The new Formula European Masters series, a Formula 3-spec championship and one of the support acts for the DTM series, has had its 2019 season cancelled through a lack of entrants.
The series was intended to be the successor to the now-defunct FIA European Formula 3 championship and run by the former championship’s organisers Formel 3 Vermarktungs GmbH.
For 2019 the FIA has rebranded the GP3 Series as a single-make Formula 3 championship that follows the majority of the European Formula 1 calendar, running in tandem with the FIA Formula 2 championship.
However DTM boss Gerhard Berger did promise to support any teams that could not gain one of hotly-contested ten two-car entry slots for the main F3 championship, by giving them a platform to race for 2019.
It is understood that just six drivers had been confirmed for the upcoming year, set to start with an official test at the Misano World Circuit on 25-26 March – with the first round of the championship scheduled to coincide with the opening DTM weekend at Hockenheim in early May.
F3V managing director Walter Mertes said that the decision to cancel the inaugural year of the series was finalised by the realisation of the huge financial input needed from the three confirmed teams, should the championship gone ahead.
“This is a really sad day for the European young-driver sport,” Mertes said.
“In the difficult European competition environment there just aren’t enough drivers for the numerous different series.
“It takes enormous financial expenditure to compensate for this situation and we could not and did not want to expect this from our teams.”
The three aforementioned teams are reportedly looking at other options in order to give their drivers a race seat for 2019.
Motopark Academy is most likely to join EuroFormula Open, a series that has enjoyed a boost in interest from teams following the decision to allow old European F3 engines from Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz alongside the series’ customary Toyota power.
In 2019, the series will see a mix of Dallara F312 and F317 chassis – the two most recent standardised F3 tubs from the Italian manufacturer.
Fortec Motorsport is now also expected to continue in EuroFormula Open for a fourth consecutive season, having pulled away and declared its spot in FEM.
Current F1 stars Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc‘s former team Van Amersfoort Racing is yet to decide on its path for 2019.