Until the introduction of the FIA Formula 3 Championship later this year, there hasn’t been a World Championship for Formula Three either. The first British Formula Three Championship was held in 1970, with the championship being contested by Britain, Italy and France. From that time until the retirement of the current world champion Michael Schumacher in 2020 the championship was contested between four countries, with Britain eventually winning three out of four times. Since then, however, an international tournament known as the GP2 Series has contested, in different countries, two different championships.
Over the last decade the BFF 3 races have developed massively, taking the sport to new levels both in the motor sport and in the wider fields such as motorsport and racing in general. British drivers have won the majority of these race titles, although since 2020 the European series has taken over as the premier national series in Britain. The increasing popularity of the GP3 series has meant that more British citizens are now able to take part in this prestigious motor sport. For the enthusiasts of this discipline, there is no doubt that there is simply no comparison with the level of competition enjoyed by the Europeans.
The two series contested annually, the British Formula Three Championship, and the European Formula Renault Championship, are definitely the toughest on the grid. The British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch is regarded as the toughest of all the races due to its long history as a race track and the close proximity of the starting and finishing straight. This race has developed its own fans and there is a great deal of buzz at the race track. It isn’t just the speed and the challenges that bring crowds, but also the fact that the cars that are running are often those of legend. Harry Tincknell is a three time winner of the championship, Mark Webber has been the champion twice, and Carlos Saleh has also had four successes.
In recent times it has been billed that the British Formula Three circuit is starting to dry up as some of the more senior stars retire. This is of course a huge let-down to the fans, who had expected to see a long list of stars lining up behind Honda as the race team continues to strive for success. Nevertheless, it was clear that the British Grand Prix was still well worth watching for anyone willing to make the effort. The fact that this race is the only one left with only one chic track to race on has added to the appeal of this series. The facilities available mean that there are no worries about poor weather or other environmental concerns, whereas some events on the European circuit include tough conditions due to the wet weather and low temperatures.
This year is not the first time that the B3B racing championship has moved to another country. It previously was in Germany but moved to the United Kingdom in 1992 and returned to Germany the following year. In this year’s race, Britain will be joining with Italy, Mercedes and Renault as the main teams fighting for victory. It is expected that there will be four separate races in total, and many are already looking at the prospect of a thrilling finale with the title on the line.
Formula Three racing was taken off the shelves by a popular manufacturer of motor sport vehicles in Japan in 1997, and it has grown steadily since then. After the first few years, the company’s focus seemed to shift away from motor racing and onto more mainstream forms of motor sports such as mountain cruising and motocross. As its name suggests, it is now a brand that hatch racing vehicles. Some years ago, the company also began to offer competitive driving courses for young drivers, which is proving very popular. This means that it has broadened its horizons and can appeal to a wider audience. As the sport develops, it is certain to broaden its appeal even more.
Britain is not the only country to have entered the B Formula European Championship. Many other countries have done so in the past and some have had great success, whilst others have failed. The growing number of nations participating means that it is becoming a truly international competition. Competitors from Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Romania and Russia are all aiming for victory and the chance to take home the coveted Formula Three title.
Some of the current formula winners are looking towards this as a route to Formula One success. Britain has had several opportunities to challenge for victories and have failed every time. The rise in Japanese manufacturers has also helped, as has the introduction of a new national class of racer called the Paul Ricard. The rise in popularity of these junior cars has been helped by the addition of a new track, the Monaco Grand Prix, to the calendar and has meant that many teams have increased their budget in order to be able to enter. It is still too early to tell how successful this new way of racing will be but time is certainly starting to tell.