New Ferrari Driver Academy recruit Robert Shwartzman is stepping up to European Formula 3 in 2018 with Prema Powerteam.
The 18-year-old Russian makes the move after starring in this season’s Formula Renault Eurocup, in which he finished third before being taken onto the FDA scheme.
Shwartzman, who hails from St Petersburg, was reportedly very impressive in his first F3 test with Prema at Magny-Cours in September, and has taken part in numerous test days in Spain and Portugal.
He joins fellow FDA member Marcus Armstrong in Prema’s 2018 F3 line-up, while another Ferrari protege – Chinese driver Guan Yu Zhou – is strongly tipped to remain with Prema.
Prema team manager Rene Rosin said: “Robert is not only skilled but also, despite his young age, remarkably experienced.
“He will be an extremely valuable resource for the team in the challenging 2018 season and we are sure that, with the help of the Ferrari Driver Academy, he will have the chance to make further steps forward.”
“The step to the FIA F3 European Championship will be key for my career and I’m sure we will be a highly competitive all-round combination,” said Shwartzman.
“In addition, it will be a healthy environment to make further progress.”
Shwartzman made his car-racing debut shortly after his 15th birthday with some end-of-season outings in Italian F4 in 2014, and then finished third in Italian F4 and fourth in the German series in ’15.
He graduated to Formula Renault in ’16 and became a title contender in ’17 – he has taken a remarkable 32 podium finishes in his three full seasons of car racing.
Prema is expected to run five cars in European F3 next season, with Mick Schumacher looking set to continue for a second campaign and Ralf Aron tipped to return after a year at Hitech GP.
2018 European F3 line-up so far:
|Motopark|| Fabio Scherer