The young guns competing in the 2018 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season now have contested 15 races and quite a number of them already celebrated successes.
To date, rookie Marcus Armstrong (PREMA Theodore Racing) is the driver with the biggest number of points on his tally and holds – consequently – the championship lead, with Daniel Ticktum (Motopark) and Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing) following in second and third positions. But Ferrari protégé Armstrong and Red Bull Junior Ticktum aren’t the only ones who are promoted by an F1 team. Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing, Ferrari), Jehan Daruvala (Carlin, Force India), Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing, Ferrari) and Sacha Fenestraz (Carlin, Renault) also are supported by a team racing at the pinnacle of motor racing.
The fact that the F1 squads support young drivers is helpful for both parties. The young drivers are provided valuable support for their career while the F1 teams have the chance of possibly signing an up-and-coming star early.
Since the comeback of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as independent race series in 2013, the title was won by the former Ferrari Junior Raffaele Marciello (2013), Esteban Ocon (2014, a Lotus Protégé in those days), Williams Junior Lance Stroll (2016) and McLaren-Junior Lando Norris (2017) who demonstrated by winning the title that supporting them had been a good move. Ocon and Stroll were promoted to Formula One and Canadian Stroll even by the team that already supported him in Formula 3. Lando Norris currently races in Formula 2 and holds second position in the championship, thus being on a good path to following his two predecessors to Formula One. And Max Verstappen, today one of the stars at the pinnacle of motor racing, also was supported by Red Bull Racing in his FIA Formula 3 European Championship days.
It goes without saying, that the Formula One team protégés contesting the 2018 FIA F3 European Championship seasonnow want to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.