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A positive interim report for the young guns
Nuremberg/Germany, July 14th, 2013 -The FIA Formula 3 European Championship started into the second half of its season and series’ manager Christoph Hewer is more than happy with the races so far. Especially the co-operation with the FIA has given another boost and with 30 drivers, the field is stronger than in many years before. “In the past, there were many single-seater categories for the drivers to choose from. Therefore, the fields weren’t too big and team principals from Formula 1 or the DTM had a hard time finding young talents, because there wasn’t a real way to compare them. Because of the successful structure and the ideal platform in combination with the DTM, the FIA has opted for our series and with the FIA Formula 3 European Championship has given us a status that the drivers can trust. Hence also the big field of drivers,” the series’ manager explains.
Regulations were slightly modified at the same time. The reversed grid race, in which the first eight drivers were starting in reversed order from qualifying for a sprint race, but were given less points, was abandoned. “Now, there are three equally long races in which drivers start according to the result from qualifying and the winner gets 25 points. Drivers can now score 75 points during a race weekend and therefore make up big gaps in the drivers’ standings, too. Therefore, there is always excitement,” says Christoph Hewer.
The concept works perfectly, too. Competition in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is incredibly close, the races are more thrilling and attractive than they had been for a long time. At the Norisring, the first three drivers in qualifying were only three thousandths of a second apart and the times of the first 25 drivers were within one second. “Competition is incredibly close, there is a lot of action on the track. There are wheel-to-wheel fights and minor collisions occur every now and then. But especially the new drivers are much disciplined, although graduation from the junior categories to our series is difficult, because the cars are more complex and, of course, opposition is considerably stronger,” says Hewer.
Formula 3 is still being considered as the stepping stone for a great career in racing. Here, Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton gathered valuable experience on their way to the top. This season, the Spanish Formula 3 champion of the past year, Daniel Juncadella, and runner-up Pascal Wehrlein have graduated to a DTM drive for the first time. Christoph Hewer: “In fact, there are only few DTM drivers who don’t come from Formula 3. In our hospitality, we always watch the DTM race and root for our former drivers.” The FIA Formula 3 European Championship is supported in an optimal way by the DTM’s exclusive tyre partner Hankook for the second year already. Christoph Hewer: “As we are using the same tyres for the second year, we are getting additional information. Our new drivers are totally happy with the Hankook tyres, too.”