The FIA Formula 3 Championship is a third-tier international single-seater racing championship and organised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The championship launched in 2019 as a feeder series for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and FIA Formula 2 Championships. It was the result of a merger between two third-tier single-seater racing championships, the GP3 Series and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as it was announced on 10 March 2018. The championship is part of the FIA Global Pathway consolidation project plan. Unlike its predecessor, the Formula 3 European Championship, the series runs exclusively in support of Formula One races.

Origins and history

On 13 March 2017 it was announced that the GP3 Series would merge with the FIA and DMSB's FIA Formula 3 European Championship and as such, both bodies would merge their both third-tier open-wheel single seater formula racing series, the GP3 Series and FIA Formula 3 European Championship respectively, with plans to début in 2019.[1] On 1 September 2017 the merger committee announced that World Motor Sport Council were selected to develop the name, logo and identity of the new series.[2] The reveal date for the new series was 10 March 2018 at the FIA headquarters at Paris, France. GP3 Series CEO Bruno Michel announced the new sanctioning body would be sanctioned by FIA from 2019 season and thus become Formula One's sole support Grand Prix weekends mostly in Europe. FIA President Jean Todt then announced the new FIA Formula 3 Championship title and logo later in October 2018.[3]

Race weekend

Pit stops are optional if there is a force majeure event like a change in weather conditions, tyre puncture, front or rear wing damage or others.[4]

On Friday, drivers have a 45-minute free practice session and a 30-minute qualifying session.

On Saturday there will be two Races due the cost cutting measures set out by the FIA and Formula 3 alongside Formula 2. Race 1 will be run over 40 minutes. The grid order for this race is decided by reversing the top 12 from Friday's qualifying session. For race 2 the top 12 of the final classification of race 1 will be reversed, with the driver who finishes in 12th on pole and the driver who won the race starting from 12th.

Sunday's race (Race 3) is run over 40 minutes . The grid is decided by using the order of the original qualification standings from Friday

Timetables will be issued ahead of every round as per usual.

Points system

The top 10 finishers in races 1 & 2 receive points as follows:

Point system for Sprint Race
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

The fastest lap in the sprint race also receives 2 points as in the feature race.[5]

Feature races have a scoring system similar to the one used in Formula One, shown below:

Point system for Feature Race
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

The driver who qualified in pole position for the feature race receives an additional 4 points.

The fastest lap is awarded 2 points. In order to qualify for fastest lap points the driver must have completed 90% of the total race laps and must finish in the top 10.

The maximum number of points a driver can score at any round will be 65.

A count-back system is used to decide places of drivers with equal points in the championship with the driver with most wins ranking highest of those with equal points totals. If there is still a tie, the most second-place finishes, then the most third-place finishes, etc., is used to split the tied drivers. This count-back system is applied at all stages of the championship.

Racing flags

These are the racing flags that usually used in every FIA Formula 3 Championship race weekends:

Flag Names Meaning
SC board.png SC Board

(Safety Car)

Shown in conjunction with a yellow flag to indicate that the Safety Car is on track. Full course yellow flag applies. Drivers must hold position and slow down.
VSC Board

(Virtual Safety Car)

Shown in conjunction with a yellow flag to indicate that the virtual safety car is in use. During this time, the drivers are given maximum sector times that they must stay below. Full course double yellow flag applies.[6]
Auto Racing Green.svg Green Normal racing conditions apply. This is usually shown following a yellow flag to indicate that the hazard has been passed. A green flag is shown at all stations for the lap following the end of a full-course yellow (or safety car). A green flag is also shown at the start of every race sessions (free practice, qualifying and race).
Auto Racing Yellow.svg Yellow Indicates a hazard on or near the track (waved yellows indicate a hazard on the track, frozen yellows indicate a hazard near the track). Double waved yellows inform drivers that they must slow down as marshals are working on or near to the track and drivers should be prepared to stop.
Auto Racing Oil.svg Yellow and red striped Slippery track, due to oil, water or loose debris. Can be seen 'rocked' from side-to-side (not waved) to indicate a small animal on track.
Auto Racing Plain Blue.svg Blue A blue flag indicates that the driver in front must let faster cars behind them pass because they are being lapped. If flag is missed 3 times the driver could be penalised.
F1 white flag.svg White Indicates that there is a slow car ahead. Often waved at the end of the pit lane when a car is about to leave the pits.
Auto Racing Orange Circle.svg Black and orange circle Car is damaged or has a mechanical problem, must return to the pit lane immediately. Will be accompanied by driver's number
F1 black and white diagonal flag.svg Half black half white Warns a driver for poor sportsmanship or dangerous behaviour. Can be followed by a Black flag upon further infringement. Accompanied by the driver's number.
Auto Racing Black.svg Black Driver is disqualified. Will be accompanied by the driver's number. This can be issued after a Half Black Half White flag.
F1 red flag.svg Red A red flag immediately halts a race or session when conditions become too dangerous to continue.
F1 chequered flag.svg Chequered flag End of the practice, qualifying or racing session.

Car

The FIA Formula 3 Championship car is used by all of the teams, and features a Dallara carbon-fiber monocoque chassis powered by a Mecachrome naturally-aspirated direct-injected V6 engine and Pirelli dry slick and rain treaded tyres.[7]

Chassis

The F3 Championship will use the 2019 specification F3 2019 car which has been designed by Dallara Automobili. The new FIA Formula 3 Championship chassis material is Carbon/aluminium honeycomb structure and also Carbon Aramid honeycomb bodywork structure. The new FIA Formula 3 Championship car's front wings are slightly wider and also wider-lower rear wing.

Transmission, gearbox and clutches

The current gearbox has been manufactured by Hewland and features an 8-position barrel with ratchet body and software upgrades as well as a new transverse shafts fixing system designed to facilitate improved gear selection. Currently, the FIA Formula 3 Championship gearbox uses a 6-speed sequential gearbox configuration with electro-hydraulic control via paddle-shifters, with reverse operated by a reverse button on the steering wheel. The clutches of all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars are supplied by AP Racing with the multi-plate clutch operated by a hand-paddle lever.

Wheel rims

O.Z. Racing exclusively supplies wheel rims for all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars.

Tyres

Pirelli will continue supplying tyres for all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars as they have done since the GP3 Series era. The tyre size of all cars will still remain the same as in the GP3 Series. The tyre sizes are 250/575-R13 on the fronts and 290/590-R13 on the rears. The compounds of Pirelli Formula 3 tyres are currently three dry compounds (red soft, yellow medium and white hard) carrying the "P Zero" brand and one wet compound (blue wet) carrying the "Cinturato" brand.

Brakes

Brembo supplies monobloc brake calipers and disc bells, which are exclusive to the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Carbone Industrie also supplies carbon brake discs and pads for the championship.

Suspension

The suspension of all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars is upper and lower steel wishbones, pushrod operated, coupled with twin Koni dampers and torsion bars suspension (front) and spring suspension (rear) similar to current Formula One car suspension.

Steering wheel

From the 2019 season, all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars will utilize the all-new XAP Single-seat Formula 2451 S3 steering wheel with a larger dash screen and also three new rotary switches (similar to the current FIA Formula E and FIA Formula 2 steering wheel).

Safety

The current safety innovation of FIA Formula 3 Championship is the top priority. Front, side, rear and steering column impact tests are the FIA safety standards. All of the FIA Formula 3 Championship cars include front and rear roll hoop, impact structures and monocoque push tests. Anti-intrusion survival cell protection panels are also featured since 2019. Wheel retainer safety cables are also featured to avoid wheel flying similar to Formula One, IndyCar Series (known as SWEMS) and other single-seater Formula racing series. The seat belts of all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars are supplied by Sabelt with 6-point seat belt configuration similar to Formula One. From 2019 onwards, the “halo” cockpit protection system would be introduced to avoid the series of fatal crashes.

Other components

All FIA Formula 3 cars carry a Magneti Marelli-provided electronic control unit as well as Magneti Marelli power supply management unit. Live telemetry is used only for television broadcasts, but the data can be recorded from the ECU to the computer if the car is in the garage and not on the track.

Rear view mirrors for all FIA Formula 3 cars are mandated for easy viewing of opponents behind.

Aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of current FIA Formula 3 Championship cars are resembling the Formula One 2017-style aerodynamic with wider and curved front wing and also lower rear wing with parallelogram rear wing plate. Side winglets are also banned. The undertrays of all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars are grounds-effect underbody as opposed to flat-bottom underbody that usually utilized in Formula One.

Drag Reduction Systems (DRS)

Since 2017 GP3 Series season, the Drag Reduction Systems (DRS) were introduced in a purpose for overtaking maneuver assist by tilting the upper-element rear wing while approaching the opponent less than a second away by activating the DRS paddle behind the steering wheel. The upper-element rear wing angle of FIA Formula 3 car rear wing is the same angle as Formula One car which has over 40 degrees of angle. In an event of rainy conditions, Drag Reduction Systems are automatically deactivated for safety reasons.

Engine

First generation (second-generation overall)

The series will remain using the 3.4-litre V6 naturally-aspirated direct-injected engines supplied by Mecachrome until at least the 2021 season due to FIA Formula 3 Championship not being interested in a turbocharged engine. The horsepower will be scaled down from 400 to 380 hp (298 to 283 kW).

Mecachrome V634 F3 V6 engines were crated and shipped to all FIA Formula 3 Championship teams on a serial-number basis as determined by the FIA to ensure equality and fairness in distribution.

Fuel and lubricants components

All Formula 3 cars currently use ordinary unleaded racing gasoline as fuel (similar to commercial vehicle unleaded street gasoline), which has been the de facto standard in third tier single-seater formula racing since the introduction of GP3 Series in 2010. Current Elf LMS 102 RON unleaded gasoline resembles ordinary unleaded gasoline but produces better mileage while being environmental-friendly and safer than other fuels[citation needed]. Since 2019, Elf exclusively continues providing the LMS 102 RON unleaded fuel and also Elf HTX 840 0W-40 lubricants for all FIA Formula 3 Championship cars.

Other parts

The car also features internal cooling upgrades, a new water radiator, radiator duct, oil/water heat exchanger, modified oil degasser, new oil and water pipes and new heat exchanger fixing brackets.

Specifications

Seasons

2019

The inaugural season of the FIA Formula 3 Championship consisted of 16 races held across eight rounds at European circuits, beginning on 11 May at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and ending on 29 September at the Sochi Autodrom.[8] 2019 marked the debut of the new Dallara F3 2019 chassis, powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.4L V6 engine developed by Mecachrome, the same engine used in the car's GP3 Series predecessor the Dallara GP3/16.[9] This also marked the debut of the halo safety device, bodywork that had been introduced in Formula 1 and Formula 2 in 2018.[10]

Prema Racing won the teams' championship, scoring over twice as many points as runners-up Hitech Grand Prix and extending their streak to seven consecutive teams' championships from the predecessor FIA Formula 3 European Championship.[11] The three Prema Racing drivers finished in the top three positions in the drivers' championship. Robert Shwartzman finished the season as champion, having taken three race wins including the first race in Barcelona. Marcus Armstrong finished as runner-up with Jehan Daruvala in third.[12]

2020

The 2020 championship was due to begin at the Bahrain International Circuit on 21 March, with Circuit Paul Ricard being dropped from the calendar in favour of Circuit Zandvoort. However, the first three rounds of the championship were postponed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A revised calendar was published in June, consisting of 18 races across nine rounds held alongside the first nine races of the Formula One World Championship. The season began at the Red Bull Ring on 4 July and concluded at the Mugello Circuit on 13 September.[13]

Prema Racing secured their eighth consecutive teams' championship at Monza with three races left to go. Prema driver Oscar Piastri ended the season as champion, securing the title at the final race. He finished three points ahead of ART Grand Prix driver Théo Pourchaire, with Prema's Logan Sargeant in third place.

2021

As a cost-cutting measure, the 2021 championship calendar was reduced to seven rounds with each round consisting of three races, featuring twenty-one races in total, in line with changes made to the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship. The rounds at Silverstone Circuit, Autodromo Nazionale di Monza and Mugello Circuit were dropped from the calendar, and the rounds at Circuit Paul Ricard and Circuit Zandvoort returned, having been cancelled in 2020. The championship began on 8 May at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The season was initially intended to conclude on 24 October at the Circuit of the Americas, however this was cancelled and replaced with a round at the Sochi Autodrom, ending on 26 September.[14]

The drivers' championship was won by Prema Racing's Dennis Hauger, who took four race victories and claimed the championship title with two races remaining. Trident drivers Jack Doohan and Clément Novalak finished second and third respectively. Trident ended Prema Racing's streak of teams' championship victories, claiming the title at the final race by a margin of four points.

Champions

Drivers'

Season Driver Team Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points % points achievable Clinched Margin
2019 Russia Robert Shwartzman Italy Prema Racing 2 3 10 2 212 55.208 Race 15 of 16 54
2020 Australia Oscar Piastri Italy Prema Racing 0 2 6 4 164 37.963 Race 18 of 18 3
2021 Norway Dennis Hauger Italy Prema Racing 3 4 9 5 205 46.804 Race 19 of 21 26

Teams'

Season Team Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points Clinched Margin
2019 Italy Prema Racing 4 8 24 8 527 Race 12 of 16 304
2020 Italy Prema Racing 4 7 16 9 470.5 Race 15 of 18 209
2021 Italy Trident 2 5 13 3 381 Race 21 of 21 4

Drivers graduated to FIA Formula 2 Championship

Driver FIA Formula 3 FIA Formula 2 Other major titles before F3
Seasons Races Wins Podiums Seasons First team Races Wins Podiums
New Zealand Marcus Armstrong 2019 16 3 7 2020 ART Grand Prix 24 0 2 Italian F4 Championship
India Jehan Daruvala 2019 16 2 7 2020 Carlin 24 1 2
Italy Alessio Deledda 2019–2020 34 0 0 2021 HWA Racelab 0 0 0
United Kingdom Jake Hughes 2019–2020 34 3 8 2020 HWA Racelab 2 0 0 BRDC Formula 4 Championship
Brazil Felipe Drugovich 2019 16 0 0 2020 MP Motorsport 24 3 4 Euroformula Open Championship
MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Championship
New Zealand Liam Lawson 2019–2020 34 3 8 2021 Hitech Grand Prix 0 0 0 Toyota Racing Series
NZ F1600 Championship Series
Denmark Christian Lundgaard 2019 16 1 2 20192020 Trident 26 2 6 SMP F4 Championship
F4 Spanish Championship
Italy Matteo Nannini 2020 18 0 1 2021 HWA Racelab 0 0 0 Formula 4 UAE Championship
Australia Oscar Piastri 2020 18 2 6 2021 Prema Racing 0 0 0 FIA Formula 3 Championship

Formula Renault Eurocup

Brazil Pedro Piquet 2019 16 1 3 2020 Charouz Racing System 24 0 0 Fórmula 3 Brasil
Fórmula 3 Brasil
France Théo Pourchaire 2020 18 2 8 2020 HWA Racelab 4 0 0 ADAC Formula 4 Championship
French F4 Championship Junior
Russia Robert Shwartzman 2019 16 3 9 2020 Prema Racing 31 5 7 FIA Formula 3 Championship
Toyota Racing Series
Japan Yuki Tsunoda 2019 16 1 3 2020 Carlin 24 3 7 F4 Japanese Championship
Estonia Jüri Vips 2019 16 3 4 2020 DAMS 16 1 3 ADAC Formula 4 Championship
Germany Lirim Zendeli 2019–2020 32 1 2 2021 MP Motorsport 0 0 0 ADAC Formula 4 Championship
Germany David Beckmann 2019–2020 32 2 5 2021 Charouz Racing System 12 0 2

Notes:

  • Gold background denotes FIA Formula 3 champion.

Drivers graduated to Formula One

  • Bold denotes an active Formula One driver.
  • Gold background denotes FIA Formula 3 champion.
Driver Formula 3 Formula 1 Other major titles before F3
Seasons Races Wins Podiums Best pos. Seasons First team Races Wins Podiums
Japan Yuki Tsunoda 2019 16 1 3 9th 2021 AlphaTauri 15 0 0 F4 Japanese Championship

Circuits

Number Countries, Circuits Years
1 Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya 2019–⁠2021
2 France Circuit Paul Ricard 2019, 2021
3 Austria Red Bull Ring 2019–2021⁠
4 United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit 2019–2020⁠
5 Hungary Hungaroring 2019–2021⁠
6 Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps 2019–2021⁠
7 Italy Autodromo Nazionale di Monza 2019–2020⁠
8 Russia Sochi Autodrom 2019⁠, 2021
9 Italy Mugello Circuit 2020
10 Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort 2021

See also

References

  1. ^ Simmons, Marcus. "GP3 and European Formula 3 could merge as F1 support series in 2019". Autosport.com. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  2. ^ Hewitt, Chloe (22 September 2017). "World Motor Sport Council Confirms New Formula 3 Category For 2019". thecheckeredflag.co.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Formula 1 to promote the FIA Formula 3 Championship". formula1.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. ^ "FIA Formula 3 Championship The Rules and Regulations". fiaformula3.com.
  5. ^ "Formula 2". FIA_F2® – The Official F2® Website. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  6. ^ Westbrook, Justin T. "Here's How Virtual Safety Cars Work in Formula One". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. ^ "New International F3 car set to use GP3 engine". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  8. ^ "FIA announces 2019 calendars for F2 and F3". Motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  9. ^ "New International F3 car set to use GP3 engine". motorsport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  10. ^ Hatton, Gemma (22 November 2018). "FIA reveals new 2019 F3 car". racecar-engineering.com. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Formula 3 2019 – Team Standings". fiaformula3.com. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Formula 3 2019 – Driver Standings". fiaformula3.com. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  13. ^ "FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 confirm opening eight rounds of their revised 2020 calendars". FIA Formula 3 – The Official F3 Website. 2 June 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Sochi replaces Austin as final round of the 2021 FIA Formula 3 campaign".

External links