The Asian Formula 3 championship has become popular for Formula 2 drivers targeting additional FIA superlicence points in recent years, but that could change next season.
Dan Ticktum entered the 2019 Winter Series prior to racing in Super Formula, Nikita Mazepin and Pietro Fittipaldi were frontrunners in the 2019-20 season and this year Guanyu Zhou, Jehan Daruvala, Roy Nissany and Alessio Deledda all drove.
This season’s top category rookie (excluding those who had never driven in Formula Regional but were experienced in higher machinery) was Isack Hadjar in sixth place, and he only contested half the season before flying to Europe for testing.
“The sporting regulations of the Asian F3 championship remain unchanged in that drivers with International C and International B licenses are eligible to enter,” Asian F3 promoter Top Speed said in a statement to Formula Scout.
“However, in order to further the principles of the junior single-seater development pyramid, greater efforts are being made to encourage drivers to continue an upward career trajectory, and to avoid temporarily diverting into lower formulae.
“The championship fully supports the implementation of the regulations governing the structured development of single seater professional careers.”
This would suggest that teams are encouraged to sign drivers from FRegional and Formula 4 for the 2022 season, which follows the United Arab Emirates-only five-round winter calendar that was adopted for this year.
The 2022 season kicks off at Yas Marina Circuit on January 21/22, and then three rounds at Dubai Autodrome on January 28/29, February 4/5 and February 11/12. A return to Yas Marina on February 18/19 ends a condensed five-week calendar that features 15 races. One of the Dubai rounds is set to use a different circuit layout to the other two.
Many younger drivers will be contesting the F4 UAE support series next January, as it will be the first championship to use Tatuus’s second-generation F4 car before it makes its way to Europe.