Formula Two

race car class

Formula Two, often called F2, is a type of open wheel auto racing. It served as a feeder series to Formula One. In 1985 it was replaced by Formula 3000. In 2008 the FIA announced that Formula Two would return for 2009 season in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship. The goal is to develop a low-cost series to allow young drivers a chance to compete in the highest levels of motor racing.

Formula Two
CategorySingle seaters
Country or regionInternational
First season1967
Engine suppliersAudi
Tyre suppliersAvon
Drivers' championUnited Kingdom Dean Stoneman
Ferrari Dino 166 Formel 2 driven by Derek Bell

History change

Formula One is generally regarded as the top open-wheeled auto racing series. Because of the high performance and expense of the cars, a lower level racing series was needed for developing drivers and teams. For much of the history of F1, Formula Two was that step in the racing ladder.

Pre-war change

Before the Second World War, there was a division of racing cars smaller and less powerful than the Grand Prix racers. This division was usually called voiturette ("small car") racing. It provided a place for amateur or less experienced drivers and smaller team to prove themselves.

Official beginnings (post war–1953) change

2.0 litre Veritas Meteor

In 1946, Formula A (later known at Formula 1) was introduced. The old 1.5 L voiturette formula was replaced with 3.0 L supercharged cars.

Formula Two (first known as Formula B) was first formally defined in 1948 by the FIA as a smaller and cheaper racers to complement to the Grand Prix cars of the era.

The engines 2.0 L normally aspirated or 750 cc supercharged. The 750 cc engines were rarely used. This brought new manufactures, such as Cooper to move up to Formula Two. Formula One in its early years was very expensive. There were so few cars entered for the 1952 and 1953 that the World Championship Grand Prix races were run to Formula Two rules.

Formula Two development change

Cooper Cooper T39 Bobtail

F2 started to decline with the arrival of the 2.5 L Formula One in 1954. A new format of Formula Two was introduced for 1957 with 1.5 L engines. This became dominated by rear-engined Coopers and Bobtail sports car. Porsches cars based on their RSK sports cars enjoying some success. Ferrari originally developed their 'Sharknose' Dino 156 as an F2 car. The dominant engine was the Coventry-Climax FPF four cylinder.

Formula Junior was introduced in 1959. It tried to replace F3 and F2. It was realised that it needed to be split up. F2 and F3 were reintroduced for the 1964 season. F2 cars had a 1.0 L engine. Many F1 stars drove in the F2 series on their "off-days".

Jochen Rindt driving Lotus Formula 2 in 1970 at the Nürburgring

By the late 1960s, many felt the gap between F1 and F2 too wide. A new 1.6 L production-based engine formula for F2 was introduced. This brought the series back to a feeder series for F1. The most popular engine was the Cosworth FVA.

In 1967, the FIA introduced the European Formula Two Championship. Jacky Ickx, driving a Matra MS5, won the first championship.

In 1972, the formula was changed to increase power. 2.0 L production-based engines were allowed. Cosworth BDs and BMW four-cylinder engines dominated the early years. BMW-powered Marches slowly gained the lead. For 1976, race only engines were permitted.

Formula 3000 change

After the 1984 season, Formula Two was upgraded to Formula 3000. This was an attempt to merge F2-style chassis with the normally-aspirated 3000cc Cosworth DFV V8 engines. These engines were now obsolete in the all-turbocharged Formula One.

GP2 Series change

F3000 was replaced by the GP2 Series in 2005. To save money, standard 4000cc V8 engines are used. They provided 580 hp at low a cost.

Revival of F2 (2008-present) change

The Formula Two name returned in 2009, following an FIA announcement on 25 June 2008.[1]

MotorSport Vision (MSV) won the contract to supply chassis and engines for the new FIA Formula Two Championship. MSV is also the promoter of the Championship as well as the operating entity for all of the cars.[2]

The cars were designed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd and prepared by MotorSport Vision (MSV). The open wheel chassis is powered by a 1.8L turbocharged Audi engine developed by Mountune Racing. The new F2 cars are aimed to fall between F1 and F3 in performance.[3] MSV, owned by former Formula One driver, Jonathan Palmer. The first championship was won by Andy Soucek. The season was marred by the death of Henry Surtees during Round 4 at Brands Hatch.[4]

Other Formula Two series change

A number of other Formula Two series have existed around the world. They include Japanese Formula Two (now known as Formula Nippon), Australian Formula 2 (since 1964). Other national Formula Two series include Mexican, Brazilian, Argentina, and South American. The British Formula 3000 series was briefly known as Formula Two.

Formula Two champions change

Season Driver Team / Car Pole
Wins Podiums Fastest
Points Margin (pnts)
European Formula Two Championship
1967   Jacky Ickx Tyrrell Racing
2 2 4 3 45 11
1968   Jean-Pierre Beltoise Matra Sports
2 3 5 1 48 17
1969   Johnny Servoz-Gavin Matra International
1 1 2 1 37 9
1970   Clay Regazzoni Tecno Racing Team
2 3 5 1 44 9
1971   Ronnie Peterson March Engineering
7 4 6 5 54 14
1972   Mike Hailwood Team Surtees
1 2 5 2 55 18
1973   Jean-Pierre Jarier March Engineering
4 7 8 5 78 37
1974   Patrick Depailler March Engineering
3 4 6 2 54 11
1975   Jacques Laffite Ecurie Elf
6 6 7 4 60 24
1976   Jean-Pierre Jabouille Equipe Elf
Elf 2J-Renault
4 3 6 1 53 1
1977   René Arnoux Ecurie Renault Elf
1 3 6 1 52 12
1978   Bruno Giacomelli Polifac BMW Junior Team
8 8 10 6 82 31
1979   Marc Surer Polifac BMW Junior Team
2 2 6 1 38 2
1980   Brian Henton Toleman Group
2 3 9 7 61 19
1981   Geoff Lees Ralt Racing Ltd.
1 3 6 5 51 14
1982   Corrado Fabi March Racing Ltd.
2 5 7 3 57 1
1983   Jonathan Palmer Ralt Racing Ltd.
4 6 10 3 68 17
1984   Mike Thackwell Ralt Racing Ltd.
6 7 8 9 72 28
FIA Formula Two Championship
2009   Andy Soucek MotorSport Vision
2 7 11 3 115 51
2010   Dean Stoneman MotorSport Vision

References change

  1. "FIA to relaunch F2 in 2009". FIA F1. 2008-06-25. Archived from the original on 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  2. "FIA to relaunch F2 in 2009". FIA F2. 2008-09-15. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  3. "F2: A closer look". IPC Media. 2008-12-03. Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  4. "Henry Surtees dies after F2 crash".

Other websites change