PHM Racing-backed Nikita Bedrin will race for Jenzer Motorsport in this season’s FIA Formula 3 Championship, rather than PHM’s own team.
The Russian driver – who races under an Italian licence – impressed in F3’s 2022 post-season test at Jerez with the Swiss team, which has a close relationship with the German PHM operation.
Bedrin recently made his Formula Regional debut for PHM in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship, taking a best finish of seventh in the opening race weekend at Dubai Autodrome.
“I’m extremely happy to get this opportunity to drive in the FIA F3 championship,” said the 17-year-old. “It’s a big and important step, I am ready to accept the challenge and get the best out of it.
“I want to say a huge thanks to PHM Racing and Jenzer Motorsport for giving me this chance and believing in me. I can’t wait to start and I’m really looking forward to it,” he added.
After a stellar karting career, he stepped up to cars in 2021 with Van Amersfoort Racing, winning the rookie title in both the ADAC and Italian Formula 4 championships. However, due to sporting restrictions and financial sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, his career appeared to be under threat.
New team PHM stepped in to enable Bedrin to compete in the ADAC, Italian and United Arab Emirates F4 championships in 2022. He took two wins in F4 UAE but his European campaigns yielded only a single victory.
Nevertheless, PHM is keen to take the long-term view with its drivers, with team owner Paul Muller commenting: “Nikita has shown great progress and promise through his year of F4 with us and I am excited to see him join FIA F3 for us in co-operation with Jenzer.
“They are an experienced team that will give him the right tools to grow and succeed. I believe Nikita has the skill and determination to surprise quite a few people this year.”
PHM’s team manager Roland Rehfeld added: “Nikita has proven his speed and natural raceskills through the last two F4 seasons. F3 yests last season were pretty promising, and if so far some kind of necessary work out of the race car was missing, he is now aware of the new challenge and his chance to race with such an experienced team like Jenzer in FIA F3.”
“I am happy with his progress in terms of preparation, detailed work, analysis and self-reflection. I think Nikita will be a strong rookie this year and will be able to catch up the top 10. Ambitious, but possible.”
Bedrin is the second driver announced by Jenzer for the 2023 season, and another PHM-linked talent is anticipated to race for the team. Meanwhile PHM itself is yet to reveal any of its drivers for F3, where it will race under the PHM Racing by Charouz banner.