Felix Rosenqvist

PREMA Racing may be not as well known in North America as in European racing circles, but the Italian team joining the NTT INDYCAR SERIES starting in 2025 with a two-car, Chevrolet-powered operation has boasted a veritable all-star team of junior drivers in its lineup for the last 40 years.

The team started in 1983 in the Italian Formula 3 championship and has evolved to where this season it is competing in FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3, along with Formula Regional European Championship, Formula 4 and the all-women driver category F1 Academy.

A look at the names and faces in the PREMA Hall of Fame is impressive.

PREMA has produced 21 Formula One drivers since the team was formed in 1983. Eight of the 20 full-time drivers on the 2024 F1 grid drove for PREMA: Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, Oscar Piastri of McLaren, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon of Alpine, Lance Stroll of Aston Martin, Logan Sargeant of Williams, and Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu of Kick Sauber. Oliver Bearman, who filled in for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia after Carlos Sainz underwent an emergency appendectomy, drives for PREMA this season in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

The team also has graduated 14 drivers to the INDYCAR SERIES, including active series drivers Marcus Armstrong of Chip Ganassi Racing, Felix Rosenqvist of Meyer Shank Racing and Callum Ilott of Arrow McLaren. INDYCAR SERIES race winners Ryan Briscoe and Charlie Kimball also drove for PREMA during their junior careers, and 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and INDYCAR SERIES champion Jacques Villeneuve raced for the team on his climb up the single-seater ladder.

All that star power has produced a staggering 79 championships in various formulas in 41 seasons of competition. PREMA may not be immediately recognizable yet in North America, but the team is considered one of the three forces of Italian motor racing, sitting just behind F1 teams Scuderia Ferrari and Visa CashApp RB.

Rosenqvist enjoyed a banner campaign in 2015 with PREMA. He dominated the European Formula 3 Championship, romping to the title with 13 victories, 24 podium finishes and 17 poles. He also won the prestigious Macau Grand Prix from the pole for the second straight year.

Armstrong won the Italian F4 championship with PREMA in 2017 and finished second in the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2019 with the team. Ilott won six races and 10 poles en route to finishing fourth in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with the team in 2017.

Villeneuve launched his single-seater career with PREMA for three seasons from 1989-91, driving in the Italian Formula 3 championship during the team’s early years before he shifted his focus to racing in Japan and North America.

Some of the drivers in PREMA’s past galaxy of stars, including the current NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers, needled PREMA Team Principal Rene Rosin in recent years about expanding the team’s horizons into North America’s premier open-wheel racing series.

“We just celebrated our 40th anniversary in December,” Rosin said. “Most of them (past drivers) have been able to join us in Venice in our event. We’re always very close to them and have a very friendly relationship with all of them. We always talk together.

“They always say, Why not coming to America? Why not do INDYCAR? It would be something very good for you, very good for the team. That is something we are looking forward in 2025 now.”