The most competitive young driver series in the world, which was formerly known as the F3 Euroseries, having seen the likes of current DTM drivers Marco Wittman, Edo Mortara, Roberto Merhi & Jamie Green take top honours in previous years, now is receiving seen a steady increase of interest in drivers and teams wishing to take part.
In November, the FIA renamed the category, and now sees three new teams set to join the ranks, with each fielding two cars minimum. Frits Van Amersfoort and the well-known Dutch squad (ATS Formula 3 Cup), Fortec Motorsport, who have had successes in the British F3 Championship this year, and Italy’s Team Eurointernational, have all made their interest known, and look to compete for the title.
Eurointernational’s Antonio Ferrari is eager to carry on the success of the Italian outfit’s racing pedigree with this new challenge, which has secured multiple successes around the racing world over the last two decades, with Tom Blomqvist looking ahead to 2013.
“The FIA F3 European Championship is the series I have been waiting for a long time. It’s the perfect series for the Eurointernational racing programme as it will be the world’s toughest junior-racing category,” stated the Italian, who has faith in the programme. “I have followed Gerhard Berger’s project since the very beginning and I am one of his stronger supporters, believing in the F3 car concept as the best car for a young driver on the way to F1. To underline our commitment and belief in the category, Eurointernational will run only F3 cars in 2013 – in two Formula 3 championships.”
Prema Poweteam, who helped Daniel Juncadella in his quest to become the final Euroseries champion, have been racing in the category since 2003, with current Indycar driver Ryan Briscoe winning the title for them in the first year, before Merhi and Juncadella secured successive championships in the last two seasons.Brit Alex Lynn now joins the team for 2013, along with Raffaele Marciello, who is one of the current Ferrari Driver Academy alumni.
Team manager René Rosin says that the outfit has been proud of being a part of the series in its former guise, but realizes the importance of the F3 European Championship for future talent in years to come: “The FIA has contributed a lot in developing this series and it will become without any doubts the natural feeder series to professional categories as F1 or DTM. The FIA Formula 3 European Championship will reunite the best teams and drivers of Formula 3 which will consequently increase the level of competitiveness and this is a great challenge for Prema.”
Fortec Motorsport is expanding into the Championship, with their British F3 drivers from this season, Felix Serrales and Pipo Deraini, being just half of the cars the outfit will be fielding, according to Richard Dutton, who is impressed by the level of competition: “They raced with us in the British Formula 3 and showed their potential and pace. We will still be contending the British F3 Championship but I wanted to expand into the European championship and the time is right to do so. Our intention is to win – that’s why we are competing.”
Signature makes its return to the series, having had a year’s hiatus from the Championship, instead having concentrated on endurance racing for the past season under the Signatech branding, with previous success coming from Mortara winning the title in 2010, under the leadership of Philippe Sinault. Mücke Motorsport, who wisely signed 2012 vice-champion and Rookie of the year, Pascal Wehrlein, will return, along with Carlin, Ma-con Motorsport, Jo Zeller Racing and URD Rennsport, with the action set to go into a new era in Monza late next March, as the series supports the WTCC that weekend, along with it supporting the DTM and WEC at other scheduled events this season.
2013 is an exciting time for a field that could possibly swell to the tune of 26 cars, with the world’s youngest talents showcasing their skills on tracks around the world including Silverstone, Hockenheim, Nurburgring and Brands Hatch, where the competition is fierce, and will bring attention to those wanting to make a name for themselves in the future…..