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Formula Scout predicts the 2024 FIA Formula 3 season

by Formula Scout
The FIA F3 Championship retains a truly global calendar for 2024 after adding new tracks last year, with a worldwide mix of drivers too. Several of Formula Scout’s writers reveal their predictions for the season…

Contributions from Alejandro Alonso (AA), Ida Wood (IW) and Peter Allen (PA).

10. Oliver Goethe Campos Racing
Test pace 3rd (100.099%)   long run 13th (100.744%)   2023: 8th in FIA F3 Championship, 9th in FIA F3 World Cup

Photo: Red Bull

PA (10th): Goethe did well last year to establish himself in Formula 3 against tougher opposition after his domination of Euroformula. But despite Campos’s improvement last year, it’s unlikely to provide him with a faster car than he had at Trident, so any step forward Goethe can make is probably going to have to come from his side. He does at least seem to have gelled well with the team on previous occasions and is most likely to lead its charge, although Mari Boya could also challenge for team leadership.

IW (5th): Campos was very competitive last year, and I think if that continues into 2024 then Goethe could make the top five in the championship. He would have to maximise every weekend where he has a car capable of being at the front, and if that translates into a few wins he should fit into that space behind the title contenders but ahead of the midfeld in the standings.

9. Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix
Test pace 4th (100.243%)   long run 17th (100.865%)   2023: 22nd in FIA F3 Championship, 10th in Eurocup-3, 23rd in FRegional Middle East

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

PA (4th): Much has been made of ART GP’s slump in F3 form last year, but how much was the team and how much was its driver line-up? Tsolov struggled initially after his leap up from Spanish Formula 4, but his progress was the one positive for the team at season’s end. There was some uncertainty in his winter – he missed out on some post-season running and was the last driver to have his seat confirmed – but also enough promise in the pre-season test to suggest his talent will have the chance to shine through on his day.

IW (6th): Last year’s F3 results hid how impressive a driver Tsolov is, which he proved with a Eurocup-3 cameo that resulted in two poles and two podiums. In his main campaign he finished 11th three times before finally breaking into the points after 15 races, and he outdid his team-mates on race pace despite being outscored by them. If he and the team make enough small gains in multiple areas it should lead to a big jump up the order.

8. Martinius Stenshorne Hitech GP
Test pace 13th (100.388%)   long run 18th (100.948%)   2024: 8th in FRME   2023: 2nd in FRegional Europe, 18th in FRME

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

AA (5th): Stenshorne shone as a Formula Regional European Championship rookie last year, especially in the season’s first half when he was arguably the fastest man on track. Repeating the feat of being series runner-up in F3 might be an almost impossible task, but he should still be performing at a high level. He was not among the fastest in pre-season testing, but his team was. Therefore, car competitiveness should not be a problem as long as he bonds with Hitech GP and its procedures.

PA (7th): With Andrea Kimi Antonelli bypassing F3, it’s the driver who ran him so close in their only FREC campaign who arguably starts as the most qualified and exciting rookie in the field. He seemed to adapt seamlessly to F3 in his first tests at the end of last year, and was then a bit more anonymous in Bahrain’s pre-season running while team-mate Luke Browning was setting the pace. Hitech hasn’t often been able to have more than one driver fighting at the front in F3, but Stenshorne looks good enough to make that happen.

7. Arvid Lindblad Prema
Test pace 23rd (100.957%)   long run 6th (100.317%)    2024: 13th in FRME   2023: Macau F4 Race winner, 3rd in Italian F4, 4th in Euro 4, 5th in F4 UAE

Photo: Prema

PA (6th): This a big jump for Lindblad that was already lined up before his 2023 F4 season collapsed, and it’s a step others have struggled with before. But at Prema he’s in the best place possible to help him adapt – since 2019, it’s never had a driver finish outside of the top 10 in the F3 standings – and especially with two more experienced team-mates to learn from. It would not be a surprise if he’s fighting them for feature race wins by the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.

IW (9th): One of Lindblad’s most impressive weekends last year was in Macau, where he took pole, victory and fastest lap in both F4 races. But he was gutted that he did not get the chance to make his F3 debut at the same track a week later. Had he been able to enter 2024 with some F3-level exprience under his belt, then I think Lindblad would have a better chance of holding a candle to his Prema team-mates this year. Instead, he has three rounds (and one win) in FRegional as preparation for F1’s support paddock.

6. Alex Dunne MP Motorsport
Test pace 7th (100.299%)   long run 7th (100.404%)   2023: 2nd in GB3

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

IW (7th): The way Dunne stood out on his F3 debut in the 2023 Macau Grand Prix caught the attention of many observers, and even though he crashed out of the main race he was a contender for victory. Choosing MP Motorsport over Hitech, who he has spent the last two years with, means new connections need to be made and if his testing pace was anything to go by he’s already clicked with the team, and of course the car.

AA (8th): Dunne definitely has the speed to shine in his rookie season. That is undeniable considering how quickly he adapted on his category debut in the Macau GP last year. His testing pace was also strong straight away despite joining a completely new team for him. Those are encouraging signs. The only doubt is whether the lesson was learnt at Macau. If so, and he is patient enough, he will bring some spice to the races.

5. Tim Tramnitz MP Motorsport
Test pace 5th (100.246%)   long run 4th (100.126%)    2023: 12th in Euroformula, 3rd in FREC, 20th in FRME

Photo: Roger Gascoigne

AA (4th): MP has had a highly competitive package in recent seasons, and according to pre-preseason testing data that will again be the case this year. There is no doubt that Tramnitz has shone more as a sophomore driver rather than as a rookie, but F3 could well be a completely different story due to the characteristics of the championship. If he stays calm and collected, the German can become the underdog of the season, stepping on the podium regularly and even winning several races.

IW (8th): I expect Tramnitz to be the top FRegional graduate on the grid in FIA F3 this year, although he already has a little bit of F3-level experience having made the podium in all three Euroformula races he contested in 2023. Since last October he has had Red Bull’s backing, which could add pressure or help him under its direct glare in the F1 support paddock.

4. Leonardo Fornaroli Trident
Test pace 10th (100.363%)   long run 5th (100.315%)   2023: 11th in FIA F3 Championship

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

PA (5th): Fornaroli is prime dark horse material. He showed good performance already on his day as a rookie in 2023 with minimal experience under his belt, but it’s hard to know what his true potential is, having won only once in his car racing career to-date. It’s surprising that Trident didn’t find a better calibre of rookie to place alongside him for 2024, but this could mean Fornaroli will thrive as the team’s main focus for the championship in what will surely remain a very quick car.

IW (3rd): Putting plenty of focus on long runs in pre-season testing at Bahrain, leading to him setting more laps than anyone else, should make Fornaroli well positioned to start his second season on a high. He scored in every single round and made the podium three times last year but ended up 11th in the standings, so if he has improved pace he should bring home a lot of points and even be a title outsider.

3. Dino Beganovic Prema
Test pace 14th (100.464%)   long run 1st (100%)    2023: 6th in FIA F3 Championship, 11th in FRME

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

PA (2nd): We saw Beganovic make a big step forward in his second year in FRegional and I’m expecting similar in F3. He benefits from remarkable stability going into his fifth season with Prema, and was already competitive on his day last year with four feature race podiums. If he can bring some second-year consistency, he could be very tough to beat over a whole season, just as he was in 2022. But is he good enough to have the edge over Gabriele Mini, who firmly shaded him the last time they were team-mates back in Italian F4?

IW (2nd): The highest placed returnee from 2023 may not be an F3 winner yet, but he has everything he needs at Prema to fight for the 2024 title. His competition for the crown is therefore likely to be from a team-mate, and it was very close between Beganovic and Mini in testing and even last year while at different teams. Historically, both have been rapid at Imola and in Monaco too. It could be a fight of fine margins on weak weekends, where I think Beganovic will lose out.

2. Luke Browning Hitech GP
Test pace 1st (100%)   long run 3rd (100.117%)    2023: FIA F3 World Cup winner, 15th in FIA F3 Championship, 26th in FRME

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

AA (1st): Browning’s speed was already there since day one, only consistency was missing. He was able to capitalise on his blistering pace at the end of his rookie F3 year as he won the 2023 Macau GP. Building on that promising season with Hitech can only bring positive results, as it was proved in pre-season testing. The battle for the 2024 FIA F3 title will be a close one, but this driver and team combination definitely has to be one of the favourites.

IW (4th): Browning spent five years racing cars in Britain before heading to Europe and coming third in ADAC F4. He then went back to Britain to race in GB3, which could have killed momentum but he won the title. And it was still effective preparation for F3 as he sat seventh in the standings after his first seven races last year. But he only scored once after that, and his Hitech team boss Oliver Oakes said that after showing a lot of promise, Browning “didn’t quite put it together when it mattered” but then “almost made up for that in a good way in Macau”. He followed that up by topping pre-season testing so has already begun 2024 on a high.

1. Gabriele Mini Prema
Test pace 9th (100.353%)   long run 2nd (100.018%)    2023: 3rd in FIA F3 World Cup, 7th in FIA F3 Championship, 22nd in FRME

Photo: Prema

IW (1st): Mini has reunited with the engineer that ran him during his title-winning Italian F4 campaign in 2020, and that could be his not so secret weapon for success this year. We have seen so many times in the past the impact an engineer can have on a driver’s competitiveness in this championship. The partnership proved its effectiveness when Mini returned to Prema’s ranks for last November’s Macau GP and he finished third after qualifying second fastest.

PA (1st): This is a make or break year for Mini and reuniting with Prema should bring the best out of the Sicilian on a more regular basis than we’ve seen since his Italian F4 success with the team. It’s been close between Mini and Beganovic throughout the winter and I expect a tight fight between the two team-mates for the championship. But, for me, it’s Mini that possesses that extra special something and this is his opportunity to turn that talent into another title.