FIA Single Seater Commission president Stefano Domenicali has admitted the sidelining of two high-profile drivers from the Formula 3 European Championship was an unfortunate side-effect of new rules for 2016.
The Commission voted through a new rule banning anyone from contesting more than three full seasons of European F3, in the wake of Felix Rosenqvist winning the 2015 title in his fifth campaign in the series.
Autosport understands that 2015 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi had a very attractive deal on the table to remain with Carlin for his fourth season in F3 before the sporting regulations were revealed in December.
And Tatiana Calderon told Autosport recently that she was weighing up a fourth year of F3 versus a switch to GP3 before the new rule "made up my mind".
"I would have loved to see these two drivers in the championship," said Domenicali.
"When we thought about this point we were not looking at the names of the drivers [who would be eliminated from F3] because then you are being influenced by the cases.
"We wanted to avoid very good drivers with large experience putting a cap on the aspirations of drivers coming in.
"I think that they [Giovinazzi and Calderon] have good opportunities for their future - what is important is structural change to be clear for the future."
The presence of Giovinazzi, who in January was given a GP2 seat with Prema Powerteam, would have added a very potent contender in the F3 title mix, while Calderon was one of the most popular drivers in the paddock and has played a big role in boosting the championship's profile.