Sauber Junior Team set for FIA F3 debut


07 May 2019
My aim is to be consistent through the season and I want to fight at the front

“My aim is to be consistent through the season and I want to fight at the front”


Lirim Zendeli  

After an intensive winter of preparation, the Sauber Junior Team will kick off its FIA Formula 3 Championship season in Spain this weekend.

The driver development squad, a collaboration between Sauber Motorsport – the organisation that runs Alfa Romeo Racing in F1 – and Charouz Racing System, is one of 10 teams that will contest the newly-formed junior series and run alongside the FIA Formula 1 and Formula 2 championships at eight events this season.

Sauber Junior Team by Charouz will be represented on the F3 grid by reigning German Formula 4 champion Lirim Zendeli, F3 podium finisher Fabio Scherer and F3 Asia champion Raoul Hyman.

All three drivers will pilot identical F3/19 cars in 2019 and have gained valuable experience during three productive pre-season test sessions in France, Spain and Hungary.

The 4.65km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will play host to the opening round of the campaign at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, with Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions preceding a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday.

Antonin Charouz, Charouz Racing System owner, said: “The FIA Formula 3 Championship is the last of our three series to get underway so we’re all looking forward to seeing how things play out at Barcelona. We’ve done lots of good work during the pre-season months and we’ve shown some good speed and learning in testing. I hope we can make a strong start.”

Jamie Dye, Team Manager, said: “The first round has been a long time coming. The drivers are all fired up and eager to get the wheels turning. Realistically, we want to be challenging for podiums and having all three drivers in the points. We’re expecting a tough battle on the track but, given the pace we had at the end of testing, we’ve shown the potential of the car and I’m confident in our driver line-up. I think we can put on a good show.”

Lirim Zendeli said: “I’m really happy to be back in the car after a long winter. Barcelona is one of my favourite circuits, especially with the many high-speed corners. My aim is to be consistent through the season and I want to fight at the front. I hope I can be somewhere in the top-five if we do everything right, but my primary target is to get into the points.”

Fabio Scherer said: “All of the homework has been done since testing ended and it should be fine this weekend. This is a race weekend to get confident and get into the rhythm and finish both races. I’m desperate to get back on the track and go racing. It’s been seven months since my last race – that’s the longest time in my career.”

Raoul Hyman said:“I’m excited to get the season underway properly. As a team, we’ve done a lot of work through the three tests to get ready and I think we’ve made good progress with the car. If we continue to build on that and move forward in the right direction we can go to Barcelona in a pretty confident mood. Hopefully we can start the year in a strong way.”

My aim is to be consistent through the season and I want to fight at the front

“My aim is to be consistent through the season and I want to fight at the front”


Lirim Zendeli  
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