European Formula 3 Championship faces team exodus in 2016

As many as four teams could be missing from the Formula 3 European Championship grid in the 2016 season

European Formula 3 Championship faces team exodus in 2016

With the FIA championship's deadline for entry registration looming on Monday, Fortec Motorsport, Double R Racing and Signature are set to abandon Euro F3, with Team West-Tec waiting on a possible last-minute deal to run one driver.

The entry list looks set to be down considerably on 2015's record-breaking 36 cars, with Autosport estimating a grid of between 20 and 25.

West-Tec engineering chief Mick Kouros laid the blame at the door of technical regulations that he says have allowed bigger teams - Prema Powerteam, Hitech Grand Prix and Van Amersfoort Racing all enjoy input from wealthy investors - to develop expensively.

"The grey areas within the FIA regulations have allowed aero developments to be exploited where the smaller teams can't afford to compete," said Kouros.

"Drivers are looking at other things where they feel they can be competitive, because in F3 they feel they can only drive for one of the big three."

Fortec boss Richard Dutton told Autosport: "We're talking to drivers but there don't seem to be any with a budget.

"It's thin out there: unless something happens over the weekend I'm not going to put in €21,000 per car for an entry.

"I think the FIA have overestimated the market - they seem to think there are a lot more drivers out there than there are.

"We've got two cars ready for FIA, but we're looking at following Carlin and doing two in Euroformula Open [for current Dallara chassis with spec Toyota engines], which you can do for virtually half the money, and we could convert them back for Macau.

"It's really sad we can't find drivers for FIA and we won't quit F3 for sure, but we have to do whatever the market demands."

Double R principal Anthony Hieatt, who will keep his cars for the Masters of F3 and Macau GP, added: "I've switched off the Euro F3 programme now - MSA Formula and BRDC F4 is us.

"I'm not interested in doing it on a wing and a prayer and making these billionaire boys look better."

French team Signature could not be contacted for a comment.

shares
comments
Tatiana Calderon moves from F3 to GP3 with Arden

Previous article

Tatiana Calderon moves from F3 to GP3 with Arden

Next article

Ferrari protege Guan Yu Zhou gets Motopark European Formula 3 seat

Ferrari protege Guan Yu Zhou gets Motopark European Formula 3 seat
Load comments
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Plus

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Plus

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives Plus

How two F3 stars face new challenges from very different perspectives

ART Grand Prix team-mates Frederik Vesti and Juan Manuel Correa's paths to the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Championship grid couldn’t have been further apart, but both are using the same focus for different goals

FIA F3
May 5, 2021
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