MSV boss Jonathan Palmer makes proposal to save British F3

MotorsportVision boss Jonathan Palmer has made a number of proposals to ensure the future of British Formula 3 and has not ruled out running a revamped version of the championship

MSV boss Jonathan Palmer makes proposal to save British F3

MotorsportVision boss Jonathan Palmer has made a number of proposals to ensure the future of British Formula 3 and has not ruled out running a revamped version of the championship.

British F3 has suffered falling grids in recent years and was reduced to a four-round calendar for 2013, with only two meetings in the UK.

Series promoter Stephane Ratel announced a new approach for British F3 in 2014 last month, but Palmer does not believe the changes go far enough.

"It is clear British F3 has become too expensive for its appeal, which has meant those drivers aiming for F1 are now, quite understandably, choosing FIA Formula 3 and GP3," said Palmer, who also runs Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Oulton Park and Snetterton.

"There isn't space for another championship at that level.

"The latest proposals do not go anywhere near far enough to appeal to the many more teams and competitors that are required.

"I'm sure there are many teams who would be happy to run F3 if the costs could be brought down.

"It's important to keep the current chassis so if teams want to evolve the specification [to full FIA levels] they've got an F3 commodity they can sell."

PALMER'S PROPOSALS

• Dallara F312 and F308 chassis, running in two classes
• Only standard Dallara parts permitted
• Use of a specification 250bhp two-litre four-cylinder F3 engine with target season cost of £18,000
• Specification electronics, including engine management and data acquisition system
• Ongoing use of standard FTR-based Dallara gearbox but with paddleshift upgrade, plus restricted ratio choice
• Two sets of tyres per race weekend
• Standard pump fuel
• Calendar of 8-10 events, including Silverstone GP, Brands Hatch GP, Donington, Snetterton, Oulton Park, Thruxton, Rockingham and Spa
• Format of three races per weekend so 24 races
• €250,000 prize towards a budget for FIA F3 or GP3 for the winner
• Target season budget £175,000-£250,000.

FILLING THE VOID

Palmer believes his F3 idea would fill a gap in British motorsport, providing a high-level single-seater category above the current entry-level options.

"We currently have three junior single-seater championships in the UK; BRDC F4, BARC Renault and Formula Ford, with a fourth, Formula Renault 1.6 announced for 2014," he said.

"However there is no UK championship for these graduates to progress to, with a budget of around £200,000, and there needs to be."

WHO TO RUN IT?

Palmer stated he was not suggesting he was "going to come out and take control" of British F3, but did not rule out running such a series if the opportunity arose.

"I want someone to run British F3 to make it healthy," said the 1981 British F3 champion. "It doesn't have to be us, but MSV are very happy to do it and I'd like to because I have big history with F3.

"I believe we can do it and we'd enjoy the challenge."

Palmer also praised Ratel and SRO for their efforts with British GT and suggested putting them back on the same race programmes more regularly.

"If MSV was to take British F3 we'd be very pleased to work with SRO to get back together with British GT," he added.

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