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FIA F3 Silverstone

Hitech names replacement for banned F3 racer at Silverstone

James Wharton will make his Formula 3 debut with Hitech at Silverstone after Martinius Stenshorne's suspension for an unapproved GB3 cameo at the track

James Wharton, Fortec

The Hitech Formula 3 team has announced its replacement for the suspended Martinius Stenshorne at Silverstone this weekend, following the Norwegian's ban for racing at the track in another category.

Australian James Wharton will make his F3 debut at the British Grand Prix-supporting event, stepping up from the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine in which he currently sits sixth in the standings.

A former member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Wharton finished in the top five in each of the past two seasons in Italian F4.

McLaren junior Stenshorne, who won the Melbourne sprint race, joined Chris Dittmann Racing for the GB3 meeting at Silverstone in April and earned a best finish of ninth.

His participation the meeting contravened Article 10.4 of F3's sporting regulations, which requires prior approval from the promoter or the FIA in writing to participate in another series, and resulted in a suspension being announced in May.

An FIA document announcing 18-year-old Stenshorne's sanction stated: “The driver of car 15 explained that he was not aware of the requirements of Article 10.4 and that both activities, the test, and his participation in the GB3 event, were organised by his management team.

Martinius Stenshorne, CDR

Martinius Stenshorne, CDR

Photo by: JEP

“The team representative explained that he was unaware of the driver’s participation in the GB3 test and competition in Silverstone until he received the summons from the stewards but admitted that Hitech Pulse-Eight was present in the event as they run three cars in the GB3 Championship.”

Had permission been sought, the FIA clarified this would not have been granted “due to the similarities between the GB3 car and the F3 car and the sporting advantage gain for the driver”.

Wharton also made a GB3 cameo at the Silverstone meeting with Fortec, taking a best finish of 11th on his category debut.

“I can't thank Hitech Grand Prix enough for the opportunity and for trusting me to take the wheel this weekend at Silverstone,’ said Wharton.

“This is the biggest opportunity I've had in my career so far. It's going to be a challenging weekend, but I can't wait to show what I can do.”

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