The Formula European Masters attracts a lot of interest by the teams. As successor of the successful FIA Formula 3 European Championship, the Formula European Masters grid already features 16 cars and six teams for the coming season, today. This means a top-class field with many professional teams is beginning to show month before the official start into the 2019 season.

The figure speaks for itself. Five months before the 2019 season will be kicked off at Hockenheim, 16 single-seaters already have been registered for the 2019 starting grid. A figure that proves that the Formula European Masters represents the ideal stepping stone for young drivers on the way to Formula One or DTM. The organisation team of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship smoothly began the preparations for the 2019 Formula European Masters and succeeded in gathering numerous benefits for teams and drivers, inter alia the awarding of important points for the FIA Super License and a reliable partner for every race weekend: DTM.

5 Petru Florescu (ROM, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 2, Hungaroring (HUN), 1. – 3. June 2018

The 2019 Formula European Masters grid will feature teams from all over Europe. The Netherlands will be represented by Van Amersfoort Racing, Germany by Motopark and Mücke Motorsport. Double R Racing and Fortec Motorsports will race for the UK and Jo Zeller Racing from Switzerland will make its comeback in international motor racing.

After the successful tests at Barcelona and Valencia, the feedback of the interested drivers was positive without exception: “Formula European Masters is the only option for Petru Florescu, who had a very positive experience testing with Van Amersfoort Racing in Spain. In the meantime Cameron Das did all his winter testing with Fortec Motorsport and was very comfortable with the car and the team, considering Formula European Masters as the place to be for next season“, underlined Horia Totu, Sportline Management director of Petru Florescu and Cameron Das.

“It’s a very positive signal to witness such a big interest so many weeks before the season will begin,” said Walter Mertes, CEO of ‘Formel 3 Vermarktungs GmbH’. “We definitely are on the right track. The teams and the young guns appreciate the closeness to DTM. They all will benefit from the platform and the professional conditions.”

5 Petru Florescu (ROU, Fortec Motorsports, Dallara F317 – Mercedes-Benz), FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 3, Norisring (DEU), 22. – 24. June 2018

The Formula European Masters will be kicked off in early May at Hockenheim, in the DTM support programme. Eight race meetings later, the series will return to Baden-Württemberg for the season finale. The Formula European Masters will be contested with the proven Formula 3 chassis and the engines supplied by the manufacturers Spiess and HWA. With immediate effect, all the information on the Formula European Masters is available at the new website



MONTEREY, Calif. – Monterey County’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will host the inaugural INDYCAR Spring Training Friday, February 8 for drivers and teams ahead of the 2019 season. This is the first time these open-wheel cars have returned to their spiritual road racing home in 15 years, and the INDYCAR Spring Training provides teams with a valuable opportunity to be reacquainted with the challenging 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course, many of whom will drive it for the first time.

The final race of the past several INDYCAR seasons has determined the championship outcome, and this special on-track testing will provide teams and drivers with vital data gathering information in their INDYCAR championship quests since all roads in the 2019 INDYCAR season ends at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca September 20-22.

“Laguna Seca is such a cool place and I’m really excited that the INDYCAR Series is headed there in 2019,” said Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske. “With the test in February, we have a lot of work to do to get our car in the right place since it is a totally new place for our team, but it’s an exciting challenge we are ready for. I feel like I have a bit of an advantage over the competition having competed and won there in the American Le Mans Series. It’s such a fun California track and I know there’s a lot of buzz around that race as it will serve is the finale race next season. There’s just a lot to be looking forward to there and that all starts with our winter test.”

Among the teams initially confirmed are Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan who will visit Monterey prior to open testing the following week at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Fans can expect to see drivers such as Pagenaud, current INDYCAR Champion Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Josef Newgarden. Another driver who could attend is former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson, who will be making his INDYCAR debut in 2019.

F1Weekly podcast # 777


FIA Formula 2

Russell competing at the Red Bull Ring during the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship

On the podium after winning the Austrian feature race in 2018

On 18 January 2018 Russell was confirmed as a driver for ART Grand Prix for the 2018 FIA F2 Championship,  which would see the new Dallara F2/18 make its debut in the expanding 12-race calendar.  He was also confirmed as the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 Reserve Driver, sharing duties with Pascal Wehrlein on the 22 February 2018.  

Russell qualified in 2nd position on debut at Bahrain, finishing 5th in the opening round of the championship.

At Baku for the second round of the championship, Russell led the majority of the Feature Race before a late safety car caused drama at the restart, denying him a maiden victory in the series. Coming through from the back in the Sprint Race, Russell set the fastest lap on his way to taking victory from 12th on the grid.

Russell took his second victory of the season at Barcelona, after prevailing in a nail-biting duel with Nyck de Vries, taking his maiden Feature Race win of the season.  He followed that up with 4th in the Sprint Race to move up to 2nd in the Championship Standings.

In Monte-Carlo, Russell had an engine failure in Free Practice which severely limited his running. Russell was on the back foot, qualifying in 16th position and endured two races outside of the points.

Russell hit back in France at the Le Castellet (Paul Ricard Circuit), taking his maiden pole position in FIA F2.  He led a wet / dry challenging race from lights-to-flag and took his third victory of the championship.

Formula One

On 19 January 2017, Russell joined Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport as a part of their junior driver programme. It was announced that Russell would take part in both days of the Budapest Test on the 1–2 August, which followed the Formula One World Championship and support series races at the same circuit from the weekend before. On 7 November 2017 it was announced that Russell would make his Formula One practice debut at the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix driving in the first practice session for Force India. Subsequently it was announced that he would also drive for them in first practice session for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Russell was announced as one of the Pirelli Tyre Test Drivers for Force India at the post-Spanish Grand Prix test on 1 May 2018. He completed 123 laps for the team at the test, his first in a Formula One car with 2018 specifications.  In October 2018 it was announced that Russell would be driving for the Williams Formula 1 Team at the start of the 2019 season where he will be partnered by Robert Kubica.

Play Podcast: 12-13-18f1weekly777.mp3



  • Last joint test of the three manufacturers that contested the 2019 DTM season
  • Habsburg surprises with switch from Audi to HWA at short notice
  • BMW is looking for the last available cockpit in a works team

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM will go into extra time: HWA AG, the long-term development and operation squad of the Stuttgart-based manufacturer in DTM, will once again be involved in the ‘Young Driver Tests’, from 10th to 12th December at Jerez, with this year’s Mercedes-AMG car. Yes, the manufacturer bowed out of DTM at the end of the 2018 season but in Andalusia, a DTM car with the star on the bonnet will appear one more time at a racetrack together with Audi and BMW. Reference driver in the Mercedes-AMG racer will be long-term DTM driver Daniel Juncadella.

In addition to the Spaniard, HWA nominated the young guns Jake Dennis (23), Jake Hughes (24), Thomas Preining (20) and Ferdinand Habsburg (21) for the tests. Especially the appointment of the Austrian Habsburg comes as a surprise because the talent, coming from Formula 3, had originally been nominated by Audi for the tests at Jerez. This had already been communicated by the Ingolstadt-based brand.

Audi announced the drivers of their RS 5 DTM last week. A total of six drivers will get the chance of going for it at the wheel of the Ingolstadter’s DTM vehicle: 27-year old rally cross ace Star Andreas Bakkerud, three-time Le Mans winner and former Japanese SUPER GT Champion Benoît Tréluyer (42), Belgium’s successful Audi customer-sport driver Frédéric Vervisch (32), Italian Mattia Drudi (20) and the Formula 3 drivers Jonathan Aberdein (20/South Africa) and Sacha Fenestraz (19/France). Fenestraz will replace Habsburg at short notice.

Aberdein and Fenestraz will test for WRT, the first customer team in this new era of DTM. Vincent Vosse told “The tests at Jerez represent our first opportunity to work with a 2018 spec in the DTM environment.” According to the Team Principal, the two WRT drivers for the 2019 season will be announced in late December or early January. The squad based in Baudour, Belgium, gained international reputation by securing numerous wins and championship titles with the GT3 racer Audi R8 LMS.

The Young Driver Tests following the end of the season are a DTM tradition. In this screening event, the manufacturers offer skilled drivers from Formula 3 or other series the opportunity to demonstrate their talent in the cockpit of a DTM car.

BMW will be represented by – in addition to their works driver Nick Catsburg (30) – Denmark’s BMW Junior Mikkel Jensen (23), South African Sheldon van der Linde (19) and Briton Nick Yelloly (28). The Munich based manufacturer will need one new driver for the 2019 DTM season as Augusto Farfus will focus on GT racing for BMW, from 2019. BMW’s reference driver for the four aspirants will be this year’s DTM rookie Philipp Eng. Just like Audi, BMW also will use a 2018-spec car and a ‘CLASS 1’ prototype for the tests in Spain. The latter will be tested by the former DTM champions Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann.

Meanwhile, R-Motorsport who will make their DTM debut in 2019 as exclusive Aston Martin team, haven’t announced any drivers for their first season with the British luxury sports-car manufacturer. The Aston Martin DTM cars will be designed and developed by a joint venture of HWA AG and the Swiss AF Racing. The new DTM team will not yet be involved in the tests at Jerez.