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Formula 3 drops off 2021 Macau Grand Prix bill

by Ida Wood

For the second successive year, the Macau Grand Prix will not run for Formula 3 machinery as it was announced that the FIA F3 World Cup won’t race there this November.

From 1983 through to 2019 the iconic race was a mainstay of the F3 schedule for teams and drivers across the world. In 2011 it was part of the FIA F3 International Trophy, and had World Cup billing from 2016.

Macau’s strict quarantine procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented F3 from being included last year, meaning the grand prix title instead went to the Chinese Formula 4 championship that was able to visit.

The same situation has occurred this year, with the Macanese government currently implementing a 21-day quarantine procedure that has left the FIA scrapping its plans to hold international competitions at the November 18-21 event.

Chinese F4 had already been confirmed as being on the Macau GP schedule once again, but initially looked set to be a support race as the event organiser planned with Euroformula and Super Formula Lights bosses for the Dallara 320 car – which follows the design philosophy of the previous generation of F3 machinery – to be used for the grand prix.

That plan looked to fall through when the FIA said in March it would bring the F3 World Cup back to Macau – having not previously ruled out running the event elsewhere for 2021 – but now both are gone it puts F4 in prime position to hold grand prix status for a second year in a row, although the championship has not yet been able to get racing this year due to the pandemic.

The FIA GT World Cup will also not run this year, while the season-long World Touring Car Cup will instead conclude in Russia.

The FIA’s general sport secretary Peter Bayer said: “For many years, the Macau Grand Prix has been a season-ending tradition for much of the motorsport world and it holds special significance for the FIA as the only event to feature three different FIA world cups on the same event schedule. While we will miss not being there ourselves, we wish the organisers a safe and successful Macau GP in November and we will start working immediately towards the 2022 event.”

Junior single-seater racing’s other famous street race, the Pau Grand Prix, now looks near-certain not to run again for the forseeable future as local investment switches to the nearby permanent Pau Arnos circuit rather than running the city-centre race.

Photo: Macau Grand Prix