Home Featured FIA publishes invite to tender to become F3’s next engine supplier

FIA publishes invite to tender to become F3’s next engine supplier

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

The FIA has released the invitation to tender to be the engine supplier for its Formula 3 championship through the 2025 to 2027 seasons.

The current Dallara-Mechacrome chassis-and-engine combination has been in use since the series was rebranded from GP3 in 2019, and will be retired at the end of 2024 after six years of competition.

Having published the tender documentation this Monday, the FIA has set a submission deadline of July 10 for interested suppliers, and its decision on which bidders have been approved will be sent to F3’s promoter Formula Motorsport on July 31.

The FIA and the promoter may decide by that latter date “that the term of the exclusive supply contract shall apply to each season from 2025 to 2030” rather than to 2027, or to make a contract for three seasons but written with an option to extend the supply deal through to 2030. If the latter is the case, “such extension to be notified to the provider at the latest by 31 December 2026”. As a result, all interested suppliers must be prepared to take a six-year supply requirement into consideration.

The chosen supplier is “invited to adhere to the FIA Envirionmental Strategy and to obtain the FIA Environmental Accreditation at least at a two-star level during the term of the contract”, although in the “Special conditions” part of the invite to tender it said the selected prodiver “shall adhere” to both sustainability conditions.

Being net-zero on carbon by 2030 is at the heart of the FIA’s environmental strategy, and it wants future F3 engine parts to be recyclable as well as for the engine to have 55% sustainable fuel compatibility for the 2025 season, and 100% sustainable fuel compatibility for the 2026 season.

The current spec Mechachrome-built unit is a naturally aspirated 3.4-litre, six-cylinder engine that is capable of 380 horsepower at 8,000rpm and is connected to a fly-by-wire throttle system.

Its successor could be naturally aspirated or turbocharged, will ideally weigh less than 120kg, have a centre of gravity “less than 225mm above base of sump” and be as short as possible so with a tight engine packaging a shorter wheelbase can be achieved with the next F3 car.

It will also be more powerful as it needs to deliver 405 PS (a metric horsepower measurement which is the equivalent to 399hp in mechnical terms) and have a “+/- 1.25% maximum deviation of the declared average power over the upermost 2,000rpm of the engine’s operating range from new build and over the complete engine life”.

The desired on-track engine life of more than 10,000km (which ignores dyno hours), and the supplier will require “a separate written agreement with the promoter” if they want to brand the engine as the supply contract does not give them those rights.

Deep in the tendering documents were a few other interesting details about FIA F3’s future, including the fact that push-to-pass functionality (like in Indy Nxt) is being considered for the next car and that the series will continue with a 30-car grid, with the intention for future seasons to have 10 rounds and nine days of official testing.