BRITISH FORMULA 3 IS BACK AFTER F4 REBRAND
BRDC British Formula 3 begins its new life at Snetterton
The first round of British Formula 3 for 18 months took place at Snetterton last weekend after a late agreement was struck between the FIA, MSA and series supremo Jonathan Palmer to rebadge BRDC F4.
Motorsport News had previously reported that such a move was likely after a recent meeting of the World Motor Sport Council paved the way for regional F3 championships to return.
A deal was reached just in time for the first round of BRDC F4, meaning the category is now called BRDC British Formula 3.
The introduction of a new 230bhp Tatuus-cosworth car put the series close to existing F3 regulations and meant its F4 moniker was belittling a car that was significantly faster than FIA F4 series.
“It’s great for the championship – it’s the right title for the performance of the car and for the competitiveness of the series,” Palmer said. “Everybody involved in British motorsport knows how important British F3 has been and we are delighted to get it back. It’s great to have the teams that competed in British F3 on the grid too.”
Former F3 frontrunners Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and Double R all committed to the series after details of the new car had been announced. But Palmer added that it is important to learn lessons from the demise of the original British F3 series as spiralling budgets put off drivers, with as few as five cars taking part in the final season in 2014.
“We must make sure that the BRDC British F3 Championship keeps a very affordable budget and a budget that gives at least 20 cars on the grid,” he said.
The renaming paves the way for Ford MSA Formula to take on the title of British F4, but series organisers are yet to confirm whether or when this will happen. Championship manager Sam Roach said: “At the moment we are waiting to hear from the MSA and FIA and whether that affects us.”
Reigning MSA Formula champion Lando Norris was the first driver to win a BRDC British Formula 3 race when he triumphed in a wet first race at Snetterton ( see report, page 33).