The FIA released a provisional calendar for the 2013 F3 European Championship on Sunday morning.
Following its revival this season, the European F3 Championship is to expand as it plays support to not just DTM, but also the WEC and the WTCC.
The 2013 calendar entails ten dates – one of which is still to be confirmed – that takes the European Championship to Italy, UK, Hungary, Austria, Holland and Germany.
While expanding the reach of the European Championship, the doors were formally closed on the F3 Euro Series.
Gone are dates at Pau, Valencia and Spa-Francorchamps; however events at Silverstone (supporting WEC), the Hungaroring and Monza (both WTCC events) have joined.
Meanwhile the calendar retains its place as main support for the DTM at Brands Hatch, the Red Bull Ring, Norisring, Zandvoort, Nurburgring and the Hockenheimring.
From a technical standpoint, the current set of I4 engines will also run alongside the new-for-2013 V6 engine regulations, which should delight both Mercedes and Volkswagen to some degree, while there will be no major aerodynamic upgrades to next year’s car.
Hancook are to remain as the control tyre supplier.
The 2013 championship will also allow extra track time for drivers, with an extra practice and qualifying session to run into the weekend’s three races.
Of the two qualifying sessions, Q1 will set the grid for the opening two races (to be adjudged by a driver’s fastest two times), while Q2 will align the grid for the final race, ending the reverse grid format.
Next season will also see an increase in digital media promotion, with live streams if each race alongside live television broadcasts – a significant and progressive move that was initially pioneered by the Euro Series in recent years.
Referring to the calendar, Gerhard Berger, President of FIA Single-Seater Commission, was positive: “We started the process of restoring the Formula 3 European Championship to its former status last season. After a positive exchange of views with all the players involved, we’re moving up another step by putting a stand-alone championship in place with a coherent and attractive calendar. We’ve done everything possible to cap costs; in particular by establishing stable sporting and technical regulations.
“We want to stress the performance to enable the best young talents to show their skills. With this aim in mind we’re in the process of putting together a worthwhile prize fund for the 2013 champion. Thanks to all these elements, partners, engine tuners and engine manufacturers Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, everything’s in place to make the Formula 3 European Championship the indispensable stepping stone for drivers who want to break into a professional career in top level motorsport.”
President of the FIA, Jean Todt added: “The Formula 3 European Championship is a new opportunity to share the FIA values through a new and exciting series, crucially aimed at a younger audience, be they drivers or fans. Our wish to establish a clear line of development for young drivers should make the path to Formula One, economically more viable and professionally more accessible.”
Most notable is the complete split from the British Formula 3 Series, quite a blow for the mostly UK-based championship. Aside from the above mentioned dates, DTM will also race at the Hockenheimring (May 4-5), Lausitzring (June 15-16) and Oschersleben (August 31-September 1). DTM have also confirmed a race in Moscow for the first weekend in August; however it has yet to be confirmed whether F3 Euro Series will play a supporting role at that event.
2013 FIA F3 European Championship (provisional*)
23-24 March: Monza, Italy (WTCC) 12-14 April: Silverstone, Great Britain (WEC)** 4-5 May: Hungaroring, Hungary (WTCC)** 18-19 May: Brands Hatch, Great Britain (DTM)** 1-2 June: Red Bull Ring, Austria (DTM) 6-7 July: Norisring, Germany (DTM) 20-21 July: Zandvoort, The Netherlands (DTM) 17-18 August: Nürburgring, Germany (DTM) 14-15 September: Hockenheim, Germany (DTM) October: (event to be announced)
* Submitted to WMSC approval
**To be confirmed