What’s new
in Formula 2?

What’s new in Formula 2? 01

With the 2019 Formula 1 grid featuring the top three drivers from last year’s Formula 2 seasonGeorge Russell, Lando Norris and Alex Albon – and 2017 champion Charles Leclerc now driving for Ferrari, it’s clear where to look for the next generation of racing talent. 

For the 2019 F2 season, which begins in Bahrain, the championship keeps the same successful formula that has made for close and exciting racing. But there are plenty of new things to look forward to…

The arrival of Schumacher
Mick Schumacher – the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael – makes a highly-anticipated step up to F2 after winning the European Formula 3 title last year. Driving for Prema, the 20-year-old may need time to settle in at this level, but he did post the fastest time in the first pre-season test at Jerez last month. Mick will make his Formula 1 debut in testing after Bahrain, driving for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

Fans of 1990s F1 should prepare for flashbacks with Schumacher going up against Giuliano Alesi. The son of popular one-time grand prix winner Jean steps up from GP3, as does champion Anthoine Hubert and his former rivals Nikita Mazepin and Callum Ilott.

What’s new in Formula 2? 02

New names above the door
The Sauber name has disappeared from F1 this year with the team’s rebrand to Alfa Romeo, but it will be present in F2 with the creation of the Sauber Junior Team in partnership with the Charouz squad. Ilott, already in the Ferrari academy, will drive one car with new Alfa development driver Juan Manuel Correa in the other.

Another team taking on a new F1-inspired look is Virtuosi, formerly Russian Time. It sports the black and yellow of Renault thanks to Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou.

New colours
The tyres used in F2 remain the same as in 2018, with a focus on high performance with a level of deliberate degradation. This, combined with the requirement to run two different compounds during a feature race, helps prepare the drivers for F1 and promotes close racing. The only thing about the tyres that changes is the colours, to come into line with those now used in F1. It’s now white for the hard compound, yellow for the medium and red for the soft, with purple to be used for the supersoft.

What’s new in Formula 2? 03

A woman among boys
For the first time in the championship’s history there will be a female driver taking part. Tatiana Calderon makes the step up to F2 after three seasons racing in GP3 and will combine that with her role as a test driver for Alfa Romeo in F1. She drives for the Arden team alongside GP3 champion Anthoine Hubert.

Familiar faces in new places
For many, it’s Nyck de Vries who starts as pre-season title favourite. The Dutch driver moves from Prema to ART Grand Prix and was fastest on four of the six days of testing. Recent McLaren signing Sergio Sette Camara is also tipped for big things and moves from Carlin to DAMS to join Williams-linked Nicholas Latifi. Louis Deletraz has gone to Carlin, while Renault test driver Jack Aitken joins Campos Racing.

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