The talented Team UK rising stars targeting F2 and F3 glory

Thursday 29 February 2024

It’s not only the FIA Formula One World Championship which blasts off this weekend in the Middle East as both FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 Championship feeder series are also revving up at the dune-lined Bahrain International Circuit. 

As part of the Formula 1 support package, F2 and F3 provide the perfect super-competitive platforms for the next generation of rising stars to showcase their talents in front of F1 teams at some of the most challenging and renowned circuits in the world. 

Adding to the excitement, this year’s F2 sees the introduction of a brand-new chassis. Once again built by Dallara, the new car is as close to an F1 machine as possible in terms of design, safety and 200+mph performance. The turbocharged, 3.4-litre, V6 Mecachrome engine remains as in the previous chassis but has been evolved still further to run on Aramco sustainable fuels. 

The soon to be assembled 2024 grid stars 22 aspiring young racers all ready to battle it out across 14 different venues. Twelve returnees are joined by 10 rookies with no fewer 17 different nationalities represented across the impressive entry, including a trio of super-talented young British drivers with their own Grand Prix dreams. 

Motorsport UK Academy graduate Oliver Bearman made the step up to FIA Formula 2 in 2023 and the Ferrari junior enjoyed a stellar first campaign with PREMA, winning four races, including in Azerbaijan, where he qualified on pole, and won both the Sprint and Feature race. He is set to continue with PREMA for his second season, now joined by another of the sport’s most talked about rising stars – Mercedes Junior Team protégé Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The highly-rated 17-year-old Italian is by-passing F3 to make a big leap into F2 fresh from winning the 2023 Formula Regional European Championship. 

Bearman is joined on the 2024 F2 grid by fellow countrymen Taylor Barnard and Zak O’Sullivan – both were race winners in F3 last season. Barnard, a member of Team UK, is one of two rookies competing for PHM AIX Racing while Williams Academy driver, O’Sullivan, lines up at ART Grand Prix alongside Victor Martins, the French ace who was top F2 rookie last year when finishing fifth overall. 

There is even more British interest in Formula 3 with five promising home-grown talents among the 30 contenders all of whom again will be racing Dallaras, this time powered by 3.4-litre normally aspirated 6-cylinder engines developing 380hp.  

Like O’Sullivan, Luke Browning is another Williams Academy driver and he will be looking to build on his Macau F3 World Cup win at the tail end of last year while Callum Voisin graduates as British GB3 champion.  

Arvid Lindblad is another climbing the career ladder – he rises into F3 having taken top F4 honours on the streets of Macau. Joseph Loake, too, received a major boost when winning the coveted Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award in December and will be keen to justify that accolade now he’s advancing from GB3 to F3.  

The fifth Brit on the 2024 F3 grid is Cian Shields, runner-up in the 2023 Euroformula Open Championship.

Another familiar name among the F3 rookies is Ireland’s Alex Dunne, runaway winner of the ROKiT British Formula 4 Championship in 2022.  

Browning, Voisin and Lindblad are further members of the Motorsport UK Academy, an initiative set up specifically to nurture the very best of UK motorsport talent into the senior levels of the sport.  

You can follow their progress by tuning into Sky Sports F1. The dedicated motorsport channel once again will be screening all rounds of F2 and F3 Championships live alongside its exhaustive F1 coverage.