MotorSport Vision, the company behind the recently rebranded GB3 championship, has announced it will start a new series next year called GB4 that will use first-generation Formula 4 cars.
Similar to the relationship between Formula 2 and Formula 3 on the F1 support bill, GB3 and GB4 will be run by the same key people on the British GT support bill and will use the standard Tatuus F4-T014 car the current GB3 chassis is based on.
The season budget being touted for GB4 by MSV is £120,000-150,000, with a minimum age of 15 for drivers as the series complies to FIA F4 technical regulations.
“GB4 is a tremendously exciting new championship that will provide aspiring F1 drivers with modest budgets an opportunity to develop and prove their talent, and progress onwards in single-seater racing,” said MSV’s chief executive Jonathan Palmer.
“The availability of the current well proven Tatuus-Abarth F4 car, coupled with MSV’s highly respected ability to run excellent junior single-seater series, means an affordable first step will exist for drivers to emulate George Russell’s outstanding progress to the top, after he first came to single-seater prominence by winning our inaugural BRDC F4 championship in 2014.”
BRDC British F4 used its own car, then when it evolved into BRDC British F3 switched to an upgraded version of Tatuus’s F4 car. Further upgrades have occurred since, including the addition of the halo for 2022.
Now that many F4 series will be introducing second-generation F4 cars for 2022, the second-hand market for the older chassis is likely to boom and GB4 expects a spec Tatuus car from the continent could be bought for around £30,000 with an Autotecnica engine. GB3’s engine partner Mountune will also work on the power units, and its Pirelli tyres will be used.
Maintenance will be simplified by the fact that GB3 uses a vast majority of the same running parts and that Tatuus will continue to manufacturer components that are used across its two F4 designs. MSV also plans to apply cost control directly to the new championship.
The inaugural season will consist of seven rounds and 21 races, with most rounds mirroring GB3’s format of a qualifying session and three race. GB4 will race and test on the same weekends as GB3, and there will be £50,000 prize for the champion to step up to the latter series.
There are plans for another entry-level single-seater series in the UK called Formula Foundation. The all-new car underpinning it has no rear wing and features a traverse engine, and is the brainchild of Steve Wills who previously made the Spirit cars used in Formula Ford.
FFoundation’s car already been tested and run in Finland by former Formula 1 driver JJ Lehto with a 1.6-litre Ford Zetec engine. It aims to be even cheaper than F4, a category which already has championships running in Finland and the UK.