In a few years the FIA has gone from subtly killing off National Formula 3 series to accommodating them in their own special category. They’ve announced the introduction of F3 Light, as a way to differentiate between Continental Formula 3 and National.
In setting up the FIA Global Pathway, the FIA reduced the significance of the national F3 series. This, and the rising costs, eventually lead to the death of the British and German Formula 3 series. However; with only one FIA sanctioned F3 series surviving, a bottleneck soon occurred with the half a dozen new Formula 4 series.
The new F3 Light category is planned to reduce the cost of a continental F3 series, such as European Formula 3. The FIA said that it’ll ideally cost half way between F3 and F4 and will be used as a stepping stone for young drivers, as well as reduce the pressure on European F3.
“The World Council approved the idea of a new series, to be called F3 Light, which will be organised on a regional basis,” single seater president Stefano Domenicali said, as reported by Autosport.com. “With F4’s growing success at national level around the world, it has created a something of a bottleneck for talented youngsters when they want to move out of F4 to the next step on the ladder.
“It is a big jump to go from a series that has around 250 to 300 drivers around the world to our FIA F3 European Championship that can only take a tenth of that number. The risk is that you lose a lot of potential talent along the way – and we want to prevent the loss of those who might mature as drivers a bit later, or who do not have the resources to make the immediate move up to the higher category.”
The category will use F3 engines, but with reduced power and should have a more refined chassis than F4. The re-established BRDC British F3 championship will likely be the first category to be classed under this system, while India’s MRF Challenge could soon adopt the Formula 3 legacy.
“We have already had plenty of interest in Europe, especially in Italy, UK and Germany, in Asia and in Australia,” Domenicali continued. The move may continue to alter the Junior Formulae dynamic, as we’re yet to see the long-term effects on Formula Renault and the unmentioned EuroFormula Open series