The GP3 Series will debut over eight rounds and seven F1-supporting dates, in 2010, after the feeder category officially unveiled its inaugural calendar.
The season goes green in Barcelona, where F1 kicks off its European season, but will skip both Monaco and Istanbul before returning to support big sister GP2 at its 19-20 June stand-alone weekend at Portimao. The final six events will then support the remaining European F1 calendar, leading to a finale at historical Monza. GP2 will compete in both Monaco and Turkey.
Three pre-season test days have also been scheduled, first at Paul Ricard on 3-4 March and 30-31 March, followed by Barcelona on 13-14 April.
“I am very pleased with the inaugural GP3 Series calendar," GP3 series organiser Bruno Michel commented, "Three pre-season test days and eight rounds means drivers will have a sizeable amount of running during the season, and with seven of those rounds running alongside F1, we are confident the series will achieve excellent exposure for the teams and drivers.
"Our driver line-up for the season is also starting to take shape, and I am confident that, by the time the season kicks off in May, we will have 30 highly promising young drivers representing the series.”
Ten teams will take part in the new series, although there have been two significant name changes since the initial team line-up was announced back in October, with Carlin Motorsport now being known as just Carlin following a new partnership with Capsicum, and Silverstone-based Hitech Junior being renamed ATECH Grand Prix following a partnership with CRS Racing. The other entrants will come from GP2 stalwarts Addax, ART Grand Prix and the Mark Webber-affiliated MW Arden, sometime World Series by Renault competitors Tech 1 and Jenzer, F3 evergreens Manor and Mucke and reigning A1GP champion Status Grand Prix.
The full GP3 calendar is as follows:
March 3-4 Paul Ricard Test
March 30-31 Paul Ricard Test
April 13-14 Barcelona Test
May 8-9 Barcelona
June 19-20 Portimao
June 26-27 Valencia
July 10-11 Silverstone
July 24-25 Hockenheim
July 31 - August 1 Hungaroring
August 28-29 Spa-Francorchamps
September 11-12 Monza