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The 2010 Formula Three Euroseries kicks off this weekend with a round at Paul Ricard in support of the Le Mans Series. The size of its grid though has become a concern, with only 13 Dallaras taking part.

The 13 drivers are spread between just five teams, taking either two or three drivers each. Each of the teams was supposed to have five cars, but Mucke and Prema both failed to find drivers for their third cars.

One reason for this, away from the usual financial issues, is the birth of the GP3 Series. Successful F3 teams Manor and Carlin have both moved to the new series, lured by the promise of a series that is as successful as its parent, GP2, with both teams also looking to take the empty 13th slot in the Formula 1 feeder series.

GP3 is positioning itself at exactly the same level as the F3 Euroseries, but it has the draw of being a support series for F1, giving drivers a better chance to impress team bosses. The return of Formula Two last year has also contributed to the grid size issue for F3.

However, as title contender Alexander Sims has pointed out, the Euroseries line-up for 2010 has still got its quality, even if it has lost quantity. Sims lines up with teammate and Williams tester Valterri Bottas as the dominant ART, but Edoardo Mortara has stepped down from GP2 to the improving Signature team, and will hope to maintain the form that saw him win the Macau Grand Prix in Novemeber.

The question is, if the Euroseries continues to struggle, what can it do? It was formed with a merger of the French and German national championships in 2003. The German championship was replaced by the ATS F3 Cup, but there is now no F3 series in France. One option would be to merge with the German Cup and run as a German-only series. Another option would be to also have a separate series for France, but interest would probably be limited.

The Spanish F3 Championship has grown in recent years, and recently was renamed the European F3 Open. Could the Euroseries merge with this developing series? Another potential option would be to join up with Stephane Ratel's British F3 Championship.

I believe that one option could be to join all these series together to maintain a European series, but the calendar could continue to have a certain amount, say 4, races in each participating country. This would allow for the national championships to remain as, for example, smaller British teams that did not want to compete in the European events could continue to compete for a British title. This would help to keep grid numbers up, but there would still be a core of frontrunners from teams such as ART, Carlin and Signature.

For now though, the F3 Euroseries is still going, and 2010 looks set to be a good fight between Sims, Bottas and Mortara, with maybe a few others getting involved too. It does seem though, that GP3 could be one junior formula too many.
 


20/10/2010 1:53am

The window open, You son of my blessing will come with the wind wave, You put the curtains, My blessing will come with sunlight, I take you to open the space, I wish I walked with.

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22/10/2010 1:26am

Laugh more dissolve the trouble of the life, More happy to wash the fatigue, Work, More tolerant understanding others, And more optimistic face life setbacks,! More happy life. Desalination.

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