British Formula 3 Silverstone preview

The British Formula 3 championship heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the Powertour 'Summerfest' meeting. It's make or break time for series leader Antonio Pizzonia, who must get his title challenge back on track after a disjointed few weeks. The low point of the Brazilian's season came at the Marlboro Masters two weeks ago, where Pizzonia never troubled the scorers before dropping out. After a disappointing performance in the last Championship race at Croft, Antonio dismayed his many admirers by his efforts (or lack of them) at Zandvoort. This was a serious stumble on Pizzonia's part, which could have major repercussions. Not long ago, most people would have said that the title was his for the taking, but now Tomas Scheckter is only 30 points behind. That's the equivalent of a win and a fourth place, not very much when you are up against a driver as dogged and determined as the South African.

British Formula 3 Silverstone preview

Scheckter could have been forgiven for forgetting about his F3 challenge in recent weeks. The South African was signed up for the McLaren Jr F3000 team for the rest of the season and scored a podium on his second appearance in the series. In addition, he had his first run in an F1 car this week with the Jaguar squad, parent operation to Stewart Racing for whom Scheckter races. However, the team seem to think that Scheckter is better able to cope with the switch between radically different machines in the F3000, F1 and F3 cars, than his main rival Pizzonia. Pizzonia's testing for the Benetton F1 team did not at first seem to harm the Brazilian's F3 driving but in recent months he appears to have suffered a lack of focus in his championship challenge.

There have been a number of changes on the driver front which could affect the front end of the grid from now on. Marcos Ambrose, a star of Formula Ford in 1998 and 1999 has been confirmed at Alan Docking Racing after his first appearance netted sixth on the grid and fifth in the race. He replaces Westley Barber, who parted with the team before Croft. The Englishman has wound up at Manor, the team that won the championship last season, and is currently leading it with Pizzonia. He replaces Juan Manuel Lopez. In the Scholarship class, Philip Hopkins has decided to take a rest from driving for a couple of races, and his place in the family-run car will be taken by Alfa-Romeo saloon car racer, Enzo Buscaglia. Enzo had his first F3 outing with Meritus at Croft and certainly did not disgrace himself. Since then he has tested the Hopkins Motorsport car a couple of times and gone well, so he will be racing at Silverstone and also at Snetterton on September 3.

Another newcomer, Peter Nilsson, who is described as British, although he has a Swedish father, hence the name, had already booked the drive at Meritus. Peter has a single-seater background, having competed in FFord, FVauxhall Junior and FRenault. He has already tested quite extensively with Meritus and now feels ready to take the plunge into competition.

New to the championship will be Chris Buncombe, the 22-year-old having competed in the Spa 24 Hour Race just days ago. Buncombe will make his F3 debut driving for Tiverton-based ME Motorsport having last raced single-seaters two years ago in Formula Renault in the UK.

shares
comments
Cochet takes Malboro Masters victory
Previous article

Cochet takes Malboro Masters victory

Next article

Sato on pole at Silverstone

Sato on pole at Silverstone
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying Plus

Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying

Prema Racing has long dominated FIA Formula 3, taking the teams’ title in two of the past three seasons. But its start to 2022 has been trickier than usual, and the answers lie in its qualifying performance

FIA F3
May 27, 2022
How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape Plus

How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape

With just five points separating the top five after two rounds, FIA Formula 3 looks set for another thrilling season in 2022. But who stands the best chance of pulling away from that pack, and who are the contenders bubbling under?

FIA F3
May 3, 2022
The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path Plus

The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path

Joining the FIA Formula 3 grid as a rookie with a team new to the series could prove daunting for most, but then there aren't many drivers who have the extensive experience Franco Colapinto brings from his time racing sportscars. The Argentinian explains how his LMP2 experience is already helping him in 2022

FIA F3
Mar 27, 2022
The British trio hunting for F3 title glory Plus

The British trio hunting for F3 title glory

The 2022 FIA Formula 3 season kicks off this weekend in Bahrain. British trio Zak O’Sullivan, Ollie Bearman and Jonny Edgar have all become proteges of Formula 1 teams, and are talents to watch this year

FIA F3
Mar 18, 2022
How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors Plus

How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors

His career has been a slowburner but Gregoire Saucy trounced a collection of F1 juniors in Formula Regional by Alpine last year, and now he’s preparing to do it again in FIA F3. Here’s how the Swiss caught the world by surprise in 2021 and how he plans to do it all over again

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021

With a veritable feast of feeder series talent in 2021, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 produced some of its most exciting racing yet. Although Prema Racing drivers once again dominated the respective series, drivers from other teams also stole the limelight to mark themselves out as stars of the future, or validate their highly-regarded standing

FIA F2
Dec 22, 2021
How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021 Plus

How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021

Taking three of the four titles and producing two outstanding champions in the process, Prema Racing remained the team to beat in Formula 1's feeder series in 2021. Team boss Rene Rosin reveals the traits that helped Dennis Hauger and Oscar Piastri to come out on top in Formula 3 and Formula 2

FIA F2
Dec 20, 2021