FIA bans windtunnel work in Formula 3 European Championship

A ban on windtunnel usage and aerodynamic development has been introduced to the Formula 3 European Championship for 2017 by the FIA

FIA bans windtunnel work in Formula 3 European Championship

The governing body has made the move in reaction to concerns over rising costs and the perception of domination by rich teams in the category, amid a move of some of the talented rookies of 2015 to GP3 this season.

With Dallara already developing a new aero kit as part of its 2017 update for the existing F312-generation car, this was viewed as the perfect time to introduce the windtunnel ban.

The FIA Single Seater Commission's Frederic Bertrand said: "We've had discussions with the teams to change the perception of the championship: that it's too expensive, with money you can buy everything, and that, without a billionaire behind you, you can't be successful in the championship.

"This is a perception, but it is not a reality.

"This will put everybody back to basics - we asked Dallara to deliver a full aero model to teams so they know what they can do.

"But we will keep the possibility to have areas for teams to work on to give value to drivers and engineers."

Euro F3 technical chief Robert Maas added that the developments of small winglets and gurney flaps, as well as brake ducts - which have had a lot of money spent on them in recent months - will also be banned.

These measures were ratified at June's World Motor Sport Council meeting, although the summary of them was vague in the FIA's announcement of the Turin verdicts.

There are also new sporting measures to be introduced, which will initially go through next week's Sporting Working Group meeting, in a bid to restrict budgets to between €5-600,000.

The current generation of engine was supposed to cost a maximum €50,000 per season to lease, but with add-ons including service the figure has been over €85,000.

For 2017, the FIA has reached an agreement with the manufacturers for a ceiling of €65,000 for a lease, including service and all add-ons, for 10,000km of use.

It also wants to impose new restrictions on teams doing development work using cars from other formulae - some teams use Formula Master machinery - or learning circuits with these cars, and on restricting the number of tyres that can be used in testing.

And new prizes will be introduced to the rookie class - €100,000 for the champion and €50,000 each for second and third - to be spent on those drivers' 2017 campaigns if they continue in F3.

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