Path to Formula One: FIA European Formula 3 Championship
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The FIA European Formula 3 Championship is a high-level feeder series for drivers seeking a Formula One seat. It was known as the Formula 3 Euro Series from 2003 to 2012 before it was incorporated by the FIA in 2013.
Though Formula 3 is technically the second-highest step of the FIA Global Pathway, some of its champions skipped Formula 2 and went straight to Formula One—such as Lance Stroll, pictured above—as doing well in the series usually comes with sufficient points toward a Super License.
The FIA European Formula 3 Championship should not be confused with separate, national Formula 3 competitions. Other series exist that use the Formula 3 name and regulations, including two in the United Kingdom and several others around the world, though the official FIA series is the most competitive of them all and awards significantly more Super License points (up to three times as many depending on finishing position).
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Each FIA European Formula 3 race weekend begins on Friday with two 40-minute practice sessions, followed by a 20-minute qualifying session that determines the grid order for a first, 33-minute race on Saturday. After the race, the drivers partake in another 20-minute qualifying session for two additional 33-minute races on Sunday. The grid in the first Sunday race is determined by the drivers’ best qualifying times on Saturday, while the grid in the second race is determined by their second-best times.
Formula 3 cars are subject to mostly open regulations—unlike Formula 2 and Formula 4, it is not a spec series. All engines in Formula 3 are 2.0-liter, naturally-aspirated four-cylinders that must last at least 10,000 km and cost at most €65,000. This has attracted many engine suppliers to the series, including Mercedes, Renault, Honda, and Volkswagen.
The following table shows the top three results of every FIA European Formula 3 Championship and Formula 3 Euro Series since 2005. Drivers in bold are currently in Formula One, while drivers in italics were formerly. Names in bold and italics are currently test and/or reserve drivers.
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.