In the debut season of the revived FIA Formula 3 European Championship 30 of the best young drivers from 15 countries battled it out for making the next step on the way to realising their dream: to make it to Formula 1. Recently, Russia’s Red Bull Junior caused a stir by delivering - as FIA Formula 3 European Championship guest driver - in fantastic style and securing a race seat at the pinnacle of motor racing.
For many decades, now, Formula 3 has been regarded as the ideal stepping stone to Formula 1. In the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, up-and-coming talents do not only gather valuable motor-racing experience but also learn to understand and deal with the technology. An amazing 17 of this year’s F1 drivers learned their trade in Formula 3.
Right from the start, the feeder series FIA Formula 3 European Championship succeeded in impressing with an extensive and global media presence, comprising - in addition to the international TV presence - first of all the appearances at the most different social-media channels.
With nearly four hours of track time per race meeting, the 2013 season of the young-talent series provided motor racing at its best on every single race weekend, featuring thrilling battles and countless overtaking manoeuvres. Big crowds attended the events, with the total attendance figure in the 2013 season adding up to 589,000 visitors. The season highlight at Nuremberg’s unique street circuit, the Norisring, alone was attended by 126,000 motor-racing enthusiasts.
An international top-class field and twelve teams from five countries thrilled not only the spectators on site. At the same time, the TV commentators also displayed massive interest in the series. The coverage of the ten FIA Formula 3 European Championship meetings amounted to a total of 1,850 hours, representing an average coverage time of 185 hours per race weekend.
In Europe alone, 41 million spectators were provided with a total of 1,156 programmes on 32 TV stations, adding up to 867 hours packed with the spectacular race pictures of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Africa (506 hours, 744 programmes, 59 stations) secured second position in the TV coverage ranking, with Asia (273 hours, 1,505 programmes, 31 stations) following in third place. Motor-racing aficionados in 86 countries could watch the races of the skilled talents live and re-live respectively, with the highlights of the race weekends having been broadcasted in 195 countries.
In addition to the existing TV partnerships, the live stream - presented by Ravenol - at the series’ official website also offered the motor-racing fans worldwide the chance of following the FIA Formula 3 European Championship race action. More than 46,000 page views since the season kick-off underline the massive interest of the fans. In addition, the official YouTube channel with its race round-ups achieved an average of 11,650 clicks per month.
Since the start of the official website in early 2013, the site achieved about 11 million page views, with the user figures of the social media channels also increasing permanently, over the course of the year: 5,600 Facebook fans and more than 2,300 Twitter followers appreciate the direct communication with the series. The Twitter fans again may look forward to a live ticker, in 2014. Picture galleries and race reports traditionally can be found at Facebook and further social media channels are supposed to follow.
Meanwhile, the traditional print media also covered the stars of tomorrow extensively. Since the FIA announcement of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship revival, in November 2012, the coverage added up to a total print run of 123.5 millions. The top position regarding the print coverage was Germany with a print run of 59.1 millions and 263 clippings, followed by the European core markets Spain (20.0 millions, 140 clippings), Switzerland (11.1 millions, 332 clippings), the Netherlands (10.9 millions, 151 clippings), Italy (8.7 millions, 38 clippings) and the UK (7.3 millions, 84 clippings).
Over the course of its 11-weekend European tour, the 2014 season will take the young talents to eight countries. During this tour, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship will race at several traditional Formula 1 circuits and make its debut at the Moscow Raceway (Russia), with one of the season highlights definitely being the return to the legendary street circuit of Pau, Southern France.