Jazeman Jaafar and Pietro Fantin have been revealed as the completing members of Carlin’s team for the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. Malaysian Jaafar will be embarking on his third year in the championship with Carlin, while Brazil’s Fantin is switching to the champion team following a strong first full season with Hitech.
Jaafar and Fantin were unveiled yesterday at the launch of the team’s grand new race headquarters in Farnham, Surrey. Their addition to the Carlin British F3 squad brings its strength to five; they join young Brits Harry Tincknell and Jack Harvey, and Spain’s Carlos Sainz Jnr, son of the rally legend.
Fantin, 20, claimed one race victory and three additional podium finishes on his way to championship eighth last year. The Curitiban aims to be Carlin’s fifth successive champion and the 13th Brazilian wearer of the coveted crown: “I have no other objective but to win the championship. Of course I will need luck, I will need to give my best performance and the car needs to be great. Last year was my first full season in the championship – it was OK, top 10 was what I expected – and I gained a lot of experience with the tracks. Carlin was the wisest and best choice for me for 2012, and now I know that I have the best car on the grid, and that gives me extra confidence.
“I want to be the next Brazilian champion of British Formula 3. It’s possible – it is a matter of working hard, training hard and doing the best possible job.”
Jaafar was just 17 when he came into the championship after success in karting, Formula Renault Asia and Formula BMW. With 60 British F3 races under his belt, Jazeman believes that 2012 will be the season he gets on the victory trail: “There is still a lot for me to learn and Formula 3 is an ideal route for me. I’m still only 19 and I am looking forward to the challenge. I have the experience and I know the tracks, and I see no reason why I can’t be at the front. It’s a question of getting up to speed with the new car and as soon as all that is settled I think we will be at the front.
“I will take it a step at a time. I don’t want to rush into it thinking it’s all about winning because I don’t want to carry too much pressure. I just want to focus and do the job and I am sure the wins will come,” adds Jaafar, who scored consistently in 2011 to place championship sixth.
Carlin’s test and development work with its five new Volkswagen-powered Dallara F312 chassis begins in earnest early next month. The opening round of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series take place a month later (Apr 6/7) at Oulton Park.