Euro F3/GP3 merger ‘logical’ says team boss Fritz van Amersfoort


Van Amersfoort Racing are one of just five full time teams in European F3 in 2017 - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

Fritz van Amersfoort believes it is imperative that the FIA look into a merger between the GP3 Series and the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, with the Dutchman believing that it is impossible for both to co-exist.

Rumours about a potential merger between the two championships started when the GP2 Series became the FIA Formula 2 Championship, with the aim to simplify the route to Formula 1, from Formula 4 through Formula 3 and then Formula 2.

Just five full-time teams are set to compete in European Formula 3 in 2017, while the GP3 Series allowed teams to run four cars in order to raise their own dwindling entry levels, and van Amersfoort reckons it will be in the best interests of both championships to merge.

“You don’t need to be a magician to see there is not enough room in Europe for two of the categories, which are more or less the same,” said van Amersfoort to Motorsport.com.

“It’s quite a logical development I would guess that if GP2 became F2, the next aim would be to merge GP3 and F3 so it’s quite a logical step.

“More I can’t say, it’s in the hands of the FIA and the promoters, and we just have to wait what happens. We are really looking forward to a system which has Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3 and I think everybody with a heart of motorsport will welcome that.”

Just six teams are set to compete in GP3 this season – Credit: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service

One of the issues that the merger would bring would be the cars, with the two championships using different machinery that have recently been updated on both counts. GP3 is in its third generation that was only introduced at the beginning of 2016, while Formula 3 has updated it’s aero kit only this season.

“This year we invested quite a lot of money again in the cars so it’s a bit difficult to change the whole system within too soon a time,” said van Amersfoort.

Van Amersfoort believes that should a merger happen between the two championships, it is important not to lose the connection with the DTM Series, and that a mixture of supporting that and Formula 1 could be the solution.

“I’ll give you a very political answer, I really think the tightness of the Formula 1 paddock is something we don’t really like because it keeps away a lot of fans from the F3 cars,” said van Amersfoort. “So my best idea would be to make a mix of the two series.

“Of course we are married to DTM for a long time, every team has its connections to a DTM team so it would be a loss if we are outside of DTM, but I understand that some decisions have to be taken. I said for a long time now we welcome everything which leads to healthier formula series in Europe and that’s what we need.”

One major talking point of any potential merger will be which car gets used – Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer