F3 - Official tests kick off the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season


Four days of pre-season testing to set the scene for another year of intense competition in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship

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The FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams and drivers now enter the critical stage of their season preparations with meeting each other at two different F1 circuits. On 24-25 March they get together at the Hungaroring for the first two days of official testing and just three days later, on 28-29 March, the testing continues at the Red Bull Ring.

The 4.381-kilometre long Hungaroring, located not far from Hungary’s capital Budapest, will be the venue of the first encounter of all teams and drivers enrolled for the 2017 season. Furthermore, the Hungarian GP circuit will not only be a testing venue for the young guns but in June it will also stage the fourth race meeting of the year. Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) will travel to the circuit with particularly fond memories as he secured the pole positions for all three races last year.

Meanwhile, Austria’s 4.326-kilometre long Red Bull Ring will be the venue of the 2017 season’s penultimate race weekend. Callum Ilot (Prema Powerteam) will be the man who is particularly happy about the trip to Spielberg, as he was able to win one of last year’s three races contested at the circuit located in Styria. The other two wins were clinched by Canadian Lance Stroll who later went on to win the title and subsequently succeeded in securing a seat in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

This year’s young guns now want to follow Stroll’s footsteps by also attracting the attention of Formula One teams. German Maximilian Günther, last year’s runner-up, will be trying to do one better as he is back for another campaign with the Italian Prema Powerteam. But he has his work cut out since the field features another three drivers who made it to the top ten last year: Joel Eriksson (Motopark), the winner of the 2016 rookie title, Callum Ilott and Ralf Aron (Hitech GP).

Besides, there are quite a number of ambitious young drivers who are determined to give their more experienced rivals a hard time. The Britons Lando Norris (Carlin) and Jake Hughes (Hitech GP) are going to contest their first full FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. For the German motor-racing enthusiasts, Mick Schumacher (Prema Powerteam) and Keyvan Andres Soori (Motopark) will be the most interesting new faces, while the Japanese fans be cheering their compatriots Tadasuke Makino (Hitech GP) and Marino Sato (Motopark). Furthermore, Austria’s Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin), Indian Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) and Australian Joey Mawson (Van Amersfoort Racing) are also making their debut in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

The pre-season tests will give the drivers a first impression of what they are up against in 2017. In Hungary, the test will be held from 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 17:00 o’clock (CET) while the test action in Austria will begin 30 minutes earlier. On day one at the Red Bull Ring, the testing ends at 18:00 o’clock (CEST) and on the second day at 17:00 o’clock (CEST). As usual, on all four days of testing the track action can be followed via the live timing on the official F3 website: www.fiaf3europe.com/live/. And at the end of each test day, the website also publishes a report featuring all important incidents on and off track.