Macau | FIA is the one to blame for the smallest F3 grid ever

Twenty-two drivers are taking part in the second annual FIA Formula 3 World Cup, which also acts as the 64th Macau Grand Prix.

Macau (MNA) – This is the lowest entry since the event switched to Formula 3 rules back in 1983, and FIA is the one to blame, told a former responsible to the Macau News Agency (MNA).

A 25-car grid was put together for the first edition, but in the 33 years since then there have always been at least 28 entries. 

This year’s race is the first to be held without any input from long-time Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix entries coordinator Barry Bland, who stood down from organisation duties in late summer 2016, when much of the entry had already been put in place. Sadly he passed away last July.

Formula 3 numbers are struggling in Europe, with FIA F3 European Championship season entry list bellow twenty cars. At same time, the national Formula 3 series, once a pillar to the category success, vanished from the map.

“When Gerhard Berger became Single Seat Commissioner after Barry he decided to make Euroseries (ndr: now called FIA F3 European Championship) the only major Formula 3 series and ensured through new regulations that the National Series could not survive. He is the reason that Formula 3 has shrunk to its current level,” explained Peter Briggs, the former Assistant to Barry Bland at the Macau Grand Prix and FOTA team representative, told Macau News Agency (MNA).

“Last year Barry had arranged the field before he stood down from Macau organisation. Sadly the FIA do not understand what is required,” said Mr. Briggs.

The 2017 FIA F3 World Cup field had two 40 minute practice sessions, two 40 minute qualifying periods and then a 10 lap qualifying race before today’s main event of 15 laps.

(Written by Sergio Fonseca)