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Smolyar stays in FIA F3, moves to MP

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Alex Smolyar will stay in the FIA Formula 3 Championship for a third season, but has left ART Grand Prix to join MP Motorsport.

The Russian came sixth in the standings last year, winning the opening race of each of the first two rounds and then making the podium in the Sunday races at Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort.

As a rookie he had been 11th in the points with ART GP in 2020, and stepped up to FIA F3 after two seasons in the Formula Renault Eurocup. In the second of those he won three races, one of them being in Monaco.

“I am delighted to have another season in FIA F3 with MP Motorsport,” said Smolyar.

“Last year I fought a lot of duels with MP’s cars. Then we competed against each other for the same podium places, now we are one team together and we go for as many victories as possible. We will prepare as much as possible in the coming weeks, then we will travel to Bahrain for the pre-season test and the first round of the championship.”

Smolyar is the team’s first signing for 2022, and Alpine junior Caio Collet is linked to staying with the team after being an MP driver in 2021.

“It’s great news that Alex and SMP Racing are relying on MP for next year’s F3 championship,” MP’s team principal Sander Dorsman said.

“Alex is undeniably one of the best drivers to stay in F3 for another season. His vast knowledge of the car and the tracks will serve us well, so we are looking forward to a strong season together.”