Tag Archives: F3

A summary of the top European F3 contenders in 2017

Formula 3 will be the third different category in which Joey Mawson, Harrison Newey, and Mick Schumacher have raced against each other. Mawson had a clear advantage when they were all teammates in German F4 (and beat Schumacher to the title last year with twice as many victories) but the trio now seem to be a bit closer. Between them they won 14 of 16 races in the recent MRF challenge and Newey narrowly claimed the title after passing Mawson in the final laps of the final race.

Schumacher is with the Prema Powerteam who have won the last seven championships in a row so they will give him the best possible chance of success. Mick is fast but tends to make mistakes so he will need to match speed with consistency to prove he is more than just a surname. His teammates will be Callum Ilott and Maximilian Gunther who are two of the strongest drivers from last year to line up again. Gunther was the 2016 runner up to Lance Stroll whilst Ilott (who was once part of the Red Bull young driver program) took six podiums and a pair of victories. Both are expecting to be title contenders.

Ilott and Gunther were outscored by Joel Eriksson over the final 6 races in 2016. Eriksson was very consistent with 10 podiums and will be a title threat this year if those 2nds and 3rds turn into wins. In the final race of 2016, Eriksson was joined on the podium by Jake Hughes who performed well in a one-off guest appearance. Hughes joins Formula 3 full-time this year after winning multiple races in last year’s faster GP3 championship. In theory this should be quite good preparation against a field of less experienced runners.

If any of the seven drivers above want to win the title in 2017, they will have to beat Lando Norris. The 17 year old is part of McLaren’s young driver program and won three different single-seater championships last year alone. He is one of the best young drivers in the world and, after proving quick in testing, he will be hard to beat.

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F1: Several drivers are on the cusp of qualifying for an F1 Super Licence

Any driver who wants to compete in Formula One must hold an FIA issued Super Licence and next year these will become harder for new drivers to obtain. The full conditions are listed below, but from 2016 aspiring F1 drivers must achieve a higher level of success in the feeder categories to be eligible. The FIA has assigned ‘points’ to finishing positions in the junior championships and drivers must score 40 of these within a three year period to gain eligibility.

This means there are currently several drivers on the cusp of gaining enough points to qualify for a F1 Super Licence at the end of this year and in some cases they are fighting against each other for that opportunity. Some of these interesting battles are highlighted below.

Although these drivers aren’t expecting to race in Formula One next year, most of them already have links to Grand Prix teams and eligibility for a Super Licence (which is valid for three years) will give them an advantage over other youngsters on their way to the top level. It certainly helps anyone with a budget because the new requirements will stop other pay drivers from simply buying their way into F1. If nothing else, access to a Super Licence will make a driver more attractive to potential sponsors.

FORMULA RENAULT 3.5

The first of these interesting battles is taking place in Formula Renault 3.5. Dean Stoneman and Nyck de Vries both have a realistic chance of finishing 3rd in this year’s championship which would give either of them enough points to be eligible for a Super Licence. However, it means the opportunity is there for only one of them. Since they are both part of highly competitive F1 junior programs (Stoneman at Red Bull and De Vries at McLaren) it adds some intrigue to their current fight for position.

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FORMULA 3

A similar battle is taking place in Formula 3. The 2015 championship is a three-way fight, and although Felix Rosenqvist is almost certain to finish the year with enough Super Licence points, the other two contenders will need to avoid finishing 3rd to ensure they don’t miss out.

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GP3 SERIES

The GP3 championship fight is another with Super Licence implications. Marvin Kirchhofer is currently in contention for the title and if he ends up winning he will have earned enough points to qualify (in case he needed any extra incentive).

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GP2 SERIES

The FIA has said that it will offer flexibility to drivers that have previously held a Super Licence but have been unable to race in F1. The three drivers fighting for 2nd place in this year’s GP2 championship all meet this condition so shouldn’t have any problems, but the regulations haven’t been finalised yet (Appendix L to the International Sporting Code) so if the final wording works against them it would make their battle for position very interesting.

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SUPER LICENCE CONDITIONS – APPENDIX L TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPORTING CODE

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F3: Felix Rosenqvist overtook 51 cars in 36 laps

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Felix Rosenqvist currently lies second in the European Formula Three Championship, which is quite amazing because there have only been three races so far and he started two of those from last on the grid! At the recent Silverstone round Rosenqvist surged from 35th to 7th in race two, and made it up to 12th in race three, giving him the distinction of passing 51 cars in 36 racing laps (and making him a championship favourite). Great stuff.

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