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FIA F3 determines qualifying format for first visit to Monaco

by Ida Wood

Photo: Campos Racing

The FIA Formula 3 Championship has determined the qualifying format it will use on its first trip to the streets of Monaco.

Created in 2019 to succeed GP3, the Formula 1 support series has so far never raced on a street circuit but will visit two in the first four rounds of the 2023 season as there are maiden trips to Melbourne and Monaco scheduled.

GP3 visited Monaco in 2012 and split its 26-car field into two groups for qualifying, and a similar format will be used now for FIA F3’s 30-car entry which is split equally between 10 teams.

Pole will go to the driver who sets the fastest lap of anyone, and then the remainder of their group will fill the odd-numbered grid slots based on order of pace. Whoever topped the slower group qualifies second, with the rest of that group’s drivers occupying the even-numbered grid spots.

“In Monaco, two groups will be created (group A and group B); these groups will consist of those cars with even numbers and those with odd numbers,” read the 2023 FIA F3 sporting regulations.

“A ballot to establish the order in which the two groups will run in the qualifying session will take place on the day of scrutineering. Group (A) will take part in the first 16 minutes of the qualifying session; Group (B) will take part in the last 16 minutes of the qualifying session.”

F3 will take a lead from Formula 2, which has been a Monaco mainstay and adapted its grid-setting system at the circuit in 2021 when switching the feature and reversed-grid sprint race around in the weekend schedule so the sprint comes first, by reversing the top 10 positions from qualifying for the sprint rather than the top 12 as is the case at all other rounds.

The regulations go on to say: “An alternative sprint race grid may be arranged in Monaco. The overall fastest driver from both groups will start the race from 10th position. The ninth place on the grid will be awarded to the driver who has achieved the fastest time in the other group and eighth place will be awarded to the driver who has achieved the second fastest time in the group of the overall fastest driver, and so on.

“By way of illustration: the qualifying group that contains the fastest qualifying car overall shall be the ‘Pole Group’. The other group shall be the ‘Second Group’.”

You can read about other changes to the sporting regulations here.

Monaco F3 sprint race grid
Pos. Position in qualifying group
1 5th in second group
2 5th in pole group
3 4th in second group
4 4th in pole group
5 3rd in second group
6 3rd in pole group
7 2nd in second group
8 2nd in pole group
9 1st in second group
10 1st in pole group
11 6th in second group
12 6th in second group