How close are the cars to F3 per­for­mance?

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Very. If any­thing, they have the po­ten­tial to be faster at some cir­cuits.

The best di­rect com­par­i­son comes from last week’s test at the Snet­ter­ton 300 cir­cuit. The con­di­tions matched those of the last Bri­tish F3 event held there from 2014. Ricky Col­lard topped the times with a 1m41.614s lap at an av­er­age speed of 105.18mph. That’s 1.4 sec­onds faster than the quick­est lap of the 2014 F3 cham­pi­onship round – a 1m43.051s (103.71mph) set by Sam Macleod in his Dal­lara F312-mercedes

HWA.

When com­pared to the hey­day of Bri­tish F3, Col­lard’s time isn’t too far adrift of Felipe Nasr’s 2011 out­right record from qual­i­fy­ing of 1m39.147s (107.80mph) in his Car­lin-run F308-volk­swa­gen.

Most of that deficit comes from the trade­off be­tween power and aero­dy­nam­ics be­tween an F3 car and the Tatu­usCos­worth. The Tatuus out­drags an F3 car on Snet­ter­ton’s long straights due to it run­ning less aero­dy­nam­ics so it there­fore has less drag, but it can’t match the cor­ner­ing speed of a true F3 car.

There will be more per­for­mance to come from the Tatuus-cos­worth too as teams fig­ure out set-up tricks and get the most from the Pirelli tyres.

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