Academy Report: Franco leads charge with all our young drivers in action

Published on
06 Mar 2023
Est. reading time
3 Min

The entire Williams Racing Driver Academy kicked off their seasons this weekend

It wasn't just Williams Racing's F1 drivers who enjoyed their first racing action on the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, the Williams Racing Driver Academy were out in full force, too.
There were championship debuts, new teams, and a podium across our four drivers this weekend.
Here's how our Academy got on.

Formula 3

Franco Colapinto

Our new Argentine driver showcased why we wanted to add him to our roster with an impressive P2 finish in his first race wearing Williams Racing colours.
The tight F3 field had the top 20 drivers all qualify within a second of pole position, and Franco's qualifying time meant he took the reverse grid pole for Saturday's Sprint Race.
Two safety car periods slowed proceedings, but Franco aced both restarts to maintain the lead.
A late charge from Pepe Martí demoted Franco to P2, but the leading pair's control left a sizeable four-second buffer to P3, and Franco picked up 2023 podium number one on his first attempt.
A frantic Feature Race saw more points with a P10 classification, and, at this very early stage, the 19-year-old sits P6 in the F3 standings.
WATCH: Franco celebrates brilliant Bahrain debut for Williams Racing

Zak O'Sullivan

The tight F3 qualifying session meant Zak would start both races in Bahrain from P18 on his debut with reigning team's champions PREMA Racing. Undeterred, our 18-year-old ace learned a lot from his weekend and put in overtakes aplenty in the process.
The Sprint Race had Zak cross the line in P13 in a session where he demonstrated his car control with a wide oversteer moment on the first safety car restart. However, a penalty for a rival meant he took P12 for his first 2023 race.
Zak went one better in Sunday's Feature Race to net P11 after the stewards punished new teammate Paul Aron for colliding with the Williams Racing driver.
A race-long fight in the midfield with academy members Franco Colapinto and Ollie Gray sharpened Zak's racecraft in his new team.

Ollie Gray

A promotion from British F4 to Formula 3 is Ollie Gray's prize for his vice-champion efforts last year.
Ollie sticks with Rodin Carlin for 2023 and started his season outqualifying his two teammates with a P21 lap time.
Ollie brought his car home in both races by keeping out of trouble, with P21 finishes in both instances.
He led his Carlin teammates over the line in the Feature Race, but a five-second penalty for track limit violations demoted him from his original P18 finishing position.

Indy NXT

Jamie Chadwick

Three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick had a weekend of learning in her new American surroundings on the streets of St. Petersburg. The 1.8-mile Floridian road race is frantic, with high speeds and barriers always nearby.
On Saturday, the entire field qualified within a second of each other, and Jamie took P18 for her maiden Indy NXT race.
Unfortunately, an early crash for Jagger Jones left Jamie with nowhere to go, and her Andretti Autosport ran into the rear of the #98 car.
JC had more Turn 4 issues with a tyre barrier collision and a trip down the escape road.
However, she avoided terminal damage and finished her first race in P13 with an eight-week gap to take on the valuable lessons learned from her debut weekend.
Our three F3 hopefuls will now make the long trip down under to Australia for the championship's first visit to Albert Park from 30 March-2 April.
Jamie has a longer break before her trip to Alabama's Barber Motorsports Park across 29-30 April.
Contact & Media
Store Location
Stay in the Loop
Powered By
© the Williams Group, under licence to Williams IP Holdings LLC
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 1297497. Its registered office is at Grove, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 0DQ
Powered By