Formula 3 Euro Series as a springboard for Formula One

FIA strengthens Formula 3: Super Licence for top-3 finishers

At the end of the 2010 season, the Formula 3 Euro Series produced a second Formula One champion in Sebastian Vettel, the youngest Formula One world champion ever. In 2008, ex-Formula 3 Euro Series champion, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, gained motor racing's finest accolade, the Formula One World Championship title. Since its inauguration in the 2003 season, the Formula 3 Euro Series has become a springboard for Formula One.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council intends giving Formula 3 additional kudos with the launch of a new competition - in 2011, six existing Formula 3 events will be replaced by the new FIA International Formula 3 Trophy. The three highest-placed drivers will qualify for a Formula One Super Licence, and perhaps one day will follow in Hamilton's footsteps. In order to be eligible for this new competition, drivers are required to have contested a full season in one of the Formula 3 championship series.

From a total of 27 starters in the 2010 Formula One season, 24 have contested at least one Formula 3 Series during their careers. Twelve of them have competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series, including reigning Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, former world champion Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg plus Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil and Robert Kubica.

Vettel, Hamilton and DTM's latest champion, Paul Di Resta, all competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series during the 2005 season. "My time with ASM Mercedes in the Formula 3 Euro Series was a very important period in my career," said Di Resta, who beat Vettel to the championship title in 2006. "Sebastian and I have had some amazing scraps, and I can't wait to continue our duels at some future date in Formula One."

Formula 3 team boss Peter Mucke: "The Formula 3 Euro Series is important for nurturing talent and plays quite a big role in preparing drivers for greater things in the world of motor racing. Any driver who can reach the upper echelons of this top-flight series is ready to meet those challenges." Born and bred in Berlin, Peter Mucke runs 'Mucke Motorsport', Germany's biggest private racing team, and has launched the Formula One careers of six of his proteges - including Sebastian Vettel.

The FIA Formula 3 Trophy opener takes place in early May 2011 during the Formula 3 Euro Series heats. It will form part of the DTM race weekend at the Hockenheimring. The first Formula 3 Euro Series race of the new season is on 1st April 2011 at Le Castellet in the South of France. The n-tv news channel transmitted live pictures of all the races in the Formula 3 Euro Series during the 2010 season. Broadcasts were featured by 72 stations in 167 countries.