This weekend, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is going to kick off its maiden season at Monza’s tradition-rich 5.793-kilometre GP circuit. With a field of 30 competitors, among them two girl racers, the young-talent series features is one of the strongest race series of the world. And all the drivers have got the same goal: they want to follow the footsteps of famous former Formula 3 drivers, such as Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel, by also making it to the Formula 1 and battle it out for race wins and the World Championship, there. 

The gifted young drivers on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship grid could prepare for the new season on a total of three official days of testing: two at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya and one at the Royal Monza Park. William Buller (ThreeBond with T-Sport) proved to be the quickest on two of the three days, with his ThreeBond-Nissan powered single-seater. The driver who set the fastest lap time on the third day was Ferrari protégé Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam). Just as Buller, he also is confident regarding the coming season.

In addition to Buller and Marciello, there are several experienced Formula 3 drivers on the grid who also have set themselves the goal to win the European Championship title on and the Formula 1 test for Ferrari: Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke Motorsport), who finished fourth in the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series, opted for contesting another Formula 3 season and the same applies to the likes of Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports) and Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsports) who came third and fourth respectively in last year’s British Formula 3 International Series. Meanwhile, Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport), Vice-Champion and best rookie in the 2012 Euro Series season, is going to contest his Formula 3 farewell weekend, at Monza. The 18-year-old German recently succeeded in securing a DTM cockpit.

Nonetheless, the season certainly will not be a walk in the park, for the experienced drivers. After all, rookies such as Josh Hill, the son of former Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill, are determined to give them a hard time. In the official tests, two of the rookies delivered in particularly impressive style: Italian Antonio Giovinazzi (Double R Racing) and Briton Jordan King (Carlin). Both young guns succeeded in securing top-five positions on the time sheets, on one of the days of testing. And the two young women on the grid, Michela Cerruti (Romeo Ferraris) and Tatiana Calderón (Double R Racing), definitely also will give their very best to hold their ground in the battle with their numerous male opponents.

The venue of the FIA Formula 3 Championship season kick-off is Monza, a circuit with loads of history and tradition. Thanks to its three straights, the circuit that is located not far from Monza and annually stages the Italian F1 Grand Prix makes for a lot of slip-stream battles and overtaking manoeuvres. In Germany, the series’ TV partner n-tv covers race 2 and race 3 (both on Sunday) live. And Motors TV even offers the motor-racing enthusiasts the chance of watching all the three races live.

Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam): “I’m happy about the fact that the season finally begins. The day of testing here at Monza demonstrated that we have got what it takes to also battle it out at the front end of the field on a fast track. Last year I finished second in the European Championship ranking and so, there’s only one goal for me, in 2013: I want to secure the title. Nonetheless, I haven’t got the feeling that the pressure has increased. The three days of testing didn’t provide a hint who will be the hottest title contender as the gaps between fastest lap times of the drivers were just too small. I think we will have to wait for the first races to get a clearer and more realistic picture.”