The deadline for entries for the 2016 FIA European Formula 3 Championship has been pushed back two weeks after only twenty-four entries were made before Monday’s original deadline.
The extended time is to allow those struggling to find drivers and budgets more time to add to the car count, which is significantly lower than twelve months previously when thirty-six cars were announced in 2015.
European Formula 3 regulars Fortec Motorsports, Signature, Double R Racing and Team West-Tec F3 are all currently missing from the entry list, while DAV Racing and Jo Zeller Racing, both originally on the entry list, are also appearing to be struggling to field cars.
The twenty-four cars currently entered are thought to be from just seven teams – Prema Powerteam, Mücke Motorsport, Carlin, Van Amersfoort Racing, Motopark, T-Sport and Hitech Grand Prix.
Despite the decline in entrants, FIA Single Seater Commission president Stefano Domenicali believes Formula 3 is in good health, and the number of entrants seen in 2015 was too high for some of the venues.
“The championship is in good health,” said Domenicali to Autosport. “We have an entry of 24 as of today, but what we would like to do is give two more weeks to extend the entry period to make sure the teams that have requested time to finalise some agreement will have the time to do it.
“That was the decision we took yesterday [Monday]. Now we are at 24, I assume that these two weeks will give time to the teams to finalise certain agreements, so at the end of the day we are talking of a grid that is very solid. This is the basis on which we are going to build up the championship.
“We had a situation on certain tracks where it was too chaotic and we had races that were not really races, because we had too many safety cars and accidents.
“With regard to the championship itself, we as a federation together with ITR took the decision to make sure it was stronger.
“Stronger means with a better level of drivers. So we felt that investing in quality instead of quantity was one point that was very important.”