The name change reflects the championship’s unique standing as the UK series conforming to global FIA F4 regulations, introduced in 2015 as the first rung on the racing ladder for young single-seater drivers starting out on the road to Formula One.
In addition to the UK, there are currently established FIA F4 championships in Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, China, Mexico and Northern Europe, with new championships set to be launched in the US, South East Asia, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive, said: “The rebranding to F4 British Championship achieves two key goals. First, it identifies the championship alongside other FIA F4 series around the world, and secondly it confirms that there is a clear first rung on the single-seater ladder in the UK.”
Stefano Domenicali, President of the FIA Single Seater Commission, said: “Given the global reach of FIA Formula 4, it is both natural and essential that the category establishes a strong base in the UK and continues growing from there.
“It is obviously one of the major centres in the motor sport world with a proud and rich history in all facets of it. The nature of FIA Formula 4 is a national championship, meaning that driver entries are predominantly only allowed from the country in which it is run – as a result it is a way of specifically developing young British talent.
“The MSA Formula series was well-established in the UK, and I welcome the addition of the globally-recognised F4 brand – further providing a basis to compare drivers competing in the same category around the world. On behalf of the FIA, I must thank the MSA and their major partner, Ford, for ensuring the appropriate recognition of the FIA Formula 4 category in the UK.”
Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager, Ford Performance Europe added: “Ford is delighted with the rebranding to F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, which ensures that the name of the championship is now consistent with its counterpart FIA F4 series around the world. It adds to the transparency of the FIA motorsport ladder in Britain and underlines Ford’s ongoing commitment to developing young drivers which has spanned almost 50 years.”
The 2016 F4 British Champion will be awarded 12 points towards an FIA Formula One Superlicence. They will also attend the FIA Gala in Austria (2 December) and join an exclusive FIA F4 drivers’ club.