The 2016 European Formula 3 calendar has been announced by the FIA and trims the season down to 10 rounds by dropping the season-opening Silverstone round.

In a shake-up confirmed by the FIA, the Euro F3 calendar kicks off at Paul Ricard in early April as a support series to the World Touring Car Championship, which replaces Silverstone as the traditional curtain-raiser.

The revised calendar sees the series make new trips to the Hungaroring for round two and Imola which will host the penultimate round ahead of the season finale at Hockenheim in October alongside DTM.

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Walter Mertes, CEO of Formel 3 Vermarktungs GmbH, says he is delighted with the new calendar which visits four current Formula 1 circuits. Mertes believes it is key to interlock the calendar closely to F1 as it will help the young drivers gain vital experience as they aim to climb the motorsport ladder.

"We once again succeeded in creating an attractive calendar with many former and current Formula One World Championship venues," Walter Mertes said. "I think we once again found a well-balanced mix of most different circuit characteristics, thus offering the young drivers contesting the 2016 season a perfect platform to demonstrate their skills."

2016 Formula 3 European Championship calendar

1-3 April - Paul Ricard (WTCC)
22-24 April - Hungaroring (WTCC)
13-15 May - Pau (F3 GP)
20-22 May - Red Bull Ring (DTM)
24-26 June - Norisring (DTM)
15-17 July - Zandvoort (DTM)
28-30 July - Spa-Francorchamps (Blancpain GT Series)
9-11 September - N?rburgring (DTM)
31 September-2 October - Imola (ETCC)
14-16 October - Hockenheim (DTM)