before taking part in the Florida Winter Tour in 2023. 

While Piquet would disappear into oblivion from top-tier motor racing, DeFrancesco moved stateside to race sports cars, racing in the Weathertech Sportscar Championship in 2021, before moving up to Indy Lights (now Indy NXT) the following year. 

After a successful campaign that saw him finish sixth, DeFrancesco raced for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar for two seasons, his highest moment in the series seeing him briefly lead at Indianapolis on lap one in 2023, having made it to the Fast Six in qualifying. 

With Andretti discontinuing the no 29 entry ahead of 2024, DeFrancesco left the series, and currently races in IMSA for Forte Racing. 

Niko Kari moved into the European Le Mans Series for 2020, racing for Eurointernational’s LMP3 operations, finishing fourth in his category. 

After a year off, Kari returned to Formula 3 in 2022, racing for Jenzer Motorsport at Bahrain, before being replaced by Federic Malvestiti after only one round. 

HWA Racelab — Jake Hughes, Bent Viscaal, Keyvan Andres

The now-defunct HWA Racelab outfit finished fifth in the standings in 2019, and much of the heavy lifting was done by Jake Hughes, who scored 90 out of the team’s 100 points that season. 

The Briton is known to be a Formula 3 veteran, racing in the series for another full season, before stepping in at Carlin for two races in 2021, after HWA Racelab folded up. Hughes had raced in various regional Formula 3 championships, even taking part in GP3, Formula 3’s predecessor. 

Hughes finally made the step up to Formula 2 in 2022, racing for debutantes Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR) alongside Amaury Cordeel, at the team replacing HWA Racelab on the grid. After scoring points on five occasions in a half-season stint, he departed the series, ahead of the French round, having been signed by NEOM McLaren for their maiden Formula E season. 

Hughes has grown as a racer at the team, racing in his second Formula E season. His best showing in season one would be pole at the Diriyah E Prix, round three in 2023. Hughes wouldn’t score a podium in his maiden season, although he would finally take a podium at Shanghai in season ten, at Formula E’s most recent outing. 

Viscaal, who scored ten points in 2019, would stay on at Formula 3 for another season, switching to MP Motorsport, as he accumulated 40 points and finished 13th in the standings. He would be promoted to Formula 2 in 2021, racing for Trident alongside Marino Sato, son of former Honda racer Takuma Sato. 

The Dutch racer would be known for taking Trident’s first podium in the Formula 2 era, when he moved up from fourth to second in sprint race two at Monza, having climbed up the order from 18th to seventh in sprint race one earlier. 

He would also finish on the podium once more at Jeddah, with a final finishing position of 14th in the standings, and 34 points to his name. Citing rising costs of running single-seaters, he switched to endurance racing, racing in the European Le Mans Series, and taking part in LMP2 class at Le Mans. 

Viscaal was part of the Proton Competition outfit taking part in this year's Le Mans, alongside Jonas Reid and Macéo Capietto. The #9 Proton Competition LMP2 was forced to retire 86 laps in, after encountering an issue with the car's batteries.

As for Keyvan Andres, he departed the series at the end of the year, after failing to score. 

That's it for part one, then! Whose story has surprised you the most? Do let us know in the comments, and keep an eye on the DIVEBOMB page for part II, coming soon.


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