A new start for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship
One of the key aims of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is to aid the progress of young drivers through the ranks of junior motor sport towards an eventual drive in Formula One. To facilitate this progress the Federation has increased its involvement in the F3 European Championship in a bid to restore the series to its former glory. As such, from 2013 the FIA Formula 3 European Championship will be a part of major international meetings. The series will consist of ten events on both F1 circuits and others closely linked to the history of F3.
Through its concept, technical specification, professionalism, reputation, and also by virtue of the fact that the series provides a level playing field for all competitors, Formula 3 has the potential to be a major component in the preparation of drivers for an eventual step up to Formula One. From Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Mika Häkkinen, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher, to Jacques Villeneuve, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, F3 has given a huge number of major racing stars the ideal platform upon which to showcase their burgeoning talents.
As part of its commitment to restructuring and simplifying the training of young drivers the FIA will create a Formula 3 European Championship governed by a new set of sporting regulations. The cars must comply with the 2013 FIA technical rules while the 2012 engine specification is still allowed. The evolution of certain key aerodynamic elements will be frozen to limit costs and ensure the stability of the regulations. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz will be the two main engine suppliers, and South Korean manufacturer Hankook will be the series’ tyre supplier.
Ten meetings are scheduled. Each one will consist of two free practice sessions, two qualifying sessions and three races per weekend. Thus, the drivers will be able to take advantage of almost four hours of track time per event. The first qualifying session will decide the starting order for races one and two, while the second qualifying session will dictate the line-up for race number three.
Six circuits used by Formula One will feature on the new Formula 3 European Championship calendar, as well as four tracks historically linked to F3. In all the series will visit eight countries. By linking up with the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and with DTM, the drivers will have the opportunity to shine at major international meetings in front of key motor sport decision makers.
Fairness will be guaranteed by the presence of officials, stewards and scrutineers delegated by the FIA. The Deutsche Motor Sport Bund (DMSB) will provide logistics and organisational personnel. The FIA and ITR will also look after promotion of the series.
Taking into account the youth of competitors in the series, media coverage of the Formula 3 European Championship will be mainly focused on digital media and social networks. The races will be shown live on European television networks, and a dedicated website will update fans and the F3 community with team and driver news. Website user will also have the chance watch live streams of the races each event weekend. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube campaigns will also give fans unrivalled insider access to the series.
The opening date for entries is 1st December and the closing date is 28th February 2013.
Registration under the FIA website: http://www.entryforms.fia.com
Commenting on the series Gerhard Berger, President of FIA Single-Seater Commission said: “We started the process of restoring the Formula 3 European Championship to its former status last season. After a positive exchange of views with all the players involved, we’re moving up another step by putting a stand-alone championship in place with a coherent and attractive calendar. We’ve done everything possible to cap costs; in particular by establishing stable sporting and technical regulations. We want to stress the performance to enable the best young talents to show their skills. With this aim in mind we’re in the process of putting together a worthwhile prize fund for the 2013 champion. Thanks to all these elements, partners, engine tuners and engine manufacturers Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, everything’s in place to make the Formula 3 European Championship the indispensable stepping stone for drivers who want to break into a professional career in top level motorsport.”
Jean Todt, President of the FIA said: "The Formula 3 European Championship is a new opportunity to share the FIA values through a new and exciting series, crucially aimed at a younger audience, be they drivers or fans. Our wish to establish a clear line of development for young drivers should make the path to Formula One, economically more viable and professionally more accessible."
The 2013 FIA F3 European Championship provisional* calendar:
• 23-24 March: Monza, Italy (WTCC)
• 12-14 April: Silverstone, Great Britain (WEC)**
• 4-5 May: Hungaroring, Hungary (WTCC)**
• 18-19 May: Brands Hatch, Great Britain (DTM)**
• 1-2 June: Red Bull Ring, Austria (DTM)
• 6-7 July: Norisring, Germany (DTM)
• 20-21 July: Zandvoort, The Netherlands (DTM)
• 17-18 August: Nürburgring, Germany (DTM)
• 14-15 September: Hockenheim, Germany (DTM)
• October: event to be announced
* Submitted to WMSC approval
**To be confirmed