“Disgusted” Chovet loses F3 drive after one round

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Asian Formula 3 championship runner-up Pierre-Louis Chovet has lost his seat in the FIA Formula 3 series ahead of its second round next week.

The 19-year-old raced for Jenzer in the opening triple-header at the Circuit de Catalunya last month, scoring a best finish of 14th.

He told his social media followers his season was over because “my main investor unilaterally decided to throw in the towel and withdraw from my project.”

“This comes after the last official FIA F3 test in Jerez, where I did a great job with the team finishing ninth on the first day and performing really well on the two race simulations of the last day among the four best drivers,” Chovet added.

“We were very confident to get excellent results from the second event next week at Paul Ricard where I wanted to shine for my home [grand prix]and bring back to the team the first 2021 podium. But I won’t have the opportunity to drive, to my great despair.”

Chovet led much of this year’s Asian F3 series, and finished second to current Formula 2 points leader Guanyu Zhou. He ended the season ahead of other current F2 drivers including Jehan Daruvala and Roy Nissany.

He has been replaced in Jenzer’s line-up for next weekend’s F3 round by Johnathan Hoggard.

“I hope with all my heart that my single-seater career will not end there,” said Chovet. “I will continue to prepare myself with my pool of professionals to seize all the opportunities that will allow me to continue climbing the ranks to the top of the [motorsport] pyramid.

“[I’m] disgusted today but we keep pushing.”

Image: Pierre-Louis Chovet via Twitter

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on ““Disgusted” Chovet loses F3 drive after one round”

  1. I thought the FIA streamlining of feeder series made it cheaper to get seats, at least F3 level. Seems like it hasn’t worked put well enough. A shame really, Chovet was one of the few drivers in F3 Asia who was regularly embarrassing Zhou and Daruvala, at least after Isack Hadjar left to focus on his FREC campaign.

    1. @wsrgo On the contrary; the FIA’s streamlining meant that only seats with high Superlicence points distribution for a given level held enough value to enable teams to break even. Worse, it forced teams into the most expensive series (as they were the ones that were awarded Superlicence points). This reduced supply (at some levels, seat count has halved) without reducing demand and increased the minimum price due to creating a captive market for teams. Result? A large and entirely predicatable increase in cost.

      1. @alianora-la-canta It’s also left drivers with fewer places to go as some of the alternate paths that once existed (Formula Renault 3.5 for instance) no longer exist & many of the regional championship’s no longer seem as important as they once did given how you can no longer go from say British F3 straight into F2 or even F1 as many used to.

        I think they wanted to copy the Mazda Road To Indy thing that has been the path to Indycar for about 10 years now. However for as praised as that often is i’m not sure it’s a model that has really worked given how over that time they have struggled to have a field of 10 cars in Indy Lights & many of the champions in the lower categories struggle to land full time ride’s in Indycar. Over the past 10 years I think Josef Newgarden & recently Pat O’Ward are the only Indy Lights champions who were able to find a consistent full time drive in Indycar, Most of the others come & go depending on what budget they can put together. And when you look a bit further down the ladder to F2000/Indy Pro 2000 it’s even worse.

        I think the road to Indy has benefited the IMSA sportscar series more than it has Indycar.

        1. @stefmeister It’s also possible the FIA hoped to emulate MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3, which has a brilliant track record of bringing on young talent and rarely loses riders to World Superbikes and the like (mainly when riders “find their level” in upper Moto2 or the lower part of MotoGP and decide they’d be better off in World Superbikes). Unfortunately, the FIA failed to take into sufficient account that the MotoGP system exists as a whole system, not just a streamlining initiative.

          The numerous options for getting through the international phase of motorbike circuit racing of the style that eventually led to MotoGP never really existed; organisers had enough of a time making development paths for each style of motorbike without putting in multiple routes to a specific style’s apex. It has long been expected that most seats at Moto3 level are taken by the satellite operations of MotoGP manufacturers, who have enough seats each in MotoGP and Moto2 to make it reasonably certain that the best rider of a given level per manufacturer will be able to get a seat in the next tier up (if the rider and manufacturer feel that’s the best thing to do). The pervasive manufacturer backing makes it easy for most riders in Moto2 and Moto3 to afford their seats, and serious efforts are made by all three series to keep things cheap for the independent teams. A Moto2 seat is €2.6 million, which sounds a lot but is about half the cost of a F2 seat nowadays. (It’s also regarded as a lot by Dorna, but that’s because a Moto2 seat and an independent MotoGP seat cost the same amount to provide. Imagine the complaints if F2 teams had to charge the same as a pay-driver F1 seat does!)

          MotoGP has generous team funding, guaranteed grid places and a maximum cap on the price of machinery. F2 and F3 have the guaranteed grid places but not the other features. If the cost of machinery rises in F2 or F3, that’s automatically passed on 100% to the teams, who then have to pass it 100% to the drivers unless they get lucky with sponsorship. F2 and F3 also provide no money to their teams. The result is that Moto2/3 teams expect to be able to have enough spare budget to pay drivers, and F2/3 teams expect drivers to pay them. That’s the difference between having the freedom to select for talent, and being obliged at some level to select for wallets.

  2. Chovet called his sponsor an “investor.” Does this imply that the sponsor owned a share of his future earnings or had some other way of recouping its “investment” (besides marketing exposure, obviously)? Even if it’s not the case for Chovet, do these kinds of arrangements exist for some junior drivers?

  3. He was clearly cheating in the Asian F3

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