GP3 must do better after "basic" ECU mistake - Whiting

FIA race director Charlie Whiting says "things need to be done better" by the GP3 Series to avoid a "basic mistake" like the one that halted its cars in Spa practice last weekend.

GP3 must do better after "basic" ECU mistake - Whiting

The session was curtailed to 20 minutes from the intended 45, after an ECU programming issue.

A number of drivers lamented the problem, with only one practice and one qualifying session before the two races over the course of a GP3 race weekend.

FIA race director Whiting criticised the process by which the cars are checked after the incident.

The GP3 Series championship will cease next year, to be replaced by an FIA-sanctioned International F3 series which will take GP3's place on the Formula 1 support bill.

Whiting said that the checking process must improve ahead of that change.

"It was a pretty basic mistake and I think the checking procedures that they have in place must be almost non-existent," said Whiting.

"You just can't imagine how something like that could happen because we need to make sure that things are done better in the future, especially next year.

"GP3 is not an FIA championship and all we do is to run the races and scrutineer the cars. If that had been Formula 2 [which is an FIA championship] we would have had a lot to say about it."

Whiting said that a parameter change to the ECU - which was incorrect - was the reason for the stoppage.

"It was a mistake by GP3 Technical Assistance, who decided to change a certain parameter, air pressure parameter if I remember correctly, and they did it for a turbocharged engine not for a normally aspirated engine.

"That had a sort of catastrophic effect on all the cars and the reason the stoppage was so long was that, you had to wait until everyone had their cars fixed and then they could all go out.

"You couldn't fix one and let him go out."

Explaining the issue, GP3 technical boss Didier Perrin said: "We experienced an issue with the programming of the ECU.

"Once we analysed the problem, we asked for the session to be red-flagged in order to reprogramme the ECU of all cars as quickly as possible and ensure that all drivers benefited from the same amount of track time."

shares
comments
Spa GP3: Mazepin wins in ART 1-2-3-4
Previous article

Spa GP3: Mazepin wins in ART 1-2-3-4

Next article

Monza GP3: Beckmann scores back-to-back poles

Monza GP3: Beckmann scores back-to-back poles
Load comments
From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back Prime

From zero to hero: How F3's 2021 champion bounced back

After a disastrous 2020 in FIA Formula 3 with Hitech, Dennis Hauger began to doubt himself - with the self-belief he had built through success in junior series evaporating. But after regrouping, he stormed to the F3 title in 2021. Here’s how he did it...

FIA F3
Oct 7, 2021
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Prime

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

FIA F2
Sep 20, 2021
How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Prime

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3 Prime

How the latest 'son of' youngster found his feet in F3

After a promising start to his single-seater racing career, life in the Formula 1 feeder series gave Jack Doohan a reality check. But, following a year of learning and toiling, the driver with one of the most famous surnames on the Formula 3 grid isn’t feeling the weight of expectation pushing down too hard on him any longer

FIA F3
Jun 30, 2021
The Monaco win that started another triple crown Prime

The Monaco win that started another triple crown

30 years ago, victory in the Monaco Grand Prix-supporting Formula 3 race – then a showpiece invitational event – began a young Jorg Muller’s pursuit of a unique set of street circuit wins that he’d later complete at Macau and Pau.

FIA F3
May 21, 2021
Why Correa's return is the feel-good story racing needed Prime

Why Correa's return is the feel-good story racing needed

Juan Manuel Correa has had a long road to recovery from that horrific day at Spa in 2019. ART's decision to give him his race return in FIA Formula 3 in 2021 is a victory in itself, but his determination will surely - in time - have him fighting for bigger things

FIA F3
Feb 2, 2021
Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested Prime

Why Piastri's F3 title was better than results suggested

F3 rookie Oscar Piastri only just snatched the 2020 title with Prema Racing, but the setbacks he overcame to do so suggest that Renault's next Australian talent is one destined for the top.

FIA F3
Jan 12, 2021
The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore Prime

The young driver Red Bull couldn't ignore

Igor Fraga has a more colourful career behind him than any other driver on the FIA Formula 3 grid, and now he's beginning to become as recognised for his talents in real racing as in the virtual world.

FIA F3
Jun 21, 2020