Formula 2 has long been the proving ground for Formula 1 greats, from Lewis Hamilton to soon-to-be Alpine rookie Oscar Piastri.
The series is littered with legends who were champions of F2, through its various iterations over the years, many drivers going on to have memorable careers in F1, thus it is a series that has huge relevance to the future of the sport at the highest level; because that ‘future’ is on display on several Grand Prix weekends for all to witness.
While there are many open-wheel series taking place all around the globe, some of the best entertainment can be found in Formula 1’s feeder series, aptly referred to as Formula 2 or F2. This is especially the case if you are massive fans of Formula 1, which I’m sure most of you are if you’re on this site.
Even though the drivers’ champion for this year has already been decided (congratulations, Felipe Drugovich), there are still plenty of reasons to watch the F2 cars lay down the rubber before the F1 grid takes to their slots.
The 2022 season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place on the 19-20 November; the second last round was at Monza where Drugovich was crowned.
Let’s go over some of the main reasons why you should be watching F2. Why the hype? Read on to find out!
A Level Playing Field
Oftentimes you would hear F1 fans complaining about the dominance of a select few teams over the course of an entire season.
In fact, this was certainly the case just a handful of years ago with Mercedes’ dominance from the start of the hybrid era in 2014 until 2020. Even before the start of first practice, we already kind of knew who was going to win the Championship, let alone the race!
Formula 2 differs in that every team has the exact same car, so it is solely up to the drivers’ raw ability to claim the top spots.
Of course, luck still plays a significant role in determining the outcome of a Championship, but it is usually the most talented and fast driver who ends up claiming the Title.
With every pilot having equal machinery under their buttocks, the races are often hard-fought till the bitter end and you truly never know who is going to win each race. After all, that’s what we really want to see, right?
Obviously, Formula 1 should be the cream of the crop when it comes to talented drivers, but there is no denying that there are many highly gifted and accomplished drivers in the feeder series as well, some knocking on the door of teams.
The F2 lineup is jam-packed with young and determined young drivers who are raring to prove themselves and make their way to the upper echelons of open-wheel racing.
And they are going to be trying their damned hardest week in, week out to achieve those coveted podiums and victories, even if it means jeopardising their team or getting involved in the occasional crash.
This all translates to more exciting races for us to watch! Also, let’s not forget that many current F1 drivers came from F2 and F3. Charles Leclerc won the series back in 2017, George Russell in 2018 and Mick Schumacher won the 2020 edition.
The Cars Sound Amazing
Perhaps a lot of us have grown accustomed to the sound that the hybrid engines F1 cars make, but it is by no means a satisfying exhaust note.
The Dallara F2 2018 currently in use for the F2 Championship has the same number of cylinders as the hybrid motors used in F1, but has a larger 3400cc capacity and the aural benefit of not having an electric energy recovery system strapped to it.
The exhaust pops and bangs on gear shifts, and the engine note is a lot more guttural and powerful sounding, despite being at least 300 horsepower down on the F1 engines.
Do you remember the ear-piercing, melodic sounds of F1 vehicles pre-2014? Well, F2 comes close to offering the same sort of sound symphony.
[Editor’s Note: James Fiorucci has joined our team of writers as of this post; a young and enthusiastic motorsport aficionado with a keen eye on all things F1 and, fittingly for our site and its readers, into F2 as this piece suggests. So he will keep an eye on the F1 wannabe series for us, and also provide features and insights on F1 when time permits. Welcome on board James. Happy writing! James writes his own blog The F1 Scoop.]