F1 Esports Star Igor Fraga Joins FIA Formula 3
February 7, 2020
It’s a storyline that has seemed more and more inevitable with the passage of time. Esports and on-track racing collide once more – except this time, it’s on an F1 race weekend.
Igor Fraga was announced on Wednesday as part of an all-star team at Charouz Racing System in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Alongside two-time F3 podium finisher Niko Kari, and David Schumacher (son of Ralf Schumacher), Fraga will form part of Charouz’s impressive line-up for the 2020 season.
It will represent the first time that an F1 Esports competitor has featured at an official F1 weekend. He will showcase his talents as F3 gets under way at the Bahrain International Circuit, 20-22 March. There, he will be part of a 30-car field looking to dazzle under the lights.
In an interview with the Formula 3 website, he said:
“Iâ€™m really looking forward to joining the Formula 3 field with Charouz.
“It’s a competitive series and a very professional environment – running at the same events as F1 is kind of crazy to think about!”
Though raring to go, the F3 rookie is well aware that acclimatisation and getting a feel for the new environment will be of utmost importance.
â€śI just can’t wait to start my season. This year is about the process of learning. Of course, the goal is always to win a race, but I am not underestimating the challenge ahead. I will give my best and push to achieve my goals.â€ť
Fraga’s involvement with F1 Esports was back in the inaugural 2017 Series. A solid performer in the qualifying heats, the Japanese-born Brazilian was a frontrunner to begin with. He finished his heat third, behind eventual champion Brendon Leigh, and Nicolo Fioroni. This earned him a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the final. However, he was unable to convert it into silverware, picking up six points at the event.
But since then, he’s gone on to crush it in pretty much every series he’s entered. He’s been on the esports scene for several years now, and has taken top honours around the world, including at world finals in Monaco. He also scooped the McLaren Shadow Project title at the start of 2019.
Most recently, he secured the Manufacturers Series title in Gran Turismo, alongside team mates Tomoaki Yamanaka and Rayan Derrouiche.
Despite his beginnings in Esports, he’s already racked up a seriously impressive CV on-track. His first major series was the 2017-18 NACAM Formula 4 series, where he finished fourth.
More recently, he finished third in the Formula Regional European Championship. He was in good company too – finishing behind PREMA Racing’s Frederik Vesti, HWA Racelab’s Enzo Fittipaldi, and just ahead of new team mate Schumacher. He’s also currently leading the Toyota Racing Series, with two wins and seven podiums. Incredibly, this could in theory give him 35 FIA Superlicense points, with the tariff for entering F1 at 40.
The step up to F3 will no doubt be his biggest yet. But it is often said that good things don’t happen from comfort zones. Fraga will compete against some of the very best young talent in single seaters in F3. With proven championship-winners, descendants of legends, and hardened competitors, it’s already shaping up to be a competitive field – and we still don’t know half the grid. What ever happens, Fraga’s involvement is the latest in a growing list of esports and motorsports intertwining.
Fraga’s first time at the wheel of the Dallara F3 2019 chassis will be during pre-season testing in Bahrain, which takes place from March 1-3. Make sure you’re following FIA Formula 3 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news from the series.
And of course, if this news has got you dreaming of your name in big lights on a leaderboard somewhere, fear not. Watch this space for all the latest news and updates on what is sure to be a spellbinding 2020 season…
Share this article