FIA Formula 2 Championship

The FIA Formula 2 Championship[1] is a second-tier single-seater racing championship organised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The championship was introduced in 2017, following the rebranding of the long-term Formula One feeder series GP2.

Designed to make racing affordable for the teams and to make it an ideal training ground for life in Formula One, Formula 2 has made it mandatory for all of the teams to use the same chassis, engine and tyre supplier so that true driver ability is reflected. Formula 2 mainly races on European circuits, but has appearances on other international race tracks as well with their most recent races in the 2017 season at the Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain and the Yas Marina Circuit in United Arab Emirates.

Origins

Numbering system

The numbering system in FIA Formula 2 Championship is currently based on the previous season's team standings (similar to Formula One 1996–2013 numbering system) that was used since the formation of GP2 Series in 2005 until present. Additionally, since the 2020 season the number #19 has been retired along with #18 to honor Anthoine Hubert who sustained fatal injuries during one of the previous season's races (the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix's support race).[2]

Race weekend

On Friday, drivers have a 45-minute[3] free practice session and a 30-minute qualifying session. The qualifying session decides the grid order for Saturday's race which has a length of 180 kilometres (112 miles).

During Saturday's race (Feature Race), each driver must complete one compulsory pitstop and must use at least one set of each specification of dry-weather tyres.

Sunday's race (Sprint Race) is run over 120 kilometres (75 miles). The grid is decided by the Saturday result with top 8 being reversed, so the driver who finished 8th on Saturday will start from pole position and the winner will start from 8th place.

The exceptions to these rules are the Monaco and Budapest where the Feature Race is run over 140 km (87 miles) and 160 km (100 miles), respectively and the Monaco Sprint Race where the race is run over 100 km (60 miles). The races length is also limited to 60 minutes for Feature Race and 45 minutes for Sprint Race.[4]

Usually the Monaco round race sessions held in Friday and Saturday since 2005.

Points system

Feature races have a scoring system similar to the one used in Formula One, shown below:

Point system for Feature Race
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

The driver who qualified in pole position for the feature race receives an additional 4 points.

The fastest lap is awarded 2 points. In order to qualify for fastest lap points the driver must have completed 90% of the total race laps and must finish in the top 10.


The top eight finishers in a sprint race receive points as follows:

Point system for Sprint Race
 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th 
15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

The fastest lap in the sprint race also receives 2 points as in the feature race.[5]


The maximum number of points a driver can score at any round will be 48.

A count-back system is used to decide places of drivers with equal points in the championship with the driver with most wins ranking highest of those with equal points totals. If there is still a tie, the most second-place finishes, then the most third-place finishes, etc., is used to split the tied drivers. This count-back system is applied at all stages of the championship.

Car specifications

The FIA Formula 2 Championship car is used by all of the teams, and features a carbon-fiber monocoque Dallara chassis, powered by a single-turbocharged direct-injected Mecachrome V6 engine and mounted dry slick and rain treaded Pirelli tyres. Overall weight is 755 kg including the driver.

Chassis

First-generation (third-generation overall)

The first-generation (third-generation overall) 2011–17 spec GP2/11 car which was used in the first season of the rebranded championship had been designed by Dallara Automobili. The obsolete GP2/11 car was fitted with the old Mecachrome 4.0-litre V8 naturally-aspirated engine as well as a taller and narrower rear wing inspired by those used in Formula One from 2009–16.

Second-generation (fourth-generation overall)

The F2 Championship currently utilizes the second-generation (fourth-generation overall) 2018 specification F2 2018 car, designed by Dallara Automobili. It would be used for the 2018 through 2020 seasons but, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, could be used for an additional three seasons in 2021-2023.

The cost of a Dallara F2 2018 car is approximately up to €500,000. This includes the wheels, wings, steering wheel and other components. The €500,000 does not include the engine however. The current FIA Formula 2 chassis material is a mix of carbon/aluminium and Aramid honeycomb structures fitted with Zylon anti-intrusion panels.

Drivetrain

The current gearbox is manufactured by Hewland (utilizing LFSC-200 model) and features an 8-position barrel with ratchet body and software upgrades as well as a new transverse shafts fixing system designed to facilitate improved gear selection. Currently, the series uses a 6-speed sequential transmission gearbox configuration with electro-hydraulic operation via paddle-shifters with reverse operated by a button on the steering wheel. The clutches of all cars are supplied by ZF Sachs with the multi-plate clutch operated by a hand-paddle lever.[6]

Wheel rims

O.Z. Racing exclusively supplies wheel rims for all cars since 2005. The wheel size of O.Z. Racing F2 wheels are 12 in × 13 in (305 mm × 330 mm) on front and 13.7 in × 13 in (348 mm × 330 mm) on rear until 2019. From 2020 onwards all cars will switch to 18 in (457 mm) road car-inspired wheel rims for the preparation of expanding to Formula One from 2022 onwards and also data sharing.[7] The new wheel rim sizes will be 12 in × 18 in (305 mm × 457 mm) on fronts and 13.7 in × 18 in (348 mm × 457 mm) on rears.

The wheel rims of all FIA Formula 2 cars are made of magnesium alloy.

Tyres

Similar to the 2011 change for Formula 1, Pirelli is now the sole tyre supplier for the series. The FIA Formula 2 Championship runs the different compounds and size as F1 since 2017 (due to in fact Formula 1's 2017-present tyres are wider, the FIA Formula 2 Championship carried over the pre-2017 Pirelli F1 tyres). The front tyre size are 245/660-R13 (9.6/26-R13) and rear tyre size are 325/660-R13 (12.8/26-R13) and will be used until the end of 2019 season. The compounds of Pirelli Formula 2 tyres are currently four dry compounds (purple supersoft (abolished after 2019), red soft, yellow medium and white hard) carrying P Zero brand and two wet compounds (green intermediate and blue wet) carrying Cinturato brand.

The new tyres were unveiled during the 2019 Monza FIA Formula 2 round with 18-inch wheel rims mounted. The tyre sizes will slightly different sizes as 2011-2019 but the only changes are the wheel rim diameter increase (275/705-R18 (10.8/27.7-R18) on the fronts and 325/705-R18 (12.8/27.7-R18) on the rears).

Brakes

Brembo supplies monoblock brake calipers and disc bells, which are exclusive to Formula 2. Carbone Industrie also supplies carbon brake discs and pads for FIA Formula 2 Championship. The brake discs are 278 mm × 28 mm (10.94 in × 1.10 in) in size.

Fuel tank

The current Dallara F2 2018's fuel tank carried over the FIA standard Premier FT5 tank with the capacity up to 125 litres.

Refuelling during a race is banned due to safety and cost.

Suspension

The suspension of all FIA Formula 2 Championship cars are upper and lower steel wishbones, pushrod operated, coupled with twin Koni dampers and torsion bars suspension (front) and spring suspension (rear) similar to current Formula One car suspension.

Steering wheel

Since 2011, XAP Technology exclusively provides the XAP single-seater F2 steering wheel as well as XAP SX steering wheel dash display for all FIA Formula 2 Championship cars. The XAP steering wheel features 6 buttons in the front with 5 paddles (DRS, gear shift and clutch) in the back of steering wheel. From the 2018 season, all FIA Formula 2 Championship cars will utilize the all-new XAP Single-seat Formula 2451 S3 steering wheel with a larger dash screen and also three new rotary switches (similar to the current Formula E steering wheel).

Safety

The most current safety innovations are a top priority of the FIA Formula 2 Championship. Front, side, rear and steering column impact tests are the FIA safety standards. All cars include front and rear roll hoops, impact structures and monocoque push tests. Anti-intrusion survival cell protection panels have been used since 2011. Wheel retainer safety cables are also featured to avoid wheels flying similar to Formula One, IndyCar Series (known as SWEMS) and other single-seater Formula racing series. The seat belts of all FIA Formula 2 cars are supplied by Sabelt with a 6-point seat belt configuration similar to Formula One. From 2018 onwards, the “halo” cockpit protection system has been introduced to protect the drivers in crashes.

Other components

All FIA Formula 2 cars carry a Marelli-provided electronic control unit (Marvel SRG 480 model) as well as Marelli PDU 12–42 power supply management unit. Live telemetry is used only for television broadcasts, but the data can be recorded from the ECU to the computer if the car is in the garage and not on the track. Rear-view mirrors for all FIA Formula 2 cars are fully mandated to easily view opponents behind.

Aerodynamics

The aerodynamics of current Formula 2 cars are currently resembling the Formula One 2017-style aerodynamics with wider and curved front wings and also lower rear wings with parallelogram rear wing plates. Side winglets are also banned. The undertrays of all cars are grounds-effect underbody as opposed to flat-bottom underbody that is usually utilized in Formula One.

Drag Reduction Systems (DRS)

Since 2015, the Drag Reduction Systems (DRS) were introduced in a purpose for overtaking maneuver assist by tilting the upper-element rear wing while approaching the opponent less than a second away by activating the DRS paddle behind the steering wheel. The upper-element rear wing angle is the same as a Formula One car which has over 40 degrees of angle. In an event of rainy conditions, Drag Reduction Systems are automatically deactivated for safety reasons.

Engine

First-generation (2005–2017)

Starting in 2005 (under GP2 Series name), Formula 2 cars were powered by 4.0 litres (244 cubic inches) V8, four-stroke piston, Otto cycle unleaded gasoline-burning, prototype production-based, naturally-aspirated engines, produced by Mecachrome. Per Formula 2 rules, the engines sold for no more than €70,000 and were rev-limited to 10,000 rpm. They produced around 612 hp (456 kW; 620 PS) and weighed up to 148 kg (326 lb).

The valve train is a dual overhead camshaft configuration with four valves per cylinder. The crankshaft is made of alloy steel, with five main bearing caps. The pistons are forged aluminium alloy, while the connecting rods are machined alloy steel. The electronic engine management system is supplied by Magneti Marelli, firing a CDI ignition system. The engine lubrication is a dry sump type, cooled by a single water pump.

Second-generation (2018–present)

The V634 Turbo engine is a 3.4 litres (207 cubic inches) V6 turbocharged direct injection four-stroke piston Otto cycle 620 hp fuel-efficient engine developed and built by Mecachrome, and maintained by . The engine was unveiled in 2017 along with the new Dallara F2 2018 chassis.[8] Dutch turbocharger company Van Der Lee Turbo Systems currently supplies the turbochargers for all FIA Formula 2 Championship engines.

The all-new engine fuel delivery system is gasoline direct injection instead of traditional electronic indirect injection. The power output of all-new FIA Formula 2 engine was increased from 612 to 620 hp (456 to 462 kW; 620 to 629 PS). Mecachrome will continue providing new FIA Formula 2 engines from the 2018 season and beyond. The Mecachrome V634 Turbo engine is rev limited down to 8,750 rpm and weighs up to 132 kg (291 lb) including turbocharger. The firing ignition of the Mecachrome V634 Turbo engine is revolutionary digital inductive. The fuel-mass flow restrictor rate of the second-generation FIA Formula 2 Championship engine is roughly rated at 105 kg/h (231 lb/h).

The Mecachrome V634 Turbo 3.4-litre single-turbocharged direct-injected Mecachrome V6 engine is an evolution of the GP3 engine, which is the solely supplied engine for the FIA Formula 2 Championship. With the addition of a single turbo, the engine underwent rigorous dyno testing, ahead of its racing debut. The Mecachrome V634 Turbo engines sells for up to €67,000 per unit.

The current second-generation FIA Formula 2 engine allocation is limited to one per season and lasts up to 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) after being rebuild. Mid-season engine changes, including during race weekend, is banned and may result in a grid penalty for the session.

Turbocharger

Turbochargers were introduced from the start of 2018 season. The turbo configuration is single-turbocharged and produces up to 1.5 bar (22 psi) of boost pressure. Dutch turbocharger company Van Der Lee Turbo Systems currently supplies the turbochargers for all FIA Formula 2 Championship all-new engines using the MT134-50120 model. The turbocharger spin limit is 125,000 rpm but cannot exceed 130,000 rpm due to lower turbo boost pressure.

Fuel and lubricants components

All Formula 2 cars currently use ordinary unleaded racing gasoline as fuel (similar to commercial vehicle unleaded street gasoline), which has been the de facto standard in second tier single-seater formula racing since the introduction of GP2 Series in 2005. Current Elf LMS 102 RON unleaded gasoline resembles ordinary unleaded gasoline but produces better mileage while being environmental-friendly and safer than leaded fuels.[citation needed] Since 2005 GP2 Series season, Elf exclusively continues providing the LMS 102 RON unleaded fuel and also Elf HTX 840 0W-40 lubricants for all FIA Formula 2 Championship cars due to in fact of Mecachrome's long-term technical partnership with Elf.

Other parts

The car also features internal cooling upgrades, a new water radiator, radiator duct, oil/water heat exchanger, modified oil degasser, new oil and water pipes and new heat exchanger fixing brackets.

Performance

According to research and pre-season stability tests, the 2005 model can accelerate from 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 6.7 seconds. The car has a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph) meaning that it is the fastest single seater racing car behind Formula One and IndyCar Series.[citation needed]

The 2011 model can accelerate from 0–200 km/h (0–124 mph) in 6.6 seconds.[citation needed]

The car has a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) with the Monza aero configuration.[citation needed]

Specifications (2017)

Current specifications (2018–present)

History

2017

The 2017 season consisted of 11 rounds, 10 of which supported the 2017 Formula One World Championship and a stand-alone event at the Circuito de Jerez.[1] It began at Bahrain International Circuit on 15 April and concluded at Yas Marina Circuit on 26 November. The season saw rookie and reigning GP3 Series champion Charles Leclerc, driving for Prema Racing, take the drivers' title with seven race wins. The inaugural teams' championship was taken by Russian Time. This was also the final season for the Dallara GP2/11 chassis which débuted in 2011 when the series was known as GP2 and the Mecachrome 4.0 litre (244 cu in) V8 naturally-aspirated engine package which débuted in the inaugural GP2 season in 2005. Russian Time driver Artem Markelov finished the season as runner-up and DAMS driver Oliver Rowland was third. Champion Leclerc graduated to Formula One with Sauber, the only full-time driver of 2017 to do so. Sergey Sirotkin, who took part in a single round as a reserve driver for ART Grand Prix and had finished third in the 2016 GP2 Series, also graduated to Formula One with Williams.

2018

The new Dallara F2 2018, driven by Lando Norris for Carlin.

The 2018 season consisted of 12 rounds, all supporting the 2018 Formula One World Championship, beginning in Bahrain on 7 April and concluding in Abu Dhabi on 25 November. The 2018 season also introduced the new Dallara F2 2018 car as well as the all-new Mecachrome 3.4 litre (207 cu in) V6 turbo engine with a large single turbo and a double waste gate, supplied by Dutch turbocharger manufacturer Van Der Lee Turbo Systems. The car also featured the halo safety device for the first time, a device that was introduced into Formula One in the same year.

The Racing Engineering and Rapax teams left the series prior to the 2018 season, having competed in Formula 2 and the predecessor GP2 Series since 2005 and 2010 respectively. Carlin returned to the series after a year's absence and Charouz Racing System joined the championship after the World Series Formula V8 3.5 was discontinued. Carlin went on to win the teams' championship for the first time, having not done so during their time in the GP2 Series. The drivers' championship was won by rookie and reigning GP3 Series champion George Russell, who drove for ART Grand Prix and took seven race victories. Carlin driver Lando Norris finished as runner-up with DAMS driver Alexander Albon in third. All three drivers graduated to Formula One, with Russell, Norris and Albon joining Williams, McLaren and Toro Rosso respectively.

2019

The 2019 season consisted of 12 rounds supporting the 2019 Formula One World Championship, beginning in Bahrain on 30 March and concluding in Abu Dhabi on 1 December. Russian Time left the championship prior to 2019 after having competed in Formula 2 and GP2 since 2013. The team was sold and became UNI-Virtuosi Racing.

On 31 August 2019, on the second lap of the feature race at Spa-Francorchamps, a high-speed accident occurred involving Anthoine Hubert, Juan Manuel Correa and Giuliano Alesi. Hubert and Correa were taken to the circuit's medical centre where Hubert died from his injuries.[9] Correa's injuries forced him to miss the rest of the season, whilst Alesi was unhurt. The race was abandoned and the sprint race on the following day was cancelled as a mark of respect. The Formula One Belgian Grand Prix at the circuit on the day after the accident began with a moment of silence. Most drivers wore a black ribbon in remembrance. 2017 Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc, a friend of Hubert, won the race and dedicated his victory to Hubert.[10]

French team DAMS won the teams' championship, having last done so in 2014. The drivers' championship was won by ART Grand Prix driver Nyck de Vries in his third year of Formula 2, taking four race victories. DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi finished as runner-up with UNI-Virtuosi Racing driver Luca Ghiotto in third. Only Latifi would graduate to Formula One, joining Williams, whilst champion de Vries signed for Mercedes-Benz in Formula E.

2020

Hitech Grand Prix, who had briefly entered the 2005 GP2 Series in partnership with Piquet GP and had since raced only in Formula Three championships, entered Formula 2 as the eleventh team. Arden, who had raced in Formula 2 and its predecessors since 1997, left the series. Their entry was taken over by HWA Team and became BWT HWA Racelab.

The season was due to begin in Bahrain on 21 March and was set to include a round at Circuit Zandvoort for the first time, replacing the round at Circuit Paul Ricard. However, a number of races were postponed or cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a new calendar was published. The season began at the Red Bull Ring on 4 July and ran alongside the first ten rounds of the 2020 Formula One World Championship, and is due to conclude on 6 December after two rounds in Bahrain.

Champions and awards

Drivers'

Season Driver Team Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points Clinched Margin
2017 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Prema Racing 8 7 10 4 282 Race 19 of 22 72
2018 United Kingdom George Russell France ART Grand Prix 5 7 11 6 287 Race 23 of 24 68
2019 Netherlands Nyck de Vries France ART Grand Prix 5 4 12 3 266 Race 21 of 24 52

Teams'

Season Team Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points Clinched Margin
2017 Russia Russian Time 1 6 14 6 395 Race 22 of 22 15
2018 United Kingdom Carlin 2 1 17 2 383 Race 23 of 24 33
2019 France DAMS 2 6 16 7 418 Race 23 of 24 72

Anthoine Hubert Award

At the prize-giving ceremony in Monaco in 2019 was introduced Anthoine Hubert Award named after Anthoine Hubert who died during the 2019 Spa-Francorchamps FIA Formula 2 round and was the only rookie in the season to score two wins. The award is given to the highest-placed driver without previous Formula 2 experience.[11]

Season Driver Team Poles Wins Podiums Fastest laps Points Championship Position
2019 China Guanyu Zhou United Kingdom UNI-Virtuosi Racing 1 0 5 2 140 7th

Drivers graduated to F1

Driver F2 F1 Other major titles
Seasons Races Wins Podiums Seasons First team Races Wins Poles Podiums
Monaco Charles Leclerc 2017 22 7 9 2018–2020 Sauber 53 2 7 12 GP3 Series
Russia Sergey Sirotkin 2017 2 0 0 2018 Williams 21 0 0 0 Formula Abarth European Series
Thailand Alexander Albon 2017–2018 44 4 10 2019–2020 Toro Rosso 32 0 0 1
United Kingdom Lando Norris 2017–2018 26 1 9 2019–2020 McLaren 32 0 0 1 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
FIA Formula 3 European Championship
United Kingdom George Russell 2018 24 7 11 2019–2020 Williams 32 0 0 0 GP3 Series
Canada Nicholas Latifi 2017–2019 67 6 20 2020 Williams 11 0 0 0
  • Bold denotes an active Formula One driver.
  • Gold background denotes FIA Formula 2 champion.
  • Drivers marked with a † started Formula One on mid-season.
  • Sergey Sirotkin spent two seasons in Formula 2 forerunner GP2.
  • The table is up to 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

Television rights

The television rights are held by Formula One Management, which also manages the rights to Formula One. Sky Sports F1 show every practice, qualifying and race live in the United Kingdom, and so does Movistar Fórmula 1 in Spain and Eleven Sports in Portugal. In Brazil the races are shown live by Sportv, that also shows Formula One. Coverage in North America is available exclusively on TSN5 (Canada) and ESPN3 (USA). In South East Asia, the races are shown live on Fox Sports Asia.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Newly renamed F2 series to feature at 10 Grands Prix". Formula1.com. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/25758?
  3. ^ http://www.gp2series.com/Guide-to/The-regulations/
  4. ^ "The regulations". Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Formula 2". FIA_F2® - The Official F2® Website. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  6. ^ [[1]]
  7. ^ "Formula 2 cars to use 18-inch Pirelli tyres from 2020". Formula1.com. Formula 1. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  8. ^ "GP2 Series aiming for V6 switch, but not wider tyres for 2018 car". motorsport.com. Motorsport.com. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  9. ^ Benson, Andrew (1 September 2019). "Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert killed in Belgium crash". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  10. ^ Duncan, Phil; Slater, Luke (1 September 2019). "Belgian Grand Prix winner Charles Leclerc dedicates maiden victory to Anthoine Hubert". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  11. ^ Allen, Peter (12 December 2019). "F2 introduces Anthoine Hubert Award, presented to Guanyu Zhou". formulascout.com. Formula Scout. Retrieved 12 December 2019.

External links