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

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 second part dives into the tales of teams finishing lower down the order during the season, from sixth to tenth in the standings. \

MP Motorsport - Liam Lawson, Richard Verschoor, Simo Laaksonen

MP Motorsport finished sixth in their inaugural F3 season, with Lawson and Verschoor finishing 11th and 13th in the standings respectively. 

Lawson went on to become a seasoned racer on the road to Formula One, stepping up to Formula 2 after another season of racing in Formula 3, this time alongside fellow Red Bull junior Dennis Hauger and Max Fewtrell. He would go on to finish fifth in the season, accumulating 143 points, and promoted to Hitech Racing’s Formula 2 arm, alongside Juri Vips. 

Lawson would win the opening race of the year, before losing victory at Monaco to a disqualification. He would finish only ninth in the standings, in a dual campaign of Formula 2 and DTM. 

His second season would be an improved showing, the Kiwi finishing a strong third in a close fight between third and tenth, even ahead of Formula One-bound Logan Sargeant. 

Lawson left the series ahead of 2023, becoming a reserve for Red Bull. He would step in at AlphaTauri when Daniel Ricciardo hurt his hand at Zandvoort. He would most notably knock Verstappen out in a shock Q2 at Singapore. The Kiwi would relinquish the seat to Ricciardo at Mexico, to complete his Super Formula campaign. 

Lawson remains in the frame for a full-time Formula One seat, however, with opportunities set to open up at VCARB in the future. 

As for Verschoor, he could count himself as one of Formula 2’s unluckiest, losing victories due to disqualifications or reliability concerns. After another Formula 3 season, when he finished ninth, he stepped up to Formula 2 with Trident. 

Now into his fourth season, Verschoor has started 78 races for MP Motorsport, Charouz, VAR, and Trident, with whom he has raced for two seasons.

The Dutchman has taken three wins so far, but missed out on victory in Austria in 2022 due to a post-race disqualification, before losing a win at Jeddah this year, due to a throttle map infringement, while he missed out on victory again at Monaco as reliability gremlins plagued his race. 

Verschoor sits 17th in the standings, with 17 points to his name. 

Simo Laaksonen scored only two points in 2019, departing the series after its inaugural season. 

Jenzer Motorsport — Yuki Tsunoda, Andreas Estner, Giorgio Carrara, Artem Petrov, Charles Leong, Federico Malvestiti

You’ll notice a familiar face here. Yes, a young Yuki Tsunoda raced for Jenzer back in 2019, scoring all of the Spanish team’s points in their debut season. 

While his campaign got off to a slow start, the young Japanese driver picked up pace as the season went on, taking the team’s first victory at Monza, backing up a second and third in his past two races, on his way to ninth in the standings. 

He would be promoted to Formula 2, finishing third, only one point behind Callum Ilott in second, before making the daunting step up to AlphaTauri in Formula One, alongside Pierre Gasly. 

Fourth at the season finale in Abu Dhabi would be his best result in his rookie season, while Tsunoda continued to improve with every passing year, taking on the mantle after Gasly departed the team in 2022. He comfortably outshone Nyck de Vries and Daniel Ricciardo in 2023, and sits tenth in the standings, after a string of impressive performances. 

The other full-time Jenzer racer, Andreas Estner failed to score in 2019. He would move to Euroformula Open in 2020, finishing third for Van Amersfoort Racing that year, whilst stepping in for Campos in F3 at Spa-Francorchamps. 

He would fill in at Euroformula Open for VAR in 2021, racing at Portimao, before leaving the series. 

The other seat would be rotated among racers, with Giorgio Carrara doing four races for the team, the most for any racer in the third Jenzer seat. Carrara last raced in 2022, heading stateside for the USF Juniors and the F4 United States Championship. He raced in various karting series last year, including the Florida Winter Tour series. 

Meanwhile, Petrov raced in the season opener for the team, before heading stateside to take part in two seasons of the Indy Pro 2000 series. After returning to the GT World Challenge Europe series last year, he moved to the International GT Open this year. 

Macanese driver Charles Leong raced in the Chinese F4 championship for three seasons, apart from taking part in his home race at Macau. He currently races in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series, sitting second in the standings. 

Federico Malvestiti took part in the Formula 3 round at Silverstone, replacing Carrara due to the Argentine racer’s visa concerns, being the 34th-placed driver, lowest in the inaugural season’s standings. 

He returned for a full-time campaign at Jenzer in 2020, before returning for another Formula 3 season in 2022. Malvestiti currently races in the Italian GT Championship, driving a BMW M4 GT3. 

Charouz Racing System - Lirim Zendeli, Fabio Scherer, Raoul Hyman

Charouz finished eighth in their debut Formula 3 season, with Scherer scoring seven points out of 15 in the team’s campaign, placing 17th, while Zendeli scored six, placing 18th in the standings. 

Scherer departed the series, and ventured into the world of sportscar racing, moving to DTM in 2020, before moving into the World Endurance Championship a year later, racing for LMP2’s United Autosports outfit in 2021 alongside Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson, winning at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza. 

A year after racing in ELMS, Scherer returned to the WEC with Inter Europol, alongside Albert Costa and Jakub Śmiechowski. The trio won at Le Mans, despite Scherer being run over after his first pit stop, and managing the entire race on a fractured left foot. They finished second in the LMP2 standings. 

Scherer didn’t quite have the same success in 2024, finishing outside the top ten in LMP2 class for Nielsen Racing, as he continues in the ELMS this year. 

Zendeli, on the other hand, continued in single-seater racing, finishing eighth in Formula 3 the following season for Trident, before moving to MP Motorsport in Formula 2 in 2021, alongside fellow graduate Verschoor. 

He would finish 17th in the standings, leaving the team for financial reasons, before deputising for a banned Olli Caldwell at Campos in 2022 at Spa, as well as filling in for David Schumacher at Barcelona in Formula 3. 

The German-Albanian racer then moved stateside, racing in the USF Pro 2000 Championship in 2023, before announcing a move to Formula One’s support series Porsche Supercup for 2024. 

Meanwhile, Hyman scored two points in the 2019, and departed the series, returning after a two-year hiatus. He moved stateside in 2022, winning the Formula Regional Americas Championship, the prize money helping him compete in Super Formula the following year. 

Carlin Buzz Racing — Felipe Drugovich, Logan Sargeant, Teppei Natori

Now we come to the final two teams taking part in the inaugural Formula 3 season. Carlin finished ninth, scoring 14 points, with two drivers who were set to become big names in the future of Formula One’s support series. 

Drugovich was the team’s highest scorer, taking eight of the team’s 14 points in 2019. He stepped up to MP Motorsport in Formula 2, finding plenty of success as he took three wins, on his way to ninth in a sterling debut season. 

After a difficult season for UNI Virtuosi in 2021, the Brazilian returned to familiar pastures at MP Motorsport for 2022, dominating on his way to a Formula 2 title, winning out ahead of Theo Pourchaire. 

He was then inducted into the Aston Martin Driver Development Programme, before being signed as a Maserati reserve in Formula E. Drugovich currently races in the ELMS Series for Vector Sport, even taking part in Le Mans for the Action Express Cadillac team alongside Pipo Derani and Jack Aitken. 

Sargeant, on the other hand, managed to make it into Formula One. He stayed on for another two Formula 3 seasons, racing alongside Piastri and Frederik Vesti in 2020 for Prema, finishing third, and losing out on the title by just four points. 

A move to Charouz for 2021 saw him finish seventh in the standings, as he received the opportunity to step up to Carlin in Formula 2, alongside Lawson. Although he finished behind his Kiwi teammate, the American had done enough to earn a Williams seat in 2023, racing alongside Alex Albon ever since. 

As for Natori, he returned to Japan after the Formula 3 season, taking part in Super Formula Lights for two seasons, before stepping up to Super GT for Kondo Racing in 2022, currently into his third season with the team. 

Campos Racing — Alex Peroni, Alessio Deledda, Sebastian Fernandez, David Schumacher

The final stop down memory lane, Campos finished last in the standings, with Peroni scoring all of the Spanish team’s points that year. 

Peroni is mostly known for his airborne crash at Monza, as his Campos was vaulted into the air after hitting the sausage kerb at Parabolica corner, before crashing into the catch fencing on the outside of the corner. An injured Peroni missed the remainder of the season, with David Schumacher filling in. 

The Australian returned to Formula 3 in 2020, scoring 64 points and finishing tenth in the standings, once again scoring all of the team’s points. He then moved to Indy Lights in 2021, before cutting short his campaign to return to Europe. 

After cutting short another Euroformula Open campaign, he headed over to sportscar racing, signing for Algarve Racing in the ELMS, before taking part in the GT World Challenge Europe in 2023, and returning home for the GT World Challenge Australia this year. 

Deledda is largely known for his controversial video when he was overspeeding on an Italian motorway, sparking widespread criticism. Yet, despite his personal controversy, he was retained by Campos for 2020, before moving to HWA Racelab’s Formula 2 team in 2021. 

He would score no points in either campaign, even qualifying a whopping 6.8 seconds off Pourchaire’s pole time at Monaco. 

After moving to DTM in 2022, and taking part in the GT World Challenge Europe series in 2023, the Italian moved to the International GT Open Championship this year, driving for Oregon team.  

Meanwhile, Fernandez moved to ART for 2020, scoring 31 points on his way to 14th in the standings, the high moment being a pole position at the season opener at Spielberg. 

Peroni’s injury meant David Schumacher, son of former Formula One racer Ralf, made his debut at the season finale in Sochi. The German raced for Charouz in 2020, before moving to Carlin for the final three rounds of the season. 

He would move to Trident in 2021, taking victory in sprint race two at the Red Bull Ring on his way to 11th in the standings, his best Formula 3 outing. He filled in at Charouz once again in 2022, apart from racing two seasons in DTM, and the GT World Challenge Europe series in 2023. 

He even took part in the 2024 24 Hours of Nurburgring, apart from racing in the ADAC GT Masters this year.

So, that's the end of our walk down memory lane along the debut Formula 3 season. Whose story surprised you the most? Do let us know in the comments below.

1 Comment

6 days ago

Jenzer is not Spanish.

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