Sauber Junior Team ramps up FIA F3 preparations


10 April 2019

“In spite of the rain we’ve had two productive days and we can be quite happy with the progress that we’ve made.”


Jamie Dye, Team Manager  

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz continued its preparations for the 2019 FIA Formula 3 Championship during a productive second pre-season test at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sauber Motorsport – the company that runs Alfa Romeo Racing in Formula 1 – has collaborated with Charouz Racing System to field development drivers in each rung of the FIA single-seater ladder, including Formula 3.

Following an encouraging first test in France last month, Sauber Junior Team by Charouz’s trio of young drivers got back behind the wheel of the F3/19 machine for two days of running in mixed weather conditions at the 4.65km circuit in Spain, as rain featured on both days.

Lirim Zendeli, Fabio Scherer and Raoul Hyman all racked up further experience in the new-for-2019 Formula 3 package at the Catalan venue, which will host the opening round of the season next month.

The trio completed 449 laps – equivalent to over 2,000 kilometres of running – while Zendeli, the reigning ADAC F4 Champion, capped the test with the fastest time during Wednesday afternoon’s session.

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz will conclude its F3 pre-season testing at the Hungaroring in Hungary on 17-18 April, ahead of the opening round of the season at Barcelona on 12-14 May.

Antonin Charouz, Team Owner, said: “I’m satisfied that we have made some good progress from the foundations we established at the first test in France. It was good to experience some changeable weather conditions because that allows the drivers to understand the car better and they will be well prepared when we encounter wet races during the season. Lirim’s fastest time in the final session was a positive way to round things off and now we look forward to the next test in Hungary later this month.”

Jamie Dye, Team Manager, said: “Our run plan was interrupted by the weather but we were able to go through different set-up tests to gather more data. We were very encouraged by the pace both on the short runs and the long runs, as they were very competitive, so we’re happy with that. In spite of the rain we’ve had two productive days and we can be quite happy with the progress that we’ve made.”

Fabio Scherer said: “The start of the test wasn’t ideal as we were struggling a bit with the car, but we managed to improve. Unfortunately, by the time the track conditions dried, I didn’t have the new tyres left, so I was unable to set a good time, and there was a lot of traffic as well. For me, at least the car feels easy to drive, I just need to understand the tyres a little more, and I hope it goes better in Budapest.”

Lirim Zendeli said: “I learned a lot as I’m still gaining experience in the series. We had some productive days and the rain was actually useful as I was able to feel how the car works in wet conditions. In the dry we are not far off and I think we have good potential when we can get a lap hooked up. For sure it’s nice to finish the afternoon P1, even if we’re not sure what tyres the others were on, and I’m quite happy with those two days. We’re constantly improving and I’m sure we’ll make further gains in Hungary.”

Raoul Hyman said: “Over the two days we did a lot of laps and it’s good to see the team is getting there. We need to keep working a bit on the balance as there’s more potential in our package, and I’m sure once we do that we can raise the bar. At the moment we’re not quite where we want to be, but after a few teething problems in Paul Ricard this felt like the first proper days of running we’ve done. We just need to keep pushing to make the car a bit quicker, and there’s always improvement on the driving side as well, which is quite usual. Onwards and upwards for the next test!”

“In spite of the rain we’ve had two productive days and we can be quite happy with the progress that we’ve made.”


Jamie Dye, Team Manager  
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