One of the most historic and influential junior racing championships has been revived for 2016.
British Formula 3 played a part in launching a number of high-profile drivers’ careers, including Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello and Daniel Ricciardo.
However, British F3 struggled to maintain its place as one of the most attractive junior series as the FIA F3 European Championship became the favored third-tier series for drivers.
In 2013, British F3 reduced to just four rounds and struggled with low grid numbers before eventually folding at the end of 2014.
On Wednedsay, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) announced that it would be reviving British F3 for 2016, evolving out of the existing BRDC F4 championship.
BRDC F4 was established in 2013, but was not recognized as being Britain’s national Formula 4 championship by the FIA, with that moniker instead going to the rival MSA Formula series.
For 2016, BRDC F4 will become the BRDC British F3 Championship, marking the return of one of motorsport’s most historic series and becoming the national F3 series.
This makes drivers racing in the series eligible for FIA super license points which contribute to being able to race in Formula 1.
“I am delighted that we have successfully worked with the FIA and MSA to streamline British single seater motorsport and establish a clear and logical hierarchy for both drivers and teams,” series promoter Jonathan Palmer said.
“Our much advanced 2016 BRDC F4 Tatuus Cosworth car has proved an outstanding success, being very close to the performance of British F3 in its heyday – but at less than half the budget.
“Cost effectiveness and value for money is critical to any championship’s health, and having set standards with our BRDC F4 Championship we are now doing the same at F3 level with the BRDC British F3 Championship.”
The opening race of the year is set to take place at Snetterton this weekend, with a grid of over 20 cars set for British F3’s comeback.