After the FIA and Formula 2 promoters informed us that the Formula 2 weekend will be home to three races in 2021, we’ve been itching to know more details. Today, those details were announced.
Formula 2 unleashed three bits of information and, such is modern times, three retweetable infographics to the world today. The first being the all-important weekend format. The latter two dovetail nicely out of that with tweaks to point-scoring, and the tyres that are given to each driver over the race weekend.
Formula 2 2021 Race Format
So, let’s tackle what stays the same first. Friday remains unchanged. A 45-minute practice session with a 30-minute qualifying session to set the order for the Feature Race. The pole-sitter will be rewarded with four championship points like they currently receive. So far, so familiar.
Familiar too is the Feature Race format. There will be a 170km race from start to finish or a race length of 60-minutes should that come sooner. Each driver must make a compulsory pitstop and run both compounds of tyre during the race.
The change for the feature race is that it will be on the Sunday, supporting Formula 1’s race, rather than on Saturday as it historically has been.
So what are the changes for Formula 2 in 2021? All that is the same, right? Well, let’s delve into what happens on Saturday to replace the Feature Race.
So Saturday now will contain two Sprint Race events. The imaginatively titled Sprint Race 1, and Sprint Race 2. So the quick answer to “what is the extra race on a Formula 2 weekend in 2021” is… another Sprint Race. It’s not exactly an exciting surprise, but it is another race for a weekend when F3 won’t be in attendance so that’s good for us.
The issue that’s faced now is what order will the drivers start each race in? Without the Feature Race running ahead of the Sprint Race, they can’t start in the finishing order with the top eight drivers reversed as per 2020.
So for 2021, the Formula 2 driver that qualifies on pole position will start the next race in… tenth. Somewhat of an anti-climax for them, but yes, that’s the plan. The Friday qualifying will arrange the grid for the Feature Race and Sprint Race 1.
The Feature Race starting order will be ordered by the fastest qualifier first, slowest last from Friday’s qualifying. Sprint Race 1 will be the same, aside from the top ten (not eight) drivers from Friday will be reversed.
Then for Sprint Race 2, the starting order will be the finishing positions from Sprint Race 1, but again with the top ten drivers reversed. This part is similar to how the current Sprint Race grid is established. But, again with ten drivers reversing rather than eight.
Formula 2 2021 Point Scoring
The points scored during the Feature Race remain the same as 2020. The winner takes 25 points, and tenth-place gets 1. The scoring system remains on par with F1 in this regard.
So from first to tenth place, that is 25 points, then 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and finally 1 point.
The fastest lap setter will continue to receive 2 bonus points, as per the current regulations, too. The caveat of the fastest lap setter must finish in the top ten persists also.
As mentioned further up, the pole-sitter will continue to get four points, too. That is the pole position for the Feature Race, as defined from Friday’s qualifying. The pole position driver for Sprint Race 1 and Sprint Race 2 get no bonus points.
The Sprint Race point-scoring is the same as now. 15 points for the race winner, and 1 point for eighth. That goes for both races meaning if a driver wins and sets the fastest lap, there are an additional 17 points possible.
For completeness, the Sprint Race scoring is 15 points for first, then 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 point for eighth.
Formula 2 2021 Tyre Allocation
Pirelli will continue to provide tyres for Formula 2. The only change is that there will now be an additional set of prime tyre available for each driver (6 vs 5). This additional set will be to offset the additional Sprint Race.
There will be three sets of wet tyres and two sets of option tyres as per current the regulations. We’re not quite sure this minor a change requires a fancy infographic, but there you go.
F2 CEO, Bruno Michel was pleased to reveal the Word Motor Sport Council approved the changes:
“I am pleased to reveal the changes to our sporting regulations which have been approved by the World Motor Sport Council.”
He continued on, highlighting the benefit of running the F2 feature race and F1 race on the same day.
“It’s fantastic to be able to move the Feature Race to Sunday which is the day of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. It will enhance the show for the fans and will make it even more special.
“Having two reverse grids on Saturday will spice up the championship even further. We have seen already how entertaining these races are. It should also allow more drivers to showcase their skills in front of the Formula 1 paddock and the rest of the world.”