It has now been confirmed that Olli Caldwell will join the Trident team for the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship. After finishing 5th in the Formula Regional European Championship last year, Olli joined the Italian outfit to race in the 66th running of the Macau Grand Prix in November 2019. After a promising weekend, which followed a test at Valencia, Olli helped complete their driver line up for 2020.
This is certainly the biggest step for Olli in his racing career to date. The FIA Formula 3 Championship is on the support package for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and all nine rounds of the series will take place on Grand Prix weekends. It is seen as a perfect stepping stone to the FIA Formula 2 Championship moving Olli significantly closer to his dream of becoming an F1 driver.
History will be made with the series heading to Bahrain for the first time which will stage the opening round of the championship. It will then tour with F1 on the majority of the European season including visits to Zandvoort, Silverstone, Spa and Monza before concluding at Sochi in September.
With 22 of the 30 spaces on the grid already filled it looks set to be another closely contested season, which will no doubt be the toughest challenge Olli has taken on since stepping out of Karting in 2017. Not only in the calendar and his competitors, but also in the machinery too. The 2019 spec car, which will once again be used in 2020, carries a 3.4L V6 engine producing 380hp. That gets the car from 0-100kmh in just three seconds and goes from stationary to 200kmh in less than eight seconds!
That is a step up from the 270hp Olli had underneath him last year and as well as a quicker engine, he will have to adapt to the switch from a Tatuus chassis to the Dallara. The car has been aerodynamically built to facilitate overtaking and will give Olli his first full taste at using DRS.
Olli has had a chance to race the car with his debut at the Macau GP and official post-season test at Valencia last October, which saw Olli go 15th fastest on the final day. Those two performances, along with Olli’s impressive track record, was enough to convince Trident that he was a worthy fit for one of three valuable seats.
Since forming in 2006, Trident have been racing at both F2 and F3 level. Their track record in the F3 and GP3 categories has been particularly impressive in recent years. Last season saw the team finishing 4th in the Teams Championship with Pedro Piquet finishing 5th in the Drivers’ Championship. Prior to that, the last four years of the GP3 Series saw Trident crowned Vice Teams Champions three times with a worst result of 3rd place! That included championship podiums for Antonio Fuocco and Luca Ghiotto, who partnered Olli in the Bathurst 12 Hour.
Olli’s teammates for the 2020 season will be Devlin DeFrancesco and Lirim Zendeli who will both be entering their second seasons in the championship. Having experience in the garage will be helpful for Olli and it will also see him reunited with Lirim after Olli’s brief campaign in the 2017 ADAC F4 championship where he was teammates with the German.
Now the countdown to the season begins. In just 35 days Olli will be out in Bahrain to officially make his debut, but before then an official pre-season test will get the drivers a chance to get up to speed around the circuit before making history. That will take place just three weeks before the opening round. Bahrain will be one of four circuits Olli will race on for the first time this year, along with Zandvoort, Spa and Sochi.
The format for the championship will be the same as 2019 with two races each weekend going no longer than 40 minutes. The grid for the first race will be determined by a thirty-minute qualifying session with the grid for race two being a reverse of the top eight finishers from race one. With a top eight place finishing guaranteeing points in both races, Olli’s goal will certainly be regular points finishes as the season goes on.
It is a big step up for the 17-year-old who will be one of the youngest drives on the grid and one with arguably the least experience! But Olli has relished these challenges in the past and will certainly not be phased by those around him.
Olli Caldwell: “I am super excited to announce that I will be racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with Trident in 2020. It has been something I have had my sights on for a long time and after lots of hard work and support I am so pleased to have made it. I can’t thank the whole team enough for the opportunity and trust they have placed in me. I can’t wait to get the season start in Bahrain in just a few weeks’ time!”
You can watch Olli throughout the entire season LIVE on Sky Sports F1 and you can also join over 350,000 spectators at Silverstone to cheer him on from the stands in his home race on the 18th & 19th July 2020!
Keep up to date with Olli’s season here and across all his social media platforms!