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Ferdinand Habsburg targets European F3 title attack in 2018

Ferdinand Habsburg 2017

Formula 3 European Championship race winner Ferdinand Habsburg aims to remain in the series for a crack at the overall title in 2018.

The Austrian won at Spa in July during his rookie Euro F3 campaign with Carlin and is seventh in the standings with one round remaining.

He says staying in the category will be best for his development as a driver.

"I really fancy the cars and admire the people F3 has brought up," Habsburg told Autosport.

"This season, young people have been good in Formula 1 because they were good in F3, like Max Verstappen being rapid and Lance Stroll being on the front row at Monza.

"Since I was in karting, I'd always looked up to the F3 race winners, and it's cool to think that now as a karter I might look up to myself.

"F3 is traditional and has stayed the same, and you can't deny its history when you look at graduates like Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastian Vettel.

"It's difficult to drive, and it helps young, talented drivers prove themselves - what else do you want from a junior category?

"When I see GP3, I see polesitters breaking down and not making the grid, and I see people winning races and you're thinking, 'Really, are you sure?'

"F3 is pure, there's nothing artificial about it, and there's so much track time that I feel I'm in a privileged world."

Habsburg says he is most likely to remain with Carlin, which has also been strongly linked with Formula Renault Eurocup leader Sacha Fenestraz and new BRDC British F3 champion Enaam Ahmed.

"Carlin is definitely at the top of my list," said Habsburg, "but I've not decided yet.

"There's another great team you can look at but Carlin is the one on the same level as Prema, they took me on and believed in me and they're really clever guys.

"But I've got some manoeuvrability, I've proved myself a bit."

Defrancesco aims for full season

Devlin DeFrancesco

Devlin DeFrancesco is also aiming for a full Euro F3 season in 2018 after making his series debut last time out at the Red Bull Ring with Carlin.

The 17-year-old Canadian, a former British Formula 4 race winner who lies fifth in Euroformula Open this year with Carlin, will also contest the 2017 Euro F3 finale at Hockenheim.

DeFrancesco took a best finish of 12th on his debut, but in one of the races he set a fastest lap within 0.4 seconds of the overall best lap of team-mate Lando Norris.

He had experienced three days of testing with other teams in an FIA-spec F3 car before the Red Bull Ring, before a further half-day with Carlin.

"I'm going to do Hockenheim and then crack on with the winter testing," said DeFrancesco.

"This is the championship I want to be in - you get a lot of mileage."

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