Home Formula 4 FIA set to create new Formula 4 class

FIA set to create new Formula 4 class

by Peter Allen

Photo: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service

The FIA is to continue its work to restructure the ladder to Formula 1 after the principle of creating a new single-seater class was accepted at the World Motor Sport Council.

Under the remit of Single-Seater Commission head Gerhard Berger, a class named ?FIA Formula 4? would be established for use from 2014.

?The class? is aimed at providing ASNs [national sporting authorities] with a standard technical and sporting framework for national Formula 4 championships,? said the FIA following the meeting of the WMSC in Geneva.

?[It] will help rationalise the path young drivers should follow from karting through to Formula One. Technical regulations and a sporting framework were also agreed.?

Championships already utilising the Formula 4 name exist in France and, from this season, the United Kingdom using different regulations.

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By Peter Allen

Gerhard Berger has done a good job so far with Formula 3 with the promotion of the old Euro Series to a full-scale FIA European Championship, attracting a 30-car grid for 2013. Mission pretty much accomplished there, he said the level between that and karting would be his next target.

But while details are vague at present, it?s unclear what the ?new? Formula 4 class is going to achieve. While at F3 level there were a number of series struggling for strength in depth, there is already a strong option at the entry level in the form of Formula Renault 2.0. Beyond that there are a wide number of alternatives, something the creation of another class isn?t exactly going to help.

On the other hand, while Formula Renault 2.0 is a 30+ grid-size success on a continental or regional scale, there are no proper national series left. And from the wording of the FIA?s statement, it is on a national level that it is trying to implement Formula 4, perhaps providing a number of feeders for its F3 series.

The restructuring around F3 led to the death of the Italian championship, and organiser ACI-CSAI already says it will work with the FIA to develop Formula 4. Its own Formula Abarth category is on its last legs due to high costs.

Whether Berger?s assault on the entry level will be a success remains to be seen, but you have to wonder whether it really needs fixing. Sorting out an affordable next level for his new F3 champion to race in 2014 should probably be top of his agenda.