European Formula 3 1980

The FIA European F3 Championship continued to strengthen, and the 1980 season saw a massive battle between the March 803-Alfa Romeos of Pavanello Euroracing and ORECA's Martini MK31s, and their five drivers: Michele Alboreto and 19-year-old Corrado Fabi for Euroracing, and Thierry Boutsen, Mauro Baldi and Philippe Alliot for Martini. Boutsen was on top at the start of the season in the Martini MK31 thanks to Martini's stock of 1979 rubber - at least until Goodyear overcame the problems with its new tyres. Then Alboreto's March 803 was transformed by a new narrow nose, and he overtook the Belgian to take the title. Also in the frame was Baldi, who bought his own supply of Toyota engines to replace the Renault powerplant with which he started the season, and went on a run of seven pole positions and four race wins to briefly challenge for the title.

March took some time to get the 803 working properly, and the car's reputation in pre-season testing suppressed sales. The Martini MK31 was a tidied up version of the MK27, and Tico Martini continued to ignore ground-effect, at least until the revised 803B took over. Chevron went into liquidation in early 1980 without selling any new F3 cars, and Ralt's RT3 design was still unconvincing. The Argo JM6, although popular in Britain, was not used by any of the European series regulars. As Renault had lost intereest, Novamotor's Toyota engine was the most numerous again, although the Italian tuning company planned to make its Alfa Romeo unit more widely available in 1981.

The races

30 Mar 1980 > Goodyear-ADAC-300-km-Rennen at Nürburgring

06 Apr 1980 > Preis von Knittelfeld at Österreichring

20 Apr 1980 > Grote Prijs van Zolder

27 Apr 1980 > Trophée Jean Bernigaud at Magny Cours

18 May 1980 > Monaco Grand Prix Formula 3 Race at Monte Carlo

26 May 1980 > Pinksterraces Zandvoort

01 Jun 1980 > Grand Prix de La Châtre

15 Jun 1980 > EuroMugello Formula 3

29 Jun 1980 > Gran Premio della Lotteria at Monza

27 Jul 1980 > Trofeo Emiliani at Misano

10 Aug 1980 > Kvällspostens Newsrace at Knutstorp

11 Aug 1980 > Austrian Grand Prix support race at Österreichring

07 Sep 1980 > Bradford & Bingley Trophy at Silverstone

21 Sep 1980 > Trofeo Villa de Madrid at Jarama

05 Oct 1980 > ADAC-Hessen-Preis at Kassel-Calden

12 Oct 1980 > Zolder

European Formula 3 Championship events shown in bold

1980 European Formula 3 Championship table

1Michele AlboretoMarch 803 - Alfa Romeo Novamotor
March 803B - Alfa Romeo Novamotor
60 pts4 wins
2Thierry BoutsenMartini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor54 pts3 wins
3Corrado FabiMarch 803 - Alfa Romeo Novamotor
March 803B - Alfa Romeo Novamotor
50 pts2 wins
4Mauro BaldiMartini MK31 - Renault 20TS
Martini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
45 pts3 wins
5Philippe AlliotMartini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor39 pts 
6Philippe StreiffMartini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor18 pts1 win
7Kurt ThiimChevron B38 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
Ralt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor
13 pts 
8Alain FertéMartini MK27 - Renault 20TS Dudot12 pts 
9=Mike WhiteMarch 803B - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor9 pts1 win
9=Enzo ColoniMarch 783 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor9 pts 
11Oscar LarrauriMartini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor7 pts 
12Rob WilsonRalt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor6 pts 
13=Pascal FabreMartini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor5 pts 
13=Frank JelinskiRalt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor5 pts 
15Michael BleekemolenRalt RT1/78 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor4 pts 
16Thierry TassinArgo JM6 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor3 pts 
17=Eddy BianchiRalt RT1/77 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor2 pts 
17=Eddie JordanRalt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor2 pts 
19=Vinicio SalmiMartini MK31 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor1 pts 
19=Guido CappellottoRalt RT3/79 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor1 pts 
19=Roberto CampominosiMarch 803 - Alfa Romeo Novamotor1 pts 
19=Wolfgang KleinRalt RT3/80 - Toyota 2T-G Novamotor1 pts 

Previous: the 1979 season

Next: the 1981 season

This series ran over 14 rounds and used a 9-6-4-3-2-1 points system. Points tables from Autosport 20 Nov 1980 p37.

The balance of power between the constructors changed significantly in 1980. March and Martini were tied on wins, at seven each, or eight each if the two major non-championship events, the support races at the Monaco and Austrian Grand Prix, are counted. Martini had the edge on a count of podium finishes in championship races, with 21 to March's 18, but that becomes 22 all when Monaco and Austria are added. Chevron had but two, Ralt only one, and Argo just a third place in Austria. Comparing the constructors' share of all starters in European championship rounds, Martini led with 32%, more than doubling their share from 1979, from March on 28% and Ralt on 22%. Chevron were down to 7%, and Argo were on 4%. Bovy, Dallara, Derichs, and Maco filled in the gaps.