2023 F2 Driver Lineup: Bearman to PREMA? Leclerc to DAMS?

Oliver Bearman during the Formula 3 round in Zandvoort, Netherlands on September 4, 2022. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Formula 3 drivers Ollie Bearman and Arthur Leclerc will potentially be the latest additions to the F2 Driver Lineup for 2023.

According to French magazine AUTOhebdo, Formula 3 rookie Ollie (Oliver) Bearman and Arthur Leclerc will be the third and fourth drivers joining Formula 2 for the 2023 season. Previously, fellow rookie Isack Hadjarย and fellow PREMA teammate Jak Crawford announced their intentions. Bearman is expected to continue racing for PREMA in F2, while Leclerc could be heading to DAMS, replacing Roy Nissany.

Bearman to PREMA?

The seventeen-year-old Brit made a name for himself this past season finishing third in the championship, just seven points behind Victor Martins. Bearman’s season saw him earn one win and eight podiums. However, during the controversial season finale at Monza, Bearman found himself P2 and battling for the lead before a red flag heartbreakingly ended his efforts. Martins was crowned champion in the pits as a result.

PREMA’s 2022 lineup saw Bearman join Leclerc and Crawford, both of whom were in their second season. However, Bearman didn’t let his rookie status faze him as he consistently found himself out-scoring both of them. Over the course of the season, Bearman found himself prone to time penalties, particularly track limits. Bearman has admitted that these mistakes were the reason he was unable to win the title.

Reports indicate that Bearman will team up with Mercedes Academy driver Frederick Vesti, who already has a year in Formula 2. With Bearman finishing the 2022 season on top form, can he keep that momentum in 2023?

Arthur Leclerc to DAMS?

The 22-year-old Monegasque driver finished sixth in the F3 championship, taking one win and two podiums. Leclerc found himself in the championship fight, along with eventual champion Victor Martins, for a while before a string of costly errors saw him drop down to sixth behind his teammate Bearman.

Throughout his two seasons in F3, Leclerc built a reputation for his overtaking ability, a skill that was essential as he tried to rectify his poor qualifying performances.

Leclerc is the younger brother to Ferrari star Charles Leclerc, and, following his brother, joined the Ferrari Drivers Academy (FDA) in 2020. Many fans have speculated that Leclerc’s familial connections are a primary reason he could land a Formula 2 seat.

Despite Leclerc’s up-and-down performance, it is evident he has talent. As he proved when he became the 2022 Formula Regional Asian Champion (FRAC) driving for PREMA Racing. All three of PREMA’s 2022 Formula 3 drivers could be graduating to the next level. However, Leclerc’s seat only looks guaranteed if DAMS driver Roy Nissany fails to secure a seat.

Hadjar & Crawford teammates at Hitech?

AUTOhebo is also reporting that Formula 3 competitors Hadjar and Crawford will be teammates in Formula 2. Both have apparently signed for Hitech Grand Prix, the team that Hadjar raced for in 2022 in F3.

2023 F2 Driver Lineup:

  • PREMA Racing: Ollie Bearman & Frederick Vesti
  • Hitech Grand Prix: Jak Crawford & Isack Hadjar

Italics indicate reported lineups that have yet to be confirmed by the team.ย