Ayrton Simmons will make a full-time step up to the FIA Formula 3 Championship with Charouz Racing System in 2022.
He debuted with the Czech team at the final round at the Sochi Autodrom in September, amid a GB3 Championship title challenge which brought four wins and five podiums in his second full season.
Simmons’ car racing career started with three years in the F4 British Championship with Arden Motorsport and JHR Developments, where he took five wins and 19 podiums in total.
He debuted in British F3 with Chris Dittmann Racing during his second-place 2018 British F4 campaign, before stepping up and finishing third with the team in 2019.
The 20-year-old spent the first part of 2020 contesting the Euroformula Open championship with Double R Racing, before making a wildcard British F3 appearance at Brands Hatch and taking two wins with JHR.
He returned to GB3 full-time in 2021, and was tipped as a title favourite, eventually finishing second, just ahead of Team Motopark‘s new Euroformula recruit Christian Mansell.
He holds the GB3 record for points scored, and has the third-most wins in its current guise since 2016, behind Enaam Ahmed and 2020 British F3 champion Kaylen Frederick.
He will rekindle some old rivalries in 2022, with Frederick confirmed at Hitech GP for his second year in the series, and Ollie Bearman, Reece Ushijima and GB3 champion Zak O’Sullivan also competing with Prema, Van Amersfoort Racing and Carlin Buzz Racing respectively.
Simmons will join second-year driver Laszlo Toth and 2020 Italian F4 Championship runner-up and UAE F4 champion Francesco Pizzi at Charouz, and is positive he can build on a solid introduction to FIA F3.
“I’m very grateful to [Team owner] Antonin [Charouz] and the whole Charouz Racing System team for this opportunity,” he said.
“Having my first full season in FIA F3 will be a demanding and exciting challenge for me; I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and try immediately to find a good feeling with the Dallara in order to start off on the right foot from the first race in Bahrain.
“It will be interesting to race against some of the best young drivers in the world and to race on legendary tracks like those on the calendar, especially at Silverstone which will be my home race.
“A good result there would be a dream, but we’ll obviously try to give our best in every round and take every opportunity to end in the top positions.”
Antonin Charouz added, “It’s a pleasure for us to be able to continue to have Ayrton in the team after last year’s positive debut, a first experience that I’m sure will be of enormous value for him as he approaches this new and demanding season.
“With his reconfirmation, our F3 team can now count on three drivers of undoubted talent and potential, with whom we’ll aim to get into the points from the very first races.
“The guys are already working really hard to prepare for the first test sessions; we’ll do everything possible to make the most of the three days at our disposal and get to the first round in the right conditions to show a good level of competitiveness.”