Formula 3 will be the third different category in which Joey Mawson, Harrison Newey, and Mick Schumacher have raced against each other. Mawson had a clear advantage when they were all teammates in German F4 (and beat Schumacher to the title last year with twice as many victories) but the trio now seem to be a bit closer. Between them they won 14 of 16 races in the recent MRF challenge and Newey narrowly claimed the title after passing Mawson in the final laps of the final race.
Schumacher is with the Prema Powerteam who have won the last seven championships in a row so they will give him the best possible chance of success. Mick is fast but tends to make mistakes so he will need to match speed with consistency to prove he is more than just a surname. His teammates will be Callum Ilott and Maximilian Gunther who are two of the strongest drivers from last year to line up again. Gunther was the 2016 runner up to Lance Stroll whilst Ilott (who was once part of the Red Bull young driver program) took six podiums and a pair of victories. Both are expecting to be title contenders.
Ilott and Gunther were outscored by Joel Eriksson over the final 6 races in 2016. Eriksson was very consistent with 10 podiums and will be a title threat this year if those 2nds and 3rds turn into wins. In the final race of 2016, Eriksson was joined on the podium by Jake Hughes who performed well in a one-off guest appearance. Hughes joins Formula 3 full-time this year after winning multiple races in last year’s faster GP3 championship. In theory this should be quite good preparation against a field of less experienced runners.
If any of the seven drivers above want to win the title in 2017, they will have to beat Lando Norris. The 17 year old is part of McLaren’s young driver program and won three different single-seater championships last year alone. He is one of the best young drivers in the world and, after proving quick in testing, he will be hard to beat.