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by AdamMcDaid

The British Formula 3 Championship has long

been seen as a proving ground for F1 hopefuls

of the future, with former champions such as

Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Daniel

Ricciardo amongst its alumni. However, after

spiralling costs and ever decreasing grids led

to the series abandonment in 2015, it looked as

if that history had come to an abrupt end.

However, former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer’s

MSV operation eyed the gap in the market and

enlisted Tatuus to produce a new car for its

BRDC Formula 4 Championship, featuring a

more advanced aerodynamic package and

upgraded engine. So successful was the

creation put together by Tatuus and MSV with

lap times not far from European F3 pace that,

ahead of the 2016 season, the championship

acquired the British F3 name with the support

of the FIA to provide the perfect feeder series

from FIA F4 categories to European F3 and


A high‐quality international grid was

assembled for the 2016 BRDC British F3 season

with renowned single‐seater outfits such as

Carlin, Fortec Motorsports and Double R

Racing joining the category. Lando Norris, a

rising star in the motorsport world, shone

early on in his part campaign as the

championship visited the UK’s best circuits

such as Brands Hatch and Oulton Park before

heading to the daunting and fearsome Spa‐

Francorchamps in Belgium as the bumper grid

of drivers were pushed to their limits.

Four drivers, including Australian Thomas

Randle and Brit Toby Sowery, were the main

protagonists in the title fight but eventually it

came down to just two drivers; Carlin’s Ricky

Collard and Double R Racing’s Matheus Leist.

Collard held a comfortable lead heading to the

season finale at Donington Park but a

dramatic opening race saw the pendulum

swing in Brazilian Leist’s favour. Collard came

to blows with Leist’s compatriot Enzo

Bortoleto as he attempted to make up ground

lost at the start of the race and, with Leist

winning the first encounter of the weekend,

his advantage in the overall standings was

overturned and he couldn’t recover on the

final Sunday of action.

It was a dramatic end to what was a superb

year in BRDC British Formula 3, as the Tatuus‐

Cosworth car performed flawlessly across a

demanding 24‐race season. The praise was

forthcoming from both drivers and team

members, with Renault Sport F1 driver Jolyon

Palmer, who tested the car prior to the start of

the season, saying: “You can tell straight away

that it is a great racing car.