FIA’s Charlie Whiting believes the new Formula 3 Championship car will be closer to the GP3 cars than the European F3 and ruled out reliability issues like found in Formula 2.
With the intent to bring Formula 1’s junior ladder in one stream, the FIA decided to mingle the GP3 and the European F3 series into a single F3 championship from 2019 onward with the Dallara-built car unveiled during the Abu Dhabi GP.
The car will have 3.4 litre bespoke Mecachrome 6 cylinder engine which delivers 380 HP at 8000 rpm – pretty similar to what was used in GP3 albeit the new one having slightly less power but certainly higher than the cars used in European F3.
The Halo safety device will be fitted as well as the makers insists the cars have been designed to help in overtaking with shakedown already completed and performance runs being undertaken as the first delivery of the car is scheduled for January.
After seeing the reliability issues with the F2 cars in the 2018 season, when asked by FormulaRapida.net to Whiting if he reckons the new F3 cars will be better in that regard or not, the FIA chief wasn’t too concerned by it.
“I think it [reliability] will be much better,” he said. “It has a tried and tested engine [by Mecachrome] and gearbox [by Hewland], it is nothing new or ground-breaking [for any issue to arise with the cars].
“The F2 engines this year was a completely new one and it had – not far too many – but some teething problems which were rectified in the season.” Elaborating on the cars especially in terms of performance, Whiting felt the cars will be closer to GP3.
“It depends on the track, of course, but the new car has got significant power and I think the performance of these cars would be close to GP3,” he said to the media including FormulaRapida.net.
“Honestly, I don’t know what the speed comparison would be – where you have a circuit when you can run and compare both cars and see the times alike, [but as I said] it will be much closer to GP3 than to the former European F3 Championship.”
The series will have 10 teams competing against each other from 2019 onward with a mix of GP3 and European F3 outfits along with the addition of two new squads namely F2’s Charouz Racing System and DTM’s HWA AG.
The calendar was also released by the FIA after getting an approval from the World Motor Sport Council. The season starts in Bahrain and will end in Russia as a F1 support event – it remains to be seen if the cars will run in Macau for the F3 World Cup.