FIA monitoring European Formula 3 Championship test loophole

The FIA has said that it is "looking into" the Formula 3 European Championship's testing regulations in the wake of controversy over teams using cars from other formulae to gain track time

FIA monitoring European Formula 3 Championship test loophole

While it is common for F3 teams to send rookie drivers to learn circuits with Formula Renault cars, top squad Prema Powerteam has reportedly used Formula Master machinery, replicating F3 set-ups as closely as possible.

The issue blew up at the recent Algarve round, where Prema was dominant, taking all three wins, while the fastest lap of any non-Prema driver in race two was over eight tenths of a second off the pace.

Teams are limited to six 'joker' days of testing per season with their F3 cars outside the official tests, and may not run an F3 car on any track where a championship round is yet to take place in that calendar year.

But there is no restriction in the sporting regulations regarding testing any other cars.

The practise goes beyond F3, with teams from GP2 and GP3 known to regularly give their drivers sessions in old-spec Formula Renault 3.5 cars to acclimatise to circuits where they are about to race.

FIA Single Seater Championships manager Oscar Urdeitx told AUTOSPORT: "We are aware that people are concerned about the supposed testing of Prema and we have already been discussing with all the teams about testing rules for the future.

"We were talking with the teams in Portimao [Algarve] about testing rules - we are looking into it and teams know we are watching the situation."

Prema team manager Rene Rosin said: "I have nothing to comment, but we [and others] have always been testing with Formula Renault and other cars."

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