FIA wants regional Formula 3 tier to return

The FIA is pushing ahead with plans to reintroduce a second 'regional' tier of Formula 3 after the obliteration of the British and German championships in recent years

FIA wants regional Formula 3 tier to return

The FIA is pushing ahead with plans to reintroduce a second 'regional' tier of Formula 3 after the obliteration of the British and German championships in recent years.

The Technical Working Group of the governing body's Single Seater Commission is evaluating concepts, and will continue to do over the next six months.

The Commission's Frederic Bertrand told Autosport: "We have had a good success with Formula 4, but in F3 we have to manage the number of cars because we cannot have more than 32 or 35 in the European championship, depending on the track.

"With 200 or 250 drivers in F4, something is missing.

"We think it's good to stay two years in F4 and not go to F3 straight from karting - with the one exception [Max Verstappen] who is proving not to be the rule!"

Autosport understands one proposal is the current Dallara chassis fitted with a spec engine, such as the new Ford Cosworth from the BRDC Formula 4 Championship.

"It would be a new definition of an F3," said Bertrand, who said the Commission is looking at a target chassis cost of €50,000.

"Similar to F4, with a single chassis and maybe even a single engine. We could maybe even take a current F3 engine and downgrade it.

"It would be managed in the same way as European F3, with FIA officials and promoters mandated by the FIA."

Bertrand wants to avoid the difficulties faced in the last days of British and German F3.

"We don't want to repeat the same difficulty," he said. "We are thinking of something that would be regional, but based in one country and with races in one or two other countries.

"We have to be careful - even though there is a lot of enthusiasm to relaunch regional F3, it's very difficult."

Bertrand added he would like the concept extended outside Europe, with Japan being the base for an Asian series, Australia for the Pacific, Brazil for South America plus a series in the US.

CURRENT CAR TO GET TWO MORE YEARS

Although Bertrand would not comment, Autosport understands the current generation of Formula 3 cars will now be run in the F3 European Championship until the end of 2019, a further two-year extension.

The existing cars first raced in 2012, meaning an unprecedented eight-year cycle. The longest previous cycle was four years, from 2008-11.

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