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Opinion
FIA F3 Monza

The rising star getting back on track

Jonny Edgar was riding the crest of the wave after winning the 2020 German F4 title and was part of the Red Bull junior line-up. But a tricky spell in FIA F3, compounded by illness last year, means he's now pondering a sportscar switch. Here the BRDC SuperStar reflects on a rollercoaster couple of seasons

Jonny Edgar, MP Motorsport

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Last season in the FIA Formula 3 Championship I had to deal with a loss of energy, feeling unwell, and I was losing lots of weight too. I managed OK in pre-season testing but, during the opening race weekend in Bahrain, I struggled. I had no strength to drive, and it was really hard. I was later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, so withdrew from racing while I recovered and regained my fitness. Thankfully, that happened quite quickly, and I was able to come back at Silverstone in the middle of the season and finish in the top 10.

It was just before the last few rounds last year that we started exploring options for another team for the 2023 season, and decided we would go with MP Motorsport, who are a great team. They are proven race winners and I get on really well with all the engineers and mechanics, and there were a couple I knew from testing with MP at the end of 2020 too. There were still quite a lot of new people to get to know, but I get on well with my team-mates as well, and it’s full of really nice people. That’s good.

The first few rounds of this year were really difficult but, since the fourth weekend at Barcelona, we changed some things and it’s been going a lot better. Some weekends haven’t gone exactly to plan, but I’m consistently in the top 10 in qualifying and where I’d expect to be, whereas at the start of the year I was struggling a lot and wasn’t fast, so I’m happy that things have improved.

I also took part in the Formula E Rookie Test in Berlin earlier this year, with Envision Racing. It was really interesting and something very different to everything I’ve done before. I was there for the weekend watching and listening to the debriefs, and to see how a much bigger team works. You have 10 to 15 engineers just for two cars, so it was really good to be a part of a race weekend and then take part in the test.

Edgar had the chance to sample Formula E machinery earlier this year

Edgar had the chance to sample Formula E machinery earlier this year

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Unfortunately, in the actual test I didn’t get many laps because of a few different reasons, but I enjoyed the car over the few laps I did manage. It’s very different from what I’m used to; also it was one of my first times on a street track, so that was different as well, driving with walls so close. Having no gears and the instant torque you have is very different and I definitely enjoyed it.

Back in FIA F3 I would say that the Red Bull Ring weekend was good. I started P16 for both races and finished P5 and P6, with one race wet and one dry, so it was good to do it in two different types of conditions. Qualifying was disappointing, so that was a shame, but the rest of the weekend went really well. That’s definitely the highlight so far.

"Away from my own racing, I’ve done a little bit of driver coaching with Fortec in British F4, just a couple of races when I am free. Every time I coach, they win, so I could have a good career ahead after I hang up my helmet!" Jonny Edgar

I’m excited for the final races of the season this weekend at Monza. It was quite good last year, so I think it’ll be interesting, because it’s always crazy in qualifying there with the slipstream, and everyone waiting. You need a bit of luck as well, especially in qualifying, but I’m excited to race there again. The racing is always exciting, because you’ve got the best chance of anywhere this season to be able to make passes, so I am sure the fans will enjoy it.

This is my third season in FIA F3, and it will probably be my last racing in single-seaters. Most likely I’ll be looking at LMP2 or GT3, something like that hopefully, but we haven’t made any plans yet. Away from my own racing, I’ve done a little bit of driver coaching with Fortec in British F4, just a couple of races when I am free. Every time I coach, they win, so I could have a good career ahead after I hang up my helmet! Apart from that, I haven’t done too much else. It’s quite a busy season with lots going on, so it’s good to relax when I have some free time and get ready for the next race weekend.

Edgar is now pondering a future away from single-seaters

Edgar is now pondering a future away from single-seaters

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

It’s also my third year as a BRDC SuperStar, which has been good. There are still some people who have been on it from when I started and then you have new people coming in who you get to know, especially people who race in series you don’t usually see.

We have had several days organised this year, with training and other activities, which are always nice as everyone gets together, you get to meet and chat and try new things. When you’re at a race weekend, you don’t really have time to see anyone outside of your team-mates. You don’t really see many people at all, so even when you race together you don’t get to sit and have a chat, which means it’s nice to catch up with the other SuperStars in F2 and F3 on these days out.

It’s always interesting doing something different – for example we spent time with the UK bobsleigh team – so they are always enjoyable days. It’s good to see different sports and ways of doing things, because normally there’s something that’s relevant. We take so much away from the days that the BRDC helps organise. It’s always good to learn about alternative approaches.

Edgar returned to racing at Silverstone last year and enjoys learning from fellow BRDC SuperStars

Edgar returned to racing at Silverstone last year and enjoys learning from fellow BRDC SuperStars

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

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