F2 planning new chassis to 'look more like F1 car'

Juri Vips (EST) Hitech. 11.09.2022. Formula 2 Championship, Rd 13, Feature Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday
© XPB 

The Formula 2 championship is planning to introduce a new car in 2024 that will be far closer in appearance to modern Formula 1 equipment.

In addition, F2 bosses want the car to be just as accessible to the new generation of rising women drivers stepping up from the W Series and the FIA's own newly announced female-only racing series.

Last month, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said future junior single-seater cars “had to accommodate” for the physical differences between men and women, after W Series champion Jamie Chadwick voiced concerns about steering.

Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel sais he is “working very closely with the FIA” on the next cars for F2 and for Formula 3 in 2026, saying that power steering was “of course something that we’re looking into.”

“We will see what we have to do in regards of the conclusions that we will make on this new car,” Michel said. “We know that we need to make sure that it’s not going to be an issue for female drivers, for sure. That’s the whole idea of what we are doing.

“But on the other end, we don’t want to complex-ify the car if we don’t need to do it. So it’s always something, it’s a tricky one. But we’ll make the right decision and, as I said, we will make the decision with the FIA.”

The cars will still need to be at a sustainable cost level for teams to operate, while still remaining relevant to modern F1 technology.

Third placed Jamie Chadwick (GBR) Jenner Racing in parc ferme. 30.07.2022. W Series, Rd 5, Budapest, Hungary, Race

"We have to make the car that is not going to cost a fortune," he acknowledged. "We need on the other end to make sure that we are not going to suddenly kill the teams because they will have to buy a car that is worth much, much more money than they were doing in the past.

“We need to be very careful about that. Not only the car itself, but all the spare parts that they will have to buy during the life of the car.

“We need to be sure that we’re making things simple. We need to be sure that when they have an issue, they can change a little part of the car and not a big one. We need to be sure that the car can be operable by a limited number of people, because we have only 12 operating people in F2.

“That’s why when you’re talking about power steering, when you’re talking about other things, we need to be sure that we can continue to do that at the same level of expenses that we have now.

Bruno Michel (FRA) F2 CEO - Formula Academy announcement. 18.11.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Practice

“It’s always what we’re trying to do, because we used to develop one car every three years," Michel said. "For economic reasons we’ve developed this one, for instance, for six years so it’s a quite dated car.

“We need to make a car that looks more like a F1 car”, Michel noted. "The car we have now is quite far away in terms of aesthetic from a F1 car.”

Safety measures have also significantly advanced since the existing F2 car made its bow, and this will be a priority area for the series with its next step. The halo was introduced with the current car in 2018.

"The safety devices that the FIA was asking for six years ago are not the same as the one that we’re having now, so that would be, number one, a very strong change.

Juan Manuel Correa (USA) Van Amersfoort Racing makes a pit stop. 20.11.2022. Formula 2 Championship, Rd 14, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Feature Race, Sunday

“You want a car that prepare drivers to F1," Michel said. "If there are new things that F1 is putting together on their car and that is making a change, of course you need to try to see if we can adapt them on the F2 cars as well.

"[Also], you want a car that is going to provide great racing, because that’s also the DNA of our categories," he continued. "On that, we’ve been doing quite well, but we can always improve ourselves.

“We’ve been working for the 2024 car with the aerodynamicists of the FIA, who have been working on the F1 car to see if there are things that we can take on the findings they made, especially how much downforce you lose when you follow up another car.

"It’s these kind of things that we’ve been working on quite a bit.”

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter