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 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.
- O’Ward signs McLaren SP contract extension until end of 2025
- Lawson earns Monaco F2 pole but is under investigation
- Raikkonen to make racing return in NASCAR at Watkins Glen
- Record-breaking speeds and wide-open field for 2022 edition of IndyCar’s biggest race
- Dixon grabs pole position for Indy 500 with record-breaking run