MICHAEL PATRIZI TO RACE IN 2007 F3 EURO SERIES WITH PREMA POWERTEAM Australian international racing star Michael Patrizi has today announced the most significant move of his young motorsport career by signing with championship-winning ...
MICHAEL PATRIZI TO RACE IN 2007 F3 EURO SERIES WITH PREMA POWERTEAM
Australian international racing star Michael Patrizi has today announced the most significant move of his young motorsport career by signing with championship-winning Prema Powerteam for the 2007 F3 Euro Series Championship.
The 22-year-old West Australian will drive for the Prema Powerteam, one of only two squads to ever win the prestigious F3 Euro Series crown, the most competitive Formula 3 championship in the world.
Italian-based Prema Powerteam won the inaugural F3 Euro Series Championship in 2003 with Australian Ryan Briscoe. Dutch driver Renger Van der Zande will join Patrizi at Prema this season.
The championship is regarded as the stepping stone to Formula 1, with 2005 Euro Series champion Lewis Hamilton going on to win the 2006 GP2 championship and will race for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in the FIA Formula One World Championship this season.
Patrizi will drive the F306 Mercedes-Dallara of Prema Powerteam, importantly becoming the first Australian to drive a Mercedes-powered Formula 3 car. The Mercedes-HWA engine is widely regarded as the most powerful in international Formula 3 racing, making it a vital ingredient to any championship challenge.
The F3 Euro Series is held on some of the premier international circuit in Europe, including the Formula One venues of Hockenheim and Nurburgring in Germany, Barcelona in Spain and Magny-Cours in France.
Patrizi carries strong momentum into season 2007 having kept up a busy schedule of international testing and racing in the second half of last year. Patrizi finished eighth in the Formula BMW UK Championship, starred on his Champ Car Atlantic debut with Team Australia, became the first Australian to drive a GP2 car at Paul Ricard in France and impressed with quick times in World Series by Renault testing.
One of Patrizi's main rivals in this year's F3 Euro Series Championship will be ASM Formule 3 driver Nico Hulkenberg, who currently leads the A1 Grand Prix series for Germany.
Michael Patrizi -- Prema Powerteam Mercedes-Dallara F306
"I am really excited about the opportunity to be driving for a championship-winning team in Prema in the world's most competitive F3 Championship," said Patrizi.
"Angelo Rosin at Prema has been fantastic to deal with and they have shown their interest in me since my World Series by Renault test at Paul Ricard in France back in November.
"I will be doing everything I possibly can to make my first year in Formula 3 the best year of my career to date.
"Together with the great relationship I have with my new team, Prema has with the best engine manufacturer in Formula 3 in Mercedes Benz. So horsepower won't be an issue.
"I am looking forward to the start of the season with our first test coming next week at Hockenheim. I can't wait to get into the car and start working with the crew at Prema."
Angelo Rosin -- Prema Powerteam Team Principal
"For Prema, the arrival of Michael Patrizi will give us the chance to work with a young and ambitious driver who has demonstrated potential in the junior championships in which he learnt his trade," said Rosin.
"We will do everything possible to give him the best chance to learn and obtain the results that we both hope for.
"With Michael Patrizi we've signed a driver who already succeeded in proving his skills in the lower categories."