The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship will be re-branded as the GB3 Championship from the next round at Snetterton 300, the series has announced.
The Championship re-branded from BRDC Formula 4 in 2016, but will undergo another identity change mid-season following regulation changes from the FIA.
“Changing to the new GB3 name is purely a consequence of the FIA’s decision to limit the use of the F3 title exclusively for the international FIA F3 series,” read a statement from the Championship.
“As a result… national governing bodies are not able to grant permits for national-level single-seater championships using the F3 brand.”
Series organiser MotorSport Vision (MSV) is said to be “very disappointed that it has been forced into the change, having done everything possible to preserve the historically-significant British F3 title, ensuring that drivers could continue to follow in the wheel tracks of the series’ biggest names, including Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen.”
The series’ statement adds, “GB3 will continue to be the UK’s leading single-seater championship, carrying drivers from junior formulae towards a full-time career in professional motorsport.
“Under previous guises, the series has helped produce two of F1‘s most exciting current talents in George Russell (as BRDC F4) and Lando Norris (as BRDC British F3), and it will continue to offer a superb platform for drivers to emulate them.”
F3 Cup, a lower-level series for older-spec F3 cars, is not expected to be affected by these changes.
“The series will continue to be focussed on offering prospective F1 drivers an outstanding platform to develop and prove their ability and potential,” the statement continued.
The change in identity is not believed to bring any technical changes regarding the Championship’s use of the Tatuus BF3-020, the statement adding that the series will “run to the same technical regulations, with affordability and equality firmly at the heart of the Championship’s philosophy.”
MSV Chief Executive, Jonathan Palmer, said “I am extremely saddened by the fact that we are no longer permitted to use the British F3 name.
“Having existed for over half a century, the British F3 title has enormous heritage and the Championship has played an important role in the careers of many F1 drivers.
“The strength of our Championship is however built upon much more than just a name and that will be reflected in its ongoing success.”
Palmer added, “I am very excited about the future of a series which has firmly established itself as the country’s leading single-seater championship.
“GB3 offers a strong, fresh and concise identity and we will continue to deliver a package which is enormously attractive to both teams and drivers.
“GB3 will play a vital role in the careers of many young drivers, and MSV remains firmly committed to providing the fairest and best-value championship at this level anywhere in the world.”
The final round held under the British F3 name was at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with Christian Mansell, Roman Bilinski and Roberto Faria winning over the course of the weekend, Bilinski and Faria taking their first wins in the series.
The GB3 Championship era will begin at Snetterton 300 this weekend (7/8 August), with Zak O’Sullivan leading for Carlin at the halfway stage of the season.