After months of rumours, the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) and WSK Promotion have finally confirmed a three-round calendar for the first season of Euro 4, their new Formula 4 championship.
The inaugural event will take place at Mugello on July 7-9, followed by Monza on September 15-17, with the finale at Barcelona on October 20-22.
The Italian rounds will be on the Formula Regional European Championship support bill, with the Barcelona event supporting Euroformula.
Run to the same technical specifications as the Italian F4 championship, the series will use Tatuus T-421 chassis, powered by Autotecnica’s 1.4-litre Abarth-branded engine, and Pirelli tyres.
Each round will comprise three races, each last 30 minutes plus one lap, replicating Italian F4’s standard format, although if the entry list exceeds grid capacity and a three heats-and-a-final format is used, race length is reduced to 25 minutes plus one lap.
Points will be awarded using the same allocation as in Formula 1, with 25 points for the winner, down to a single point for tenth place, but with an interesting twist – double points will be awarded for all three races in Barcelona.
The choice of FIA Grade I circuits, allied to the decision limiting Euro 4 to a maximum of 38 entries, with two to six cars allowed per team, should ensure that circuit capacity is not exceeded and the three-race format is used..
In recent years top teams such as Prema and Van Amersfoort Racing have run full Italian campaigns, supplemented by ad hoc rounds of Germany’s ADAC F4 championship – and occassionally full campaigns when they have been in title contention.
Luca De Donno, boss of Euro 4 promoter WSK Promotion, explained to Formula Scout: “The teams need a minimum of 10 rounds. This year the F4 German championship won’t start, and therefore this is the best moment to introduce this championship.”
In addition: “We need another championship with an international DNA, as national championships are limited to two rounds outside the home country. With Euro 4 it is possible to organise in the future more races outside of Italy.”
Reaction has generally been positive, with VAR’s CEO Rob Niessink telling Formula Scout that the team already has very strong interest from drivers to participate.
De Donno expects “the majority of teams” from Italian F4 to take part and, in addition, confirms that he is currently in talks with three teams from elsewhere, including two from Britain.
Andreas Jenzer, owner of the eponymous Jenzer Motorsport team, feels an opportunity had been missed to make the championship truly European.
“Why don’t we run at Silverstone?” he asked rhetorically. “Then we could get more British teams competing as well.”
As De Donno makes clear that this is his intention, potentially running three races outside Italy and only one domestic round. But “it is step-by-step, we need to find the correct balance for this season”.
“[For the future], the maximum number of rounds is four or five. Not more. Because not all teams and drivers have the budget for more races [in addition to seven rounds of Italian F4].”