Insight: Big guns from F1 and FIA launch new look F2 car hailing “The Road to Formula 1”
Innovation
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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76 comments

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1
Andrew Halliday

Overall, the new F2 car looks good apart from the front wing (too much like a plough) and the awful halo.

2

Also the nose looks hideous. I don't understand why they couldn't make it more like the nose on the Williams fw19, for example. That was a beautiful nose.

3

Providing franchise type value to a team can only be better for the sport, period. It is a better business plan than F1 used to have. Lets pray they are successful. Providing a feeder series is good, but should not be the only pathway. A single feeder series makes a bottleneck where talented drivers, especially with less money, cant find a way to shine! There needs to be several paths.

4

Their are lots of paths. People just have their noses too high in the air to look at anyone who isn't co-signed by F1 team by the time their 10.

Indycar, Super Formula, LMP2/DPi, Super GT, DTM...all very competitive, high downforce series. But most people in the F1 community view these series as below them, a place where "has-beens and washed up F1 drivers go," to paraphrase the average F1 fan.

"We need multiple feeder series zomg!!!".........they already exist, you just can't see past your own nose.

5

DTM I'll give you (and even then this will probably fade with Mercedes' pull out) but the others are pretty dubious - trying to claim that Indycar is a genuine feeder series for F1 is pretty laughable.

6

Thanks for demonstrating your ignorance and arrogance.

You actually think the current GP2/F2 field is more competent than the current Indycar field. THAT is a joke if I ever heard one.

You acknowledge DTM, but claim the others are laughable....ok.

-LMP2 & DPi are both faster than DTM cars, in a straight line and through the corners.
-Super GT GT500 cars use the exact same carbon monocoque as DTM, and are built to the exact same aero regs. However they use inline 4 turbos which make more power than the current F1 V6 turbos. GT500 cars are a solid 5-10 seconds per lap quicker than their DTM conterparts.

The only reason you acknowledge DTM is because someone on a F1 broadcast mentioned it 1 time.

Lastly, Super Formula is a current grader series, you just haven't been beat over the head with the name enough by the CH4 and Sky crew to acknowledge it. But Stoffel Vandoorne's, Pierce Gasly, Kamui Kobayashi, and many other have come through Super Formula.

This is EXACTLY the kind of ignorance and arrogance I'm talking about. You're asking someone's to "make me a F1 feeder series," when half a dozen already exist. You really need to take the F1 blinders off.

7

It doesn't matter which series you think are or should be F1 feeder. The FIA super license restrictions will control the issue with the bias in points pushing one series over another.
https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2016/09/insight-how-the-young-pretenders-to-2017-f1-race-seats-qualify-for-super-licences/

8

Yes, that must be it, me and every talent scout that works for every F1 team must be ignorant and arrogant, because I guess they just can't see the wealth of talent in Indycar and LMP2 waiting to be plucked straight from their stellar junior results straight into F1. Could it possibly be because oval racing is a poor means of assessing someones potential in F1?

The reason I said DTM is a good feeder series is because *shock* some people from that series have actually progressed from there into Formula 1, shocking I know (di Resta, Ocon, Wehrlein). They were all Mercedes backed, hence my comment that now Mercedes have pulled out that route to F1 is likely to be closed off.

Of the three drivers you mention in Super Formula - Vandoorne went there in a holding pattern to keep him race ready while a McLaren seat opened up for him, he'd already won GP2; Gasly is the same now; Kobayashi only raced there after his F1 career was over. Super Formula or Formula Nippon hasn't produced a strong F1 driver for a long long time.

And just to round off the inaccuracies in your post, I'm not asking for more feeder series, that was a separate poster. I'm fine with things as they are thanks.

9

Vile!

10

I really like the way the series are being RE branded and aligned. An F3 - F2 - F1 path would be easy for fans to understand and follow, allow new opportunities for funding and distribution. I foresee a packaged broadcast licence. Bernie brilliantly forced broadcasters to take all the races and the next step would be to take all the series. Wouldn't it be great to follow a young driver right the way through their journey or follow an Alonso legend type play in other Series. I think I'm correct in thinking early F1 drivers dabbled in lower series just to go racing. I'm not to sure on the look of the car though. Reminds me of a budget team F1 car . I'm thinking pacific or caterham. Let's see how it all plays out , but credit to the management for having a strategy

11

Agreed in most part. However, I thought the Halo looks way better than I expected with all black livery.

12

yeah drivers did enter lower series, current NASCAR drivers race in the lower support series on race weekends. I don't think this would work with F1 though, imagine an F2 driver pulling an overtake on Alonso, we'd never hear the end of it and I don't think current F1 drivers would risk their reputation on a young driver doing a do or die move on them, just my thoughts.

13

Still don't care for the halo.

14

Yes, i was rather hoping it would be a bit better integrated than that.
It's also disappointing that, just like in F1, cars have a square cross section chassis. Beautiful racing cars are curved, and this is why a current F1 Ferrari looks much worse than those of the early 1990s.

15

No, but it cares for you 🙂

16

The car looks OK I suppose, apart from the ruddy great mess over the cockpit. The F1 launches are going to be hilarious, I can't imagine a sleek new Ferrari being launched with that monstrosity on it. Although I wouldn't be surprised to see F1 to allow car launches minus the halo.

17

Ach! I'm so disappointing that they will have DRS. DRS (unless always available) has no place in motor car racing.

Happily surprised, however, that fans cannot vote who will get more horsepower...

18
Tornillo Amarillo

DRS - Direct Racing Sabotage...

Ross Brawn reportedly is working for abandon DRS in F1 and they include it now in F2...
Somebody is not working together...

19

@Tornillo, I am very happy to read that Ross Brawn is trying to abandon DRS. Can you link us to any article about it?

20

Haha, unlucky! 🙂

22

This will be the F3 car.

I will never get used to that Halo.

23

If Alonso was still driving for Ferrari he'd win the title in that.

24

am used to it already and from afar looks like it was integrated into the chassis. a beautiful looking piece of kit. would love to drive it.

25

Ripper!!!

26

The Halo is here we all have to get used too it. Wait until F1 changes over too all electric driverless cars, that's going too be a shock.
But they will be berry berry quiet. 🙂

27

If F1 changes to all electric, wouldn't they just be morphing into FE? Or do you see a future with two single seat all electric series run by the FIA? FE and F1e?

28

I too just cannot accept the "halo", and I'm sure I will never get used to it, just like I never got used to the look of the 2009-2015 cars, and just like I never got used to the sound of the PUs.

29

Wait to see it working once and you may be convinced of it.

30

Sir Jackie Stewart: "Today, F1’s probably the safest sport in the world."
(this is his statement before Halo is introduced to F1)

As I said before, on one hand I understand his pride, on the other I understand the problem, especially in the world of UFC, boxing, rugby, NFL, NHL, etc.

What's safer than F1? Certainly not golf - many people die of heart attacks from all that walking and of lightening strikes out on the green, especially July and August. Perhaps ping pong?

31

@Sebee, you might know this better than I.

When was the last time we saw a circuit make an upgrade or change in the name of making things more challenging, more difficult, more ballsy, etc. I can't think of the last time a circuit did that.

I certainly remember all the chicanes that have been added, paved runoff added, etc. Can't for the life of me remember when someone said, "you know what, with modern cars, corner XYZ has become too easy. We're going to make changes A B and C to increase the challenge to the drivers."

Has that happened...ever?

Where's the balance?

32

Wait till we see a driver trapped in a burning car or as small debris is deflected by it toward the visor or body and you'll be convinced too.

33

Isn't this model a bit buggy?

34

Good in all departments except DRS. I suppose we are stuck with DRS because cars nowadays are so fast that there are so few opportunities on today's tracks to pass without it. Now, if corners had more than one optimum line..............

35

Fuji is famous for this type of racing. Turn 1, and then the entire final sector offer multiple lines. Watch a Super GT race from their, the action is fantastic.

36

Corners with more than one optimum line? You mean a crossroads?

37

I seem to remember a long time ago there was a track where, at the end of the straight, there was a extremely wide right-angle corner where drivers could either take the corner tightly or sweep round wide but at a faster speed. The tight approach was shorter, so it was a case of speed vs distance. Thus more than one optimum line - the "crossroads" was in the drivers' decision-making!

38

That'd spice it up!

39

Tripped over that dread word "monetized' but gritted my teeth & carried on regardless. Nice to see the 2 sides getting along but I can't help thinking their efforts should have been saved for F1. This drip feeding of F1 tech up the ladder is a bit patronising to the rising stars of formula racing - they can surely learn the steering wheel in a couple of sessions on the Sim. Mechacrome? Isn't that Flavio's mob? What has to be done to get rid of that guy from F1 for good? He leaves a bad smell behind wherever he goes. Apart from that, it would be good to get the lower orders straightened out but I'm not sure they need 2 steps to F1, when traditionally, it was just F3 that counted.

40

I have not been a fan of the halo, however this version looks okay. Might it be improved with addition of 2 glass (lexan or whatever) panels. I.e. a reason for being, a windscreen frame; probably would be more aerodynamic.

41

Glass or Perspex panels would distort the view, which is why this monstrosity was chosen rather than the shield/open canopy concept. So this half-a*** d solution it is, until someone comes up with a better idea.

42

GP2 car (couldn't resist).

43

The dreaded sandal flip flop head guard .
When they've got two cars lined up.
The Incredible Hulk can use them as a pair of roller skates !!

44

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.

45

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.

46
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.

47

Gold TA!

48

Halo!
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.

49
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 !!!

Ha-ha!

50

One of these things is not like the other....

51

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

52
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...

53

"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. . . .

54

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

55

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.

56

Baby i can see your Halo...

57

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!

58

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

59

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..)

60

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.

61

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.

62

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

63

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.

64

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

65

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.

https://www.hoffnungszeichen.de/system/files/documents/20160308_hoffnungszeichen_suedsudan_daimler_-_petronas_-_formel_1_-_umweltverschmutzung.pdf

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_5A,_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]'

66

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

67

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.

68

"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.

69

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.

70

Yep, Massa could have been a WDC.

71

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.

72

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.

73

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

74

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.

75

F2 = slightly slower formula flip flop

76

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.

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