Snetterton misses out after Formula Three cuts

Lewis Beales
Thursday, February 7, 2013
1:38 PM

Snetterton has lost one of its major events of the year after the British Formula Three International Series was cut back to just four rounds .

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The current uncertain economic climate has had a major impact on the decision to reduce the number of rounds, and therefore races, in the series while the FIA’s support for the European Championship has effectively killed off the home grown series.

“Crazy that British F3 reduced to four triple header rounds, half of which outside the UK. A launch pad for so many of us in the past,” was the view of Martin Brundle on his Twitter account.

The Formula Three series was due to share the top billing at the Norfolk circuit on June 15-16 with the burgeoning British GT Championship which will now headline the event on its own.

Carlin Motorsport drivers have won the last five British Formula Three Championship, with three of its drivers, Jamie Alguersuari, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne all progressing to Formula One, the last two retaining their seats at Toro Rosso for the 2013 season.

The loss of the Formula Renault UK Championship last year and the emasculation of the 60 years of Formula Three series to just a bit part, could have serious implications for the British motor sport industry and its ability to maintain a career path to the pinnacle of the sport.

n Besthorpe-based P1 Motorsport has completed its 2013 World Series by Renault 3.5 line-up with Matias Laine joining the local outfit.

“I’m very happy to be joining P1 Motorsport for 2013” said the Finnish racer. “It is a great opportunity for me to race in Formula Renault 3.5 after two years in GP3.”

“It is obviously a big step forward in my racing career. The P1 car felt really good in testing and I am very confident in the team and looking forward to the season ahead.”

The 22-year-old Finn steps up to the Grand Prix feeder series after two years racing in the highly competitive GP3 series, which mainly follows the European Grand Prix races.

Last year in GP3 Laine raced for the British based Mark Webber/Arden team and went on to record four podium finishes, which included his maiden victory in the series resulting in the Finnish racer finishing in fifth place in the championship.

“We’re really pleased to confirm Matias for the coming season,” said Mike Henderson, P1 Motorsport’s chief engineer.

“When he tested with P1 he showed great potential within just one day, and he settled in really well with the team and the way we work.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Matias in his rookie season, and to achieving some strong results throughout the year.”

The Norfolk team are the first to confirm its two drivers for the World Series by Renault 3.5 series with the newcomer, Laine, joining British racer Will Stevens, who will be competing in his second year in the championship.

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