The name Pierre-Louis Chovet might be unfamiliar to you right now. But we’re confident that by the end of the season Chovet will be a lot more well known. PLC as F3 Asia commentator, Ian Silvestrin, insists on calling him will be in FIA F3 this season. He’ll be racing for Jenzer in one of their pretty blue and black liveried cars. So why are we excited about this? Well because of F3 Asia, really.
Pierre-Louis Chovet: The 2021 F3 Asia vice-champion
F3 Asia was a winter series held in January and February. This season it started at the Dubai Autodrome on the 29th of January and finished at Yas Marina on the 20th of February. The series bounced back and forth between the two tracks on differing layouts for a total of fifteen races.
The grid featured an array of seriously good talent. Guanyu Zhou, Jehan Daruvala and Roy Nissany from F2. Then there was Roman Stanek and Ayumu Iwasa from FIA F3. Couple those with plenty of FREC drivers and Irina Sidorkova from W Series, you can start to see what we mean by a stacked grid!
Against all these drivers, PLC won six of the fifteen races, including three in a row on Yas Marina’s Corkscrew layout. Narrowly missing out on the title to Zhou, it was a staggering statement of intent from the young Frenchman. So, was Chovet upset to miss out on a first single-seater championship win?
I'm actually quite happy because I mean, for sure, I was disappointed in the moment because I was aiming to win the championship after the nice round 4 I had in Dubai
Now looking backwards, I will take the positive out of it, as yes I performed quite well with the most wins (six) in the championship!
Chovet is quick to attribute his meteoric rise in performance to his new engineer. He stresses the importance of the need for a strong voice from inside the garage.
I think the collaboration with your engineer is very important because you are making the results as a team. And you need to be confident from both sides of the garage. The engineer needs to hear the drivers feelings and, in the meantime, the driver needs to adapt to the car.
Pierre-Louis Chovet’s early years
Pierre-Louis Chovet is still a teenager yet his early years show there is plenty more to come from the young Frenchman. A lot of this talent will be tested this year when the Formula 3 season commences in Barcelona.
PLC first burst onto the single-seater scene at the tail end of the 2017 French F4 championship. He managed two season-best finishes of 8th at Paul Ricard.
These impressive drives landed PLC a full-time race seat in the series for 2018. He took no time to repay the faith shown in him. Seven podiums including a victory at the aforementioned Le Castellet circuit meant he finished the season in an impressive 6th place.
His form in the junior categories earned him a seat at Hitech for the Spa and Monza rounds in the 2020 FIA Formula 3 season. Chovet was replacing the Brit, Max Fewtrell. This, coupled with his form in the Asian F3 series meant he was the perfect candidate for the Jenzer outfit in 2021.
Joining Jenzer Motorsport for 2021
Jenzer are a Swiss outfit with a raft of experience in junior single-seaters. They have boosted the profile of many young drivers, most notably the highly rated Yuki Tsunoda who finds himself at Alpha Tauri this season. Given his talents, Pierre-Louis Chovet had many options for this season. However, it was the team’s pedigree and the family ethos the Swiss outfit harbours that made it an easy choice for the Frenchman.
I tested with many teams last year but the feeling from the first meeting onwards was really good with Jenzer. I also felt the managers are really close to the technical department. I like that its a family team and I think I will improve in this environment.
Getting sponsorship is vital to help boost a young drivers career and PLC is backed by Travel Planet.
He highlights how without it, getting your foot on the motorsport ladder can be troublesome if you don’t possess the financial backing needed.
I struggled in the first part of my career especially in go-karts because my parents are, let’s say, working class. I couldn’t do much more than 5 or 6 races in a year so my parents told me okay we need to find you sponsors. I went alone from the age of 12 and the managers were quite impressed so they started to help me.
I found Travel Planet in the middle of 2019, and we signed a contract for 2020. I’m really happy about that–it changed my life and I can now do Asian F3. Without my sponsors it would have been impossible to do even one race.
Like many drivers at his level, the end goal is Formula One. But Chovet will keep his options open as his career progresses. In the immediate future, he hopes to impress this season in F3 before graduating into a top team in Formula 2 for 2022.
I and the rest of the GP Grandstand team will be following Pierre’s season with a degree of optimism when the season commences in Barcelona next month.