The biggest change you’re likely to notice on 2018’s Formula One single-seaters will be the incorporation of the new “halo” cockpit safety device. But F1 won’t be the only series to get it.
The latest to adopt the device is the F3 Asian Championship, just revealed by the FIA. It joins the new F3 Americas series that was just announced this past October – also incorporating the halo – as part of the FIA’s new regional Formula 3 framework.
The new Asian championship has yet to reveal the suppliers for its chassis, engine, and tires. However the regulations call for a 270-horsepower turbocharged engine. The American series uses the 2.0-liter turbo four from the Honda Civic Type R in a Ligier Crawford JS chassis built by Onroak in North Carolina.
“The addition of another regional FIA Formula 3 championship will be a hugely positive step in the development of the category around the world, noted the FIA’s Charlie Whiting. “Junior motor sport has been growing rapidly in Asia in recent years, with highly competitive FIA Formula 4 series in China, Japan and South East Asia giving young drivers a better opportunity than ever before to advance their skills and move up to the next level. Now with the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA, these drivers will have a great place to compete at a regional level.”
The series is expected to draw talent from Formula 4 championships in China and South East Asia, offering a stepping stone to Formula 2. Points earned in the championship will count towards the Super License required to compete in Formula One as well.
The championship kicks off at Sepang in Malaysia for the first official test July 9-10, followed by the first three races at the same circuit. Three more each will be held at Ningbo in China and Shanghai, before returning for three more at Ningbo and Sepang to culminate in November.