BIARB Awards, Stuff, and some Motorsport too writes:
"Hang on, what (F3 related)"
Posted by Biscuits In A Red Bull on January 29, 2013
Viewed 216 times
This blog post probably bears no relation to most users of this site, and many will totally ignore it due to my previous post, but I'm now very confused.
Personally I feel that there are almost too many junior motorsports series, and whilst most have their uses/markets, there are some that have very little impact on motorsports, for example, Superleague Formula.
So what will happen in these hard times?
Well, it seems that many of these series are having to combine, whilst others are simply dying off.
However, there is one series with a pedigree that hardly any can match. Formula 3. There are very few junior racing series across any kind of racing that have produced the champions such as Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Mika Hakkinen, and more recently, Alvaro Parente, Daniel Ricciardo and many others.
The motorsport-aware ones of you should really have known that the EuroSeries was losing a lot of entries in the period around 2010, whilst British F3 was suffering fairly badly too, but wasn't as hard hit. The main culprit for this was, and still is, GP3, as this series offers races alongisde F1, and has an easy ladder up to GP2, which is also on the F1 support bill.
So what happens? Well, the FIA desperately protect their EuroSeries, creating an all-new European championship, and in 2012 they ran many races alongside the slightly slower British F3 cars (if you're wonderind, names to look out for are Félix Sérralles, and Raffielle Marciello, among others). Whilst both series only attracted ~15 cars, it was still an impressive sight to see, with some fantastic races and 2 very worthy champions, Daniel Juncadella in Europe and Jack Harvey for the British series.
What Harvey has done for the 2013 season almost says it all about what's happening right now. He left for GP3, and whilst he is an almost-certain winner, it is a bizarre move. Runner-up Jazeman Jaafar, a Mercedes GP test driver, moved to Formula Renault 3.5, as did 6th place rainmeitser Pietro Fantin. So why?
The 2012 British F3 calendar featured 2 Grand Prix circuits. The 2012 European F3 calendar consisted of 3 Grand Prix circuits. It's fairly obvious that the GP3 series consisted of ONLY Grand Prix venues. This clearly helps for the drivers who want to race in F1.
So the FIA, with Gerhard Berger's guidance (and attempts to unify F3 regulations), released the European calendar. It consists of 10 rounds with 4 Grand Prix circuits (maybe up to 5 depending on the completed 2013 F1 calendar). With this newly revamped sieres supporting WEC, WTCC and mainly DTM, things look good, with anything up to 26 cars involved, maybe even more!
The British series, in contrast, has now been forced to axe it's 10 round calendar down to 3 GP venues and another great round, at Brands Hatch, alongisde Silverstone, Spa and the Nurburgring (why the Nurburgring above even Hockenheim, or even a joint race with the European series is beyond me). The reason? Most of the 2012 drivers were 1) too bad to continue 2) had no money 3) have gone to the European series 4) have moved up due to money and speed. The FIA have accidentally destroyed the established MSA F3 series.
So what now for the British series and it's drivers and teams? Well, it doesn't seem that bad. Despite only 3 confirmed entries, there are strong hints that Lynn, 2011 AND 2012 winner Harry Tincknell, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC runner-up Jordan King and 3rd position driver Josh Hill could drive, as could Ollie Millroy, the McLaren F1 test driver, and of course, one of the confirmed drivers is Formula Pilota China 2012 champion Antonio Giovinazzi, who is likely to be a multiple winner in his rookie F3 year. So not all is lost for the series.
So why comment on it? Well, to me, it seems ridiculous that the FIA are ruining other series, especially after what Berger said in July last year, even if it is an accident. The lessons to be learnt are to not trust your competition. It doesn't matter what they say, but they are going to want to have the success. Sadly a great series like British F3 had to pay the price.
If anyone has any complaints/questions/other stuff to say, please feel free to say it, unless it is totally ridiculous.
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