British Formula 3 faces poor grid for Spa

The British Formula 3 International Series is facing a tough second round at Spa-Francorchamps next week after a spate of withdrawals

British Formula 3 faces poor grid for Spa

Puerto Rican Felix Serralles has called time on his British F3 campaign with Fortec Motorsport due to his back injuries, although he will continue in the European championship, while Italian powerhouse Prema Powerteam has been forced to go back on its wish to contest the event.

Serralles hurt his back in last September's British F3 round at Silverstone and, although undetected at first, he has discovered that he has slight cracks on two vertebrae, as well as bulges to the L5 and S1 discs.

He is returning to the Caribbean for more treatment, forcing him to miss Spa, and is hopeful that he can avoid surgery.

"I've pulled out of British F3 for a few reasons," said Serralles, who anchors the points table after incidents spoiled two races in the opening round, "but the main reason is to let my back recover."

Meanwhile, Prema could not convince any of its other drivers to join Alex Lynn at the Spa event, so the trip does not make financial sense.

Team manager Rene Rosin said: "I couldn't get agreement from anyone else, and we could not manage to go with just one car."

This means that just eight cars will be represented in the International Class - which is led by Fortec Motorsport's Will Buller - for Spa.

In the National Class, AUTOSPORT understands that Team West-Tec is hoping to find a second driver to join New Zealander Chris Vlok.

The other six drivers run by West-Tec in the Silverstone opener are not contesting the Spa round as the team came under pressure from European F3 Open organisers not to race at the Belgian track, which is coming up later this year on the EF3O schedule. Vlok's deal is for British F3 only.

CF Racing will take its regular driver Sun Zheng, and has a second car available.

AUTOSPORT says
Marcus Simmons, British F3 correspondent
(@marcussimmons54)

The latest news on the entry for the Spa round is another hammerblow for British Formula 3 as organisers seek to keep the series alive.

Everyone expected a bunch of FIA Formula 3 European Championship teams to be there, but instead we're down to the International Class's faithful three: Carlin, Fortec and Double R.

So the event that looked as though it would be the calendar's highlight is instead going to turn out a low point. If we're pessimistic, there'll be a total of 10 cars on the grid (on a 2m15s lap), and if we're optimistic it will be 12.

But don't take this as an indication for the following round on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit over the August 10/11 weekend.

For starters, West-Tec can return to a more representative line-up, as Brands is not on the European F3 Open calendar. Furthermore, Brands - unlike Spa - does not clash with an MSV F3 Cup race.

Alice Powell proved at Silverstone that a well-driven 2005-07-generation MSV car can compete with the West-Tec machines, so hopefully some of her rivals can be tempted to join her for Brands.

Best of all, AUTOSPORT has learned that we can expect two more cars to join the International Class grid in Kent, so hopefully it will be a field to do justice to a classic circuit.

shares
comments
Alexander Sims says T-Sport quick enough to win in European F3

Previous article

Alexander Sims says T-Sport quick enough to win in European F3

Next article

Australian Jordan Oon joins West-Tec for Spa British Formula 3

Australian Jordan Oon joins West-Tec for Spa British Formula 3
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F3
Author Marcus Simmons
Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed Plus

Why Correa's return is the feelgood story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Plus

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars Plus

The ground-effect wonder behind a generation of F1 stars

Recently named as Autosport's greatest single-seater, Ralt's RT3 launched a plethora of superstar drivers through the early 1980s, and established the constructor as the go-to place for your single-seater weapon

FIA F3
Dec 8, 2020
The Macau GP's greatest moments Plus

The Macau GP's greatest moments

Coronavirus restrictions mean this weekend's Macau GP will have a very different feel, with the usual F3 jamboree replaced by Chinese F4. But in past years, the event has provided some seminal moments in the careers of future world champions

FIA F3
Nov 20, 2020
Rating the prospects of the 2020 F3 title contenders Plus

Rating the prospects of the 2020 F3 title contenders

With the title race finely poised ahead of the final triple-header, a category returnee who raced George Russell in his F3 days lends Autosport his thoughts on the ones to watch

FIA F3
Aug 25, 2020
Why "whirlwind" Tauranac's legacy will stand the test of time Plus

Why "whirlwind" Tauranac's legacy will stand the test of time

The passing of Ralt boss Ron Tauranac last week drew tributes from around the world, not least from the bosses of three prominent teams on whom the Australian designer made a lasting impression

FIA F3
Jul 24, 2020
The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore Plus

The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore

Igor Fraga has a more colourful career behind him than any other driver on the FIA Formula 3 grid, and now he's beginning to become as recognised for his talents in real racing as in the virtual world

FIA F3
Jun 21, 2020
The new F3 car that has teams purring Plus

The new F3 car that has teams purring

Dallara has improved upon its old F3 car with the new 320 for this season's Euroformula Open, ensuring that single-seater competition's 'heritage’ category can race into the future

FIA F3
Apr 14, 2020