Introduced in 2017, the FIA Formula 2 Championship or "F2" as it is commonly known, is the final step in a driver's journey towards the pinnacle of motorsport, Formula 1. This global championship was the proving ground for some of the remarkable talent that we have seen introduced to the grid in recent years including the likes of Charles LeClerc, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. This is where drivers test their metal on some of the world's most challenging race circuits and rack up the all important points for their super licence.
How does the F2 championship work and how does it differ from F1?
The current formula 2 season will see 22 drivers, from 11 teams compete over 14 rounds of competition.
One of the greatest difference between F1 and F2 is the format of the race weekend. F2 employs a multi-race format which means that every weekend includes a feature race and a sprint race. The shorter sprint race format allows the drivers to test their overtaking and race craft capabilities.
- On a Friday, there is one Free Practice session of 45 minutes and one Qualifying session of 30 minutes.
- The driver who takes pole position following the final classification of Friday’s Qualifying session will be awarded two points.
- The sporting regulations state that each driver will be allocated five sets of dry-weather tyres per weekend.
- They will have three “prime” specification sets and two of the “option” specification.
- Each driver will also be provided with three sets of wet-weather tyres.
- One Sprint Race will take place on Saturday and will consist of 120 km or 45 minutes, whichever comes first. The exception to this rule is Monaco, where the distance is 100km
- The driver who takes pole position following the final classification of Friday’s Qualifying session will be awarded with two points.
- The starting grid of Saturday’s Sprint Race will be determined by reversing the top 10 finishers of Friday’s Qualifying session results.
- For the Sprint Race, the top eight classified drivers will be awarded 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points respectively.
- A single point willalso be awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap during the race, providing they also finish in the top 10.
- The Feature Race takes place on Sunday morning and will consist of 170 kilometres or 60 minutes, whichever comes first.
- It includes a compulsory pitstop in which all four tyres must be changed. Unless the driver has used wet-weather tyres during the Feature Race, they must use at least one set of each specification of dry-weather tyres during the Feature Race.
- The starting grid line up is not affected by the results of the Sprint race, rather the results of the final classification of Friday’s Qualifying session will determine the starting grid for Sunday’s Feature Race.
- The top 10 finishers will score 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 points respectively.
- A single point will also be awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap in each race, provided they also qualify in the top 10.
Unlike Formula 1, Formula 2 cars are all made the same; they are a single-spec platform that only allows for minor adjustments. Unlike Formula 1, where teams spend millions of dollars to engineer wildly different body shapes and aerodynamic designs within the scope of their regulatory parameters, performance in an F2 car is tied to race strategy and the skill of the driver behind the wheel. This level playing field is another reason that Formula 2 is the ultimate proving ground for drivers hoping to make the move to F1.