Formula Regional Asian Championship, Dubai, 2021

Four F1 juniors among 28 drivers confirmed for Formula Regional Asian Championship

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Four drivers currently part of Formula 1 driver academy programmes have been confirmed on the grid for this weekend’s opening round of the Formula Regional Asian Championship (FRAC).

Ferrari Driver Academy drivers Arthur Leclerc, Mercedes-backed Paul Aron and Red Bull juniors Jak Crawford and Isack Hadjar have all been announced as part of the 28-strong field for the new season of the series. The championship uses Formula 3 cars with less powerful engines than the FIA’s F3 championship, which supports several Formula 1 races.

Ferrari junior Leclerc will race for the Mumbai Falcons India Racing team. Charles Leclerc’s brother will team up with another relative of an F1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya’s son Sebastian. He will compete in the first three events of the five round championship before his seat is taken by another Ferrari Driver Academy driver, Oliver Bearman.

Red Bull juniors Crawford and Hadjar will drive for Prema and Hitech respectively. Aron will also join Crawford at Prema. With the exception of Aron, all F1 junior drivers racing in this year’s FRAC will also be on the grid for the upcoming FIA Formula 3 championship. Newly-announced F2 driver Cem Bolukbasi will also contest the series for Evans GP.

Last year’s FRAC title was claimed by 2022 Alfa Romeo F1 driver Guanyu Zhou, driving for Prema. The series was previously known as the Asian F3 championship.

The opening FRAC round begins this weekend at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, with a two-day test followed by three races around the grand prix circuit. The championship will feature five rounds, all taking place in the UAE, with three events at the Dubai Autodrome featured between two rounds at Yas Marina to begin and end the season.

Previous graduates of the series include Zhou, Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin, Formula 2 drivers Jack Doohan, Jehan Daruvala and Liam Lawson and two-time W-Series champion Jamie Chadwick. Other regional variants of the junior category include European, Japanese and Americas championships.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Four F1 juniors among 28 drivers confirmed for Formula Regional Asian Championship”

  1. Amazing grid but this chassis in every championship that its used produces really boring racing. Dont know why it is, maybe its too heavy? (drivers comment on how heavy the car is compared to other single seaters)

    1. Isn’t there a mandatory weight limit?

  2. FRAC, or FARSE as I prefer, is everything that is wrong with the FIA.
    The series was previously known as the Asian F3 championship.

    People understand what F3 is, they don’t understand what Formula Regional is. It just makes a mess.
    There have always been regional F3 championships, then occasionally an international F3 championship and it never confused people. Then essentially any F3 car could then compete at Macau (maybe slight mods required, but nothing that couldn’t be achieved).
    It really annoys me that the current FIA F3 championship has locked out the name, and its all just silliness and money.
    I understand the whole GB3 / British F3 name issue was down to them not actually using an F3 car, but here this should just be the Asian F3 championship as always (or if you really want to moan, the “Middle East F3 championship” considering its not going anywhere near South East Asia this year!)

    1. Close quotation after “The series was previously known as the Asian F3 championship.”
      My kingdom for an edit button!

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