The scene is set at the Sakhir circuit for the first round of the Formula 3 season. The Ferrari Driver Academy is once again counting on Arthur Leclerc, who this year will have rookie Oliver Bearman as his team-mate.
A field of 30 drivers will tackle the nine rounds of the Formula 3 championship that gets underway this weekend in Bahrain. It’s a quality entry with a host of talented drivers about to do battle in Sakhir. Over the winter, Arthur Leclerc got into shape, winning the Formula Regional Asia series and he is now set to be a front-runner in Formula 3, having enjoyed a strong debut season last year, when he won twice and secured one pole position.
Debutant. Arthur remains with the Prema team, joined this year by another Academy student and rookie in the category, Oliver Bearman. The 17 year old Englishman won last year’s Italian and German Formula 4 titles. In February, Bearman took part in a few rounds of the Formula Regional Asia series, proving to be both quick and a quick learner, with a podium finish to his name. He also showed well in Formula 3 pre-season testing, working hard alongside Arthur.
Clear aims. Leclerc and Bearman are ready to tackle a busy and fascinating season,” commented Marco Matassa, the head of the FDA. “Arthur will be able to rely on the useful experience gained in this category last year and his preparation, including winning the Formula Regional Asia championship. However, each season presents new challenges, such as new circuits, so one should never drop one’s guard. For Oliver, this is a completely new experience, following on from his time in Formula 4 and he will have to get to grips with all aspects of the category, starting with learning about the tyres. Especially in the early part of the season, it will be important for him to make the most of every kilometre in practice and the races to accelerate his progress. We have faith in our drivers and we believe that even if we have set them ambitious goals, Arthur and Oliver have the talent and have done the work to show what they can do in what is a very competitive and selective contest.”
Programme. The Sakhir weekend gets underway today with free practice at 11.25 (8.25 CET) followed by qualifying at 16.25 (14.25 CET). The 2022 season sees the return of the two-race format, with a Sprint Race on Saturday at 12.45 (10.45 CET) and the main Feature Race on Sunday at 11.45 (9.45 CET).