Charouz Racing System is pleased to confirm David Schumacher, Igor Fraga and Niko Kari as its driver line-up for the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship.
The Czech-based team will return for a second season in the Formula 1 support category and is eager to add to the promising results it scored during a fiercely competitive 2019 season.
David, son of Formula 1 race winner Ralf, finished fourth in the 2019 Formula Regional European Championship after claiming four wins. The German, 18, tested with Charouz Racing System at the end of the F3 season, and joined the squad for the prestigious Macau Grand Prix, where he showed strong pace on the challenging street circuit.
Igor is a driver that is making a big impact after transitioning from eSports to single-seater racing. The Brazilian took part in the 2017 Formula 1 eSports Championship and won the inaugural FIA Gran Turismo Nations Cup, before being crowned champion of the McLaren Shadow Project. Last season, the 21-year-old claimed four wins as he finished third in the Formula Regional European Championship. In 2020, he is currently leading the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series.
Niko brings front-running F3 experience to the team having scored two podiums during the 2019 FIA championship season. The 20-year-old Finn also has a race-winning pedigree in the European Formula 3 Championship and the GP3 Series. He also participated in four FIA Formula 2 Championship races in 2018.
All three drivers will begin their 2020 on-track preparations when pre-season testing begins on 1 March at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Middle East venue hosts the championship’s opening round on 21-22 March when Niko will race car #23, Igor car #24, and David car #25.
Antonin Charouz, team owner, said: “We’re delighted to announce such an exciting driver line-up for the new season, and we’re thrilled to welcome three fantastic racers to the team. Igor and David are newcomers to this championship but showed excellent speed and maturity in a competitive series last year, while Niko is very experienced in Formula 3 and will no doubt be among the front-runners. We’re excited to make a step in F3 after laying some solid foundations last season.”
Bob Vavrik, team principal, said: “After our first year competing in Formula 3 we are highly motivated to achieve further success in 2020. We worked with Igor and David during last year’s Valencia test and they were both exceptionally professional, while David showed great promise at Macau. We’ve tracked Niko’s progress in Formula 3 and know he is an experienced addition to our family. I look forward to seeing what all three can achieve this season.”
David Schumacher said: “I feel really happy and grateful to make the step up to FIA Formula 3 full-time with Charouz. I drove two events at the end of last year and that was good preparation for the season ahead. I got to learn more about the car, and that’s valuable as we don’t have many practice opportunities during race weekends. I think we can make a step forward this season and I will try and finish as high as possible.”
Igor Fraga said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the Formula 3 field with Charouz. It is a competitive series and a very professional environment – running at the same events as F1 is kind of crazy to think about. I just can’t wait to start my season. This year is about the process of learning. Of course, the goal is always to win a race, but I am not underestimating the challenge ahead either. I will give my best and push to achieve my goals.”
Niko Kari said: “I’m really looking forward to this year. It will be a nice challenge to go and fight for podiums and why not for the championship as well? It’s going to be an interesting journey with Charouz and I’m sure we can work well together. I want to improve myself as a racing driver and Charouz is a very professional team. I’m hoping this can be the start of a long-term relationship and that we can make a good season out of it.”
The 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship will consist of 9 rounds and 18 races, starting in Bahrain in March and concluding in Russia in September, with all events supporting Formula 1 and Formula 2.