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Formula 3 confirmed to return to Macau for this year’s grand prix

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau Grand Prix

The FIA has announced that Formula 3 will be returning to the Macau Grand Prix this year for the first time since 2019.

The famed street circuit race started off for sportscars, then for Formula Libre machinery before becoming a key part of the junior single-seater calendar in 1974 when it ran for Formula Pacific cars.

In 1983 it switched to being an F3 race, with Ayrton Senna being the winner that year, and soon became the most significant open-wheel race in the world below Formula 1.

For 2016 the race was granted FIA F3 World Cup status, and four editions ran under that banner before the COVID-19 pandemic prevented an international field from attending for the last three years and so the Chinese Formula 4 championship adopted the Macau GP as part of its schedule instead.

The race organisers told Formula Scout earlier this year that they planned to run the 70th edition of the event over two weekends and for F3 to return, and during last weekend’s FIA F3 Championship round at Barcelona it was mentioned in the paddock that a trip to Macau was now confirmed.

Both of those plans became official in the FIA’s announcement on Monday morning.

“FIA-sanctioned races are set to return to the renowned Asian street circuit as part of a three-year agreement resulting from joint efforts by the FIA, Macau’s FIA member club, Automobile General Association Macao-China (AAMC), and the Macau Grand Prix Organizing Committee,” read the statement.

“The two FIA competitions will take place from 16–19 November, with the action kicking off on Thursday and the format featuring two 40-minute-long free practice sessions and two qualifying sessions for F3, as well as two 30-minute practice sessions followed by single qualifying of the same duration for GT cars.

“Both competitions will be held across two race heats over the weekend, each with a qualifying race followed by a title-deciding main race. The race durations will be 10 and 15 laps for F3 and 12 and 16 laps for GT cars. The F3 World Cup winner will be classed as the overall Macau GP winner.”

The first weekend of racing action in Macau will take place on November 9-12, with the weekend of FIA-sanctioned action also including the TCR World Tour.

Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA’s single-seater director, said: “We are all very pleased to see the return of the FIA F3 World Cup in Macau – the history of Macau and F3 is one of the most renowned stories in motor sport and the event has long been the highlight of the junior single-seater calendar.

“Over the decades many of the biggest names in racing have been tested at the MP, as an outstanding performance around the Guia Circuit is a sure sign of talent and commitment. It is fantastic news that the story is set to continue with the current generation of F3 cars that made successful debut on the streets of Macau back in 2019.”