The F2 Report: The 2024 F2 chassis’ latest developments

The F2 Report: The 2024 F2 chassis' latest developments

One of the most exciting announcements coming from the Formula 2 Championship in recent times is the development of a brand-new chassis, which will be ready for action at the start of the 2024 season.

Along with plans to utilize a more economical and eco-friendly fuel mixture from next year, enthusiasm is brimming surrounding the future of the Formula 1 feeder series. 2023 will be the final year to employ the aging Dallara F2 2018 chassis, and it is hoped that the upcoming design will not have the same teething issues that the outgoing chassis had when introduced back in 2018.

Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel recently revealed two extra tidbits of information concerning the new chassis. There are discussions currently taking place about the possibility of implementing power steering, as well as a radical bodywork change which may see the F2 grid look similar to the F1 cars of today.

Although nothing is confirmed as of now, this only serves to boost many fans’ eagerness for a racing series which is ever-growing in popularity.

So what can we look forward to with the upcoming F2 chassis for 2024? The F2 Report investigates.

Power steering

One of the largest differences between F2 and F1 is the lack of power steering in the former. Therefore, F2 cars require greater force exertion by the driver when rotating the vehicle, despite being down on power and downforce in comparison to F1.

Bruno Michel is holding talks with the FIA about adding power steering to the 2024 F2 car, the main purpose being to even out the playing field between male and female drivers in the feeder series.

He stated: “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.”

With the barrier for female drivers making it to the upper echelons of open-wheel motorsport already very high, no power steering makes it even more difficult for them to prove their competitiveness fairly. Multiple W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick has stated that the absence of power steering has put her off even vying for a spot in F3 or F2, admitting: “It scared me off ever struggling physically in a car.”

Tatiana Calderon, who most recently struggled in her recent outings with Charouz Racing System in F2 this year, has said in the past that F1 is much more comfortable to drive than the feeder series, the addition of power steering no doubt playing a part in her opinion.

F2 is supposed to be a stepping stone towards reaching the pinnacle of open-wheel motorsport, and therefore it should prepare upcoming stars for what to expect when they eventually do make it to the top. While some may argue that training your skills without any aids will improve your physical strength, the physiological differences between men and women cannot be ignored. There is something wrong if female drivers are unable to show off their true potential due to a lack of muscle mass rather than a lack of raw ability.

With all of this in mind, it’s natural to question why power steering hasn’t been implemented yet. Well, there’s only one reason: cost. Most of the independent teams on the grid don’t have massive budgets; it is therefore imperative to keep running costs low so the series can continue to thrive. Power steering is a complex piece of technology which will cost a fair bit of money for the FIA, and therefore the teams as well. Simply put, as Michel said: “We have to make the car that is not going to cost a fortune.”

F1 look-alike

F1 technical regulations 2022-formula 1 regulations car

“We need to make a car that looks more like a F1 car.” Michel and F2 seem to be planning for a significant bodywork update to make the cars look not too dissimilar to the current F1 grid. But what exactly does this mean from both the drivers’ and fans’ perspective?

Safety seems to be the main priority governing the upcoming changes. The F2 CEO expressed: “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.”

Of course, the halo device has been in use since 2018, but crash testing was also updated in 2022 for F1, resulting in up to 48% and 15% more energy absorption at the  front and rear respectively. Expect to see some of the design features aiding in this improved impact absorption to filter its way down to F2.

But perhaps more interesting is another quote from Michel, where he disclosed the following: “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.

“We know that the biggest change made to F1 cars this year was the reintroduction of ground effect; the principle purpose of such a change was to make it easier for two cars to follow each other more closely,” he added.

Of course, we can only guess as to what the next generation of F2 will look like, but at the very least we can hope for a sleeker, more rounded and simplified aerodynamic package for better racing and viewer’s visual pleasure, let’s say.