Sophia Floersch returns to FIA F3, lands PHM Charouz seat
Sophia Floersch will return to single seaters after 2020, having joined PHM Racing with Charouz for her second FIA Formula 3 season.
Sophia Floersch will return to single-seaters for a full-campaign in FIA Formula 3, as the 22-year-old German star joins PHM Racing by Charouz.
Floersch returns to the series after 2020, when she contested her rookie season in the third-tier F1 feeder championship with Campos Racing, in a double program that also saw the young racer making her debut in sportscars, in the European Le Mans Series with all-female crew Richard Mille Racing Team.
"I'm really excited and feel fortunate about joining PHM Racing for this year's FIA F3 season. My aspiration has always been to race with the best of the best. My goal was to come back to formula racing at some point and I am thankful to have given that opportunity this year by the whole team" – said Floersch.
Her career in open wheel racing started in 2016, after she graduated from the British Ginetta Junior championship, where she had made history by taking two victories, four podium finishes and a pole position in one of the most propedeautic series in junior motor racing.
Floersch's progression in single seaters was just as momentous: in her two years in Formula 4, the Bavarian driver became the first woman to score points in the ADAC F4 – at that time one of the most competitive F4 series in the world – and then claimed two podiums.
In 2018, Floersch raced in the highly-competitive FIA F3 European Championship; while she made global headlines for surviving the infamous Macau crash, she had actually contested a very promising campaign, scoring her first points and improving significantly through the season. Less than four months after breaking her spine in Macau, Floersch was back on track in the new Formula Regional European Championship, which she would finish in seventh place in the standings.
From 2020 to 2022, Sophia has been one of the most impressive youngsters in LMP2 machinery, making more history in ELMS with two consecutive podiums and overall with top-three-worthy pace at most of the rounds. In her first 24 Hours of Le Mans, she came home with a top-ten in class, sharing the Richard Mille Racing Team's Oreca with Calderon and Visser.
While she proved to have what it takes to be a potential star in endurance racing, her interest for single seaters remained; towards the end of the 2022 season, Floersch returned behind the wheel of a F3 car – the Euroformula-spec – for a test at Mugello, where she had the chance to get back in the rhythm after two years.
With German outfit PHM Racing making its debut in FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 in a joint venture with Charouz Racing, the opportunity arose for Floersch to make her return on the formula path.
"I'm aware that the opportunity doesn't come without its challenges", Sophia continued.
"There wasn't any test days. It's a short call. But then again. nothing is written in motorsport. I will definitely try to enjoy this year to the fullest!"
Floersch will drive the #29 Dallara machine, in the 10-event and 20-race schedule which is set to kick-off in Bahrain on March 4-5. Floersch will drive for the first time at Melbourne's Albert Park, as well as one the iconic Monaco street circuit.
Over the last five years, only two female drivers have raced in the main F1 feeder series: Tatiana Calderon (FIA F3, FIA F2) and Sophia Floersch (FIA F3). Beitske Visser, Samin Gomez, Carmen Jorda, Alice Powell and Vicky Piria raced in the then-branded GP3 Series (2012 to 2015).
2023 FIA F3 Calendar:
R1 - Sakhir, Bahrain / 4-5 March
R2 - Melbourne, Australia / 1-2 April
R3 - Imola, Italy / 20-21 May
R4 - Monaco, Monaco / 27-28 May
R5 - Barcelona, Spain / 3-4 June
R6 - Red Bull Ring, Austria / 1-2 July
R7 - Silverstone, UK / 8-9 July
R8 - Hungaroring, Hungary / 22-23 July
R9 - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium / 29-30 July
R10 - Monza, Italy / 2-3 September