Home Featured Floersch “trying to use” her sportscar experience in her return to F3

Floersch “trying to use” her sportscar experience in her return to F3

by Ida Wood

Photo: Alpine

Sophia Floersch returned to single-seaters for 2023, and she told Formula Scout about the value of her interlude in sportscars and how it compares to her experience of Formula 3.

The 22-year-old Alpine junior’s car racing career began in sportscars, winning in the entry-level Ginetta Junior series in 2015. She then spent two years in Formula 4, picking up two podiums, before a part-time FIA European F3 campaign in 2018.

That year ended with a back-breaking horror crash in the Macau Grand Prix, but recovery went well enough for her to sign up to European F3’s successor series Formula European Masters. However that failed to go ahead so she instead stepped down to Formula Regional for 2019, before returning to Macau to race in the new-look F3.

Floersch spent 2020 in the single-make FIA F3 Championship, which succeeded GP3 on Formula 1’s support bill, but started making LMP2 outings too and committed to sportscars for 2021. She came 13th in the World Endurance Championship’s LMP2 class, and 18th in the GT3-spec DTM.

A European Le Mans Series LMP2 campaign followed in 2022, before she was signed by Alpine as a Formula 1 junior and headed back to F3.

“The years I spent in endurance racing in the LMP2 made me in general a better racing driver overall,” Floersch reflected during last weekend’s F3 round in Monaco.

“I think the approach you have is completely different because you share a car, team mechanics, engineers are a lot more important, just because of strategy and pit stops and all that stuff in endurance racing. So as a driver and also as a person in general, I learned a lot. And I’m using it, or trying to use it at least, here in [F3] now.

“Obviously also I got older, so I think when you get older at that point you also get more mature. But yeah, I mean every single kilometre you can do in a good race car is helpful, and the LMP2 is insanely quick. Driving-wise, super similar to formulas, well F3. So it was for sure the right step for me to go there.

“And then with F3, when I did F3 in 2018, the car was insane. The car is still like, now it has some upgrades, but still [when F3 was an open formula] it was lighter, it has more aero, so it was really fun to drive.

“I can really just compare Macau, it’s also a street circuit and I raced it with both of those cars. And the downforce you just had in corners was insane in the old F3. But still, it’s a little bit different kind of driving if you compare those two cars. And I think the [current] F3 is similar, or closer let’s say, to the Formula 2 car.

“So it makes you closer to the next step which now is F2. So for sure the direction to change the car and use this one as FIA F3 was the right choice, just to prepare us drivers to do the next step up.”