October 16, 2021

Axed triple-header F2 and F3 format was “not easy to understand” | Formula 2

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The triple-header header format introduced for Formula 1’s two most prominent support series created confusion, the series promoter admitted after it was dropped within a year of being introduced.

Formula 2 and Formula 3 will revert to their familiar double-header format in 2021 having each run three races at separate rounds throughout this year.

The plan to run the two series at separate grands prix this year, and add a further sprint race with a partial reversed grid, was not as successful as hoped, admitted CEO Bruno Michel. As well as the complicated new format, F2 has had long gaps between consecutive rounds. Its next round in Saudi Arabia will follow 10 weeks after the previous event.

“We put up this new format because we wanted to try to simplify the cost issues because we knew 2021 was going to be a difficult season,” Michel explained.

“But we also noticed that there were too much time between the races and that by doing that, we were losing a little bit of the excitement. So if you talk about the fans, obviously there was an issue and for the teams as well and for the drivers as well, there was too much time.

“Also the format, which worked very well on the track, was not so easy to understand. So that’s another thing that we want to simplify as well.”

Michel and Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali are eager to reunite F2 and F3 on the same weekends next year. This only happened once this season, in Sochi last week, after F3’s season finale had to be moved from the Circuit of the Americas due to logistical reasons.

“There’s a very strong will of everybody to have the all the pyramid present as much as possible on the same weekend, F1, F2 and F3,” said Michel. “That gives a very, very strong push for the two categories that are becoming really strategic to the system now.

“So there will be a lot of benefits for everybody to do that. It will not be on all the races, but it will be on most of the races that we will have F1, F2 and F3 together.”

The dropped 2021 format received mixed feedback from teams and drivers, said Michel. “Some teams said that they could save some costs. Some of the teams said that it was not so obvious because they did not really mutualise personal between the two categories.

“We also heard the drivers and some drivers were very positive, some others were a little bit more confused. So we took into consideration all this information to decide what we were going to do for this season.”

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