- Junior series will run under GB3 name from next round at Snetterton circuit
- Series chief executive “extremely saddened” by FIA decision
The British Formula 3 junior single-seater series has been rebranded as the GB3 Championship following a decision by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to limit the use of the F3 title exclusively for international series.
The decision comes after years of discussions between the FIA and championship operators MotorSport Vision (MSV) over the use of the Formula 3 name.
In 2017, the FIA launched its Regional Formula 3 concept and intended to limit the use of the Formula 3 name to championships within that.
British F3 considered applying for regional championship status with the FIA in 2019, but ultimately decided against it.
MSV chief executive and former Formula One driver Johnathan Palmer has fought for the series to keep Formula 3 in its name and the championship was granted to do so in 2019.
However, the FIA's decision means that the series will change its name mid-season, and will operate under the new GB3 name from the next round at the Snetterton circuit.
MSV said in a statement that it is ‘very disappointed’ to be forced into the change having done ‘everything possible’ to preserve the British F3 title.
"I am extremely saddened by the fact that we are no longer permitted to use British F3 name," Palmer added.
"Having existed over half a century, the British F3 title has enormous heritage and the championship has played an important role in the careers of many Formula One drivers, including my own. The strength of our championship is however built upon much more than just a name and that will be reflected in its ongoing success.
"I am very excited about the future of a series which has firmly established itself as the country’s leading single-seater championship. GB3 offers a strong, fresh and concise identity and we will continue to deliver a package which is enormously attractive to both teams and drivers.
"GB3 will play a vital role in the careers of many young drivers, and MSV remains firmly committed to providing the fairest and best value championship at this level anywhere in the world."
The current iteration of British F3 was founded in 2016, previously known as the BRDC F4 Championship. The previous version of British F3, which existed until 2014, is where Formula One drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Daniel Ricciardo and Mika Hakkinen competed in the early stages of their careers.