Insight: Big guns from F1 and FIA launch new look F2 car hailing “The Road to Formula 1”
Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Aug 2017   |  5:44 pm GMT  |  76 comments

The new F2 car was launched today in the F1 paddock and made history as the first racing car to be launched with a halo device.

This wasn’t the main talking point, however. Rather it was the positioning of F2 as the key final step on “the road to Formula 1”.

The car will be used for the next three seasons starting in 2018 and as such had to be launched with a halo and the final car will have one integrated into the chassis construction, as with Formula 1 cars.

The car was presented by the FIA’s Charlie Whiting, F1 managing director, Motorsports Ross Brawn, F2 series co-ordinator Bruno Michel and Pirelli’s Mario Isola. The fact that it took place in the middle of the F1 paddock as a joint F1 Management, FIA presentation again spoke volumes about the level of co-operation between the two organisations in evidence today, compared to the Bernie Ecclestone era.

The idea is for F2 teams to be able to have a value, much as the new owners are hoping will happen with F1 teams in the new way of thinking. Cost control and rules aimed at making the series more competitive are common themes in the approach of Ross Brawn’s team at F1 and the FIA’s technical team, with regard to both series.

The more aligned F2 – and ultimately GP3 when it is rebranded F3 in the future – is with F1, the more opportunities there are commercially across series for sponsors and partners. The journey to F1 becomes more of a story than it is today, goes the thinking and that is something that can be monetized collectively, providing a ‘halo effect’ if you’ll pardon the expression, to the lower series.

Runaway 2017 F2 championship leader Charles Leclerc was on hand and expressed interest in the steering wheel and front wing detail in particular; the front wing has multiple elements more like an F1 car and the steering wheel has more functions than this year’s car, again something closer to what an F1 car has. THe car has an updated Electronic Control Unit.

Other F1 inspired changes include the introduction of Virtual Safety Car for certain types of incidents and a DRS system more closely aligned with F1. Currently F2 has only the Safety Car.

The car will have a new engine, a 3.4 litre turbo changed Mecachrome engine which gives 620hp at 8,750 rpm.

Dimensionally it is a good preparation too: at 5224mm, the F1 car is actually longer than a current F1 car and the wheelbase is comparable to the current F1 Mercedes at 3135mm.

“The plan for a more structured junior formula ladder is designed to feature cars that better prepare drivers for the next step. For F2 that means we needed a car that will not only educate, but will also allow the drivers that are most ready for Formula One to shine brightest,” said Whiting.

Currently the series below F2 is GP3, still using the same name as under the Ecclestone regime. Integrating this into an FIA naming system is a slightly more complex as the FIA F3 series is already a successful series that has produced Max Verstappen, Estaban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Leclerc. But ultimately the confluence of the two series will take place under the F3 banner.

What do you think of the latest development in the F1 pathway? And of this further evidence of the co-operation between the FIA and the new owners of F1? Leave your comments in the section below

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Oh no! They should have kept the old V8 engine. Be interesting to see if they can make a turbo sound better, something they claim they are looking at for the F1 engine rules post 2020. But I have me doubts.

It has been (ironically) amusing when you are at circuits over the last few years that the GP2/F2 cars were louder and acoustically more exhilarating than the F1 cars.

Halo: though not nice at all, I think we’ll get used to it pretty quickly.


F2 = slightly slower formula flip flop


Obviously in the long run, I hope DRS becomes a thing of the past. But in the mean time, there should be a comprimise on it’s useage. Currently if you’re within 1 second of the detection point, you can use it at that moment.

I think what would be better would be to have limited shots of DRS during a race. So, if you’re inside the detection point for DRS, you get say 8 opportunties to use it. Once you’ve used it 8 times, that’s it. Sometimes, you see drivers using it to make very easy passes, or lapping a backmarker. By limiting it’s use, you’d add more of a strategtic element to it, and you wouldn’t just get default easy passes. Would be an ideal comprimise without making racing too easy or too hard by not having it at all.


They lost me at DRS, which the FIA are considering getting rid of in F1.


Seems like a large dose of a cure for Bernieitis. Kudos to F1 Management and the FIA (and the latter is a totally out of character expression from me). I hope this is a harbinger of even better things to come.


Pat Symonds has been picked to work on the F1 rules beyond 2020 by Ross Brawn?

The very Pat Symonds who played the key role in the Singapore 2008 fixing fraud single handedly defrauding every participant in that race of a legitimate result and F1 fans of a legitimate championship?

Ain’t that something.


Yep, Massa could have been a WDC.


A lot of tow truck drivers are reformed car thieves…if you lock yourself out of your car, they can get you back in. Same principal with Symonds. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, etc, etc, etc.


“Cost control and rules aimed at making the series more competitive are common themes in the approach of Ross Brawn’s team at F1 and the FIA’s technical team, with regard to both series.”

i’m surprised Ross Brawn had any say or input into the direction of this car….
What is wrong with current F1? Complex front wing which cannot function due to turbulence. Having to get round this problem with DRS which isn’t an effective solution. Making the cars less complicated to drive with fewer electronics.

And yet this F2 car has just moved towards these problem areas, not away from. If this is the future direction then there is no hope for F1. It would be interesting to know just how much input Brawn had in this car and whether he actually thinks this will improve the racing. Because surely in that respect its a step backwards.


F2 races have been great to watch and the current engines sound awesome (on TV at least). Now muffled turbos in F2 are going to take that lovely wail away. Not a fan.


Why can’t the halo be designed so the the structure at the front has two pillars that meet the chassis just inside the mirrors therefore getting rid of the central support in front of the driver. A clear screen could then be incorporated into the area in front of the drive without needing to be curved and cause distortion. Drivers could still see mirrors and the supports would be thinner as there are two of them. Screen would stop or deflect low flying debris


Recently at the family table:

The two faces of Mercedes:
Deciding against the air polluting DTM and pro Formula E…
on the other side F1:
deciding to use an engine which burns more oil and having a sponsor who ignores human rights, polluting the drink water for 200000 people in south sudan,…

if saying to go clean please be consequent in all the racing series

I may be a blind racing fan, but wife and daughters still have a brain luckily.


Do you have a link to the story about Sudan? If it’s true, can’t say I’m surprised in the least.


It was in a press release of a german language human rights group (Hoffnungszeichen / sign of hope). They hoped that Mercedes would use their contacts to Petronas to stop the pollution.

This is also mentioned in the english wiki about Block 5A, South Sudan,_South_Sudan

‘Environmental impact
Examination of Landsat images in 2006 showed that the all-weather roads built to access the oil fields have disrupted the drainage patterns of the marshes. A blockage more than 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) was first seen in 2003 to the north of the Thar Jath oil field. Given that the field is just 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the Nile and that there is a risk of oil contamination, this is a serious concern. On 8 November 2004 a thick black cloud with a 13 km black fane was visible in the Thar Jath oil field, possibly indicating a blowout and resultant oil spill.[51]

In March 2008 there were reports that children in Koch had died from drinking contaminated water. Local officials said that over 1,000 people were suffering from unknown illnesses. Large amounts of saline water are injected into the sub-surface around the oil reservoirs to maintain oil pressure, and this can cause health problems if people drink the water. Witnesses also said that toxic waste was being dumped into pits in the dried swamp, which would flood into the marshes in the rainy season.[52] In November 2009 the German NGO Sign of Hope reported that in the village of Rier, close to the Thar Jath Central Processing Facility, there were critical levels of salts and contaminants such as cyanides, lead, nickel, cadmium and arsenic. This water can cause serious health problems. The pollution was also affecting the Sudd wetlands, deemed to be of international importance under the Ramsar convention.[4]’


i must add that the f2 car looks very nice.
a lot better looking than haas albeit in the same colours..


Once upon a time long, long ago, there was Formula Junior (1959-63), then, when that became too ‘professional’, too expensive if you weren’t signed to a works team, the FIA re-launched F3 and F2, the idea being that the cream – Jackie Stewart, etc. – could progress straight into F1, while F2 was a kind of second division for those who didn’t get snapped up from F3, indeed many GP drivers raced in F2 on their weekends off, enabling up & coming drivers to measure themselves against the likes of Stewart, Clark, Hill, etc. Be good to see something like that today.

As for the halo, I still haven’t forgotten Henry Surtees, Dan Wheldon and Justin Wilson, all of whom could probably have survived had there been some form of cockpit head protection, so I don’t give a damn about aesthetics or tradition if it saves lives.


The F1-F2-F3 alignment is a good idea, as many have already mentioned. It is really too bad, though, how arrestingly awful the halo looks.


Isn’t the overly fancy front wing end plates one of the main reasons F1 cars cannot follow each other? Why inflict this on F2 as well (and of course, the stupid Halo thingy..)


First, a factual correction: the current F2 series allows DRS. Secondly, the current F2 series is already monetized via driver support from F1 teams – it would clearly reduce overhead for the F1 teams (including The Force … dark side and all) if Prema et. al. could count on revenue from others than the KFCs of the world. As for the halo, assuming F1 teams are allowed leeway in the implementation of their sandal straps, we can assume that we’ll see some creatively aero-optimized interpretations. I can’t help but imagine the traditional rubber flip-flop strap design, which would help manage the vortices emanating from the forward chassis


I think this is generally a good idea. If not for any other purpose than to provide another viable series for young drivers to develop their skills in. It seems to me that there are too many graduates and not enough jobs (or good ones anyway). Another series will at least provide a further holding bay or stepping stone to slow the progress a little.
Too many good drivers are coming in to F1 and getting spat back out due to over supply, and/or pay driver priority!


Baby i can see your Halo…


The next step should be to run both the junior categories starting their championships after the summer break, then finishing before the following years. So that drivers that take out the championship are in play for the F1 silly season. Rather than the current problem of having to go and have a year off because decisions can’t be made on half a seasons racing. I.e vandoorne & gasly.


“Dimensionally it is a good preparation too: at 5224mm, the F1 car is actually longer than a current F1 car and the wheelbase is comparable to the current F1 Mercedes at 3135mm.”

I’m confused. . . .


Wheelbase is distance between axles. Everything in front of and behind is the overall length.

Tornillo Amarillo

Please drivers and everybody out there, please say no more about the atmosphere in Monza, one of the best track of the calendar, I love the track and the people, the Tifosi this the Tifosi that, it’s freaking magical, one of the most historic races…
Every year the same thing… Don’t be lazy PR people…


Beautiful race car. Too bad I won’t be watching ANY racing series that uses the pig-ugly Halo.

Tornillo Amarillo

the FIA F3 series is already a successful series that has produced Max Verstappen, Estaban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Leclerc.

Four stars of the future !!!



One of these things is not like the other….

Tornillo Amarillo

Baby, I can feel your halo
Pray it won’t fade away
I can feel your halo (halo) halo
I can see your halo (halo) halo
I can feel your halo (halo) halo
I can see your halo (halo) halo

-Beyoncé F1.


Gold TA!


Is it me you’re looking for?
Cause I wonder why you’re here and I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere saving no one? Or is someone saving you?
Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven’t got a clue
But let me start by saying…ugly you.

Lionel Richiarrdo.


Ross Brawn has spoken recently about removing DRS from F1. So what is it doing on this car? Will F2 drivers get used to using DRS, only to discover it’s gone when they arrive at the top level? I hope this doesn’t mean this car has inherited the current F1 problem of cars being unable to follow close behind because of poor aero design.


So now the F2 cars will sound bad too. I used to like listening to their V8 engines before an F1 race.

I dont think feeder series should have DRS these kids are supposed to learn how to overtake properly!

Less said about the halo the better.

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