F2 2021 is here. It’s a new era and an all-new weekend format. The drivers will have a 45-minute practice and a 30-minute qualifying on the Friday as before. But then there will be two 100km or 45-minute time-limited Sprint races on Saturday. The Feature race will take place on Sunday and will be 170km, or an hour in length. Check our guide here for an in-depth explanation of the weekend format.
So with all that admin out of the way, let’s take a look at who will be racing for championship glory, a possible F1 seat, and those all-important 40 Superlicense points.
F2 2021: Prema Racing
The Italian team powered Mick Schumacher to the Driver’s Championship last year and claimed the Team’s Championship as well. It was their first Team title since the championship became F2 and their first since 2016. They start F2 2021 as the heavy favourites to do it all again.
The young Russian made headlines in his rookie season last year with superlative drives in the Spielberg and Hungaroring Feature races. Finishing his season with 4 wins and 4th in the championship, Shwartzman vowed to come back stronger and faster for 2021. He’s our pick for outright favourite for the title.
But he’s not infallible. Shwartzman visibly struggled at Silverstone last year. Many will be wondering if there are more bogey tracks for him and whether he has overcome those Northamptonshire blues. The points from the three races at Silverstone will be crucial to his championship campaign.
The reigning F3 champion and Alpine Academy Driver is tossed into the deep end for his rookie season. The buzz around the teenager is huge, but at the same time, the pressure is off in a weird way. F2 is so tricky to get on top of in year one, that Piastri can spend 2021 honing his F2 skills ready for a title push next year. That’s not to say he won’t be gunning for the title in 2021, but our expectation is a real title push will come in his second season.
F2 2021: UNI-Virtuosi
UNI-Virtuosi started in GP2 in 2015 when they took over from iSport in the running of the Russian Time team. Two years later they scooped the F2 Team’s title and finished runner-up for the past two seasons. They’ll be at the front and fast once again this year.
Fresh off the back of winning the F3 Asia title along with 18 Super License points, Zhou returns for his third season of F2. He’s fast but will need to take another step in his performance and deliver on the promise that Virtuosi, Alpine, his fans and GP Grandstand see in him.
Drugovich had a stellar rookie season with MP Motorsport last year, picking up three wins. He’s described the Virtuosi car as feeling like a different category (in a good way we think!) compared to the MP so we’re expecting big things from the Brazilian this year.
F2 2021: Carlin
Trevor Carlin’s legendary team will be competing in GP2/F2 for their tenth season. Winning the team’s title in 2018, they’re sure to be a major component in this year’s competition.
The straight-talking Londoner is certainly fast enough to push for wins. But tyre degradation was a major factor last season in him not winning as many races as his speed suggests. He blamed it on his DAMS car. This season we will know if that was the case. Ticktum looked quick in testing so let’s see what happens as 2021 unfolds.
Daruvala ended last season on a real high with the final victory of the year. He then dominated the post-season test and looked fast in pre-season this year as well. Also picking up three wins in F3 Asia this season on his way to third in the championship, Daruvala is as prepared as can be. Let’s just hope he has a decent engine this season.
F2 2021: Hitech Grand Prix
FIA F3, British F3, F3 Asia, FIA Motorsports Games Formula 4 Cup and W Series, Hitech is a team of many talents. Hitech only joined F2 last season but had a great first year with three wins from Nikita Mazepin and Luca Ghiotto. No strangers to junior single-seaters, having been operating for nearly 20 years, we can expect Hitech to go from strength to strength in F2 2021. Especially with their pair of Red Bull juniors this season.
Stepping up to F2 after two seasons of race wins in FIA F3. Lawson is backed by Red Bull and will be gunning to compete against his stablemates Daruvala and his teammate Vips. A potential seat at AlphaTauri will be on the Kiwi’s mind.
Poor Vips had a tough 2020 season as he was bounced from series to series. But on the plus side for the Estonian, he had a good spell in F2 deputising for the injured Sean Gelael. Given that experience and Hitech’s winning form from last year, Vips could be a dark horse for the title this season.
F2 2021: ART Grand Prix
One of the most successful teams in the category, taking George Russell and Nyck de Vries to the Driver’s title. Prior to F2, they won GP2 with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg and Stoffel Vandoorne. An awesome team then but what about their drivers this year?
Lundgaard had a great rookie season with two Sprint wins and four other podiums. He’s clearly one of the strongest talents on the 2021 F2 grid. Having taken part in the Young Driver Test with Alpine, he is still very much part of their future plans. If he delivers, he could be looking at F1. You can read more about our thoughts on Christian Lundgaard here.
The runner up for the FIA F3 championship in 2020 behind Oscar Piastri. Pourchaire took part in the final two rounds of the F2 season last year. Expect this super fast teenager, he’s only 17, to hit the ground running this season.
F2 2021: MP Motorsport
Quite frankly MP Motorsport should be every F2’s favourite team. They provided the seat for the one and only Lord Mahaveer Raghunathan himself after all. What legends! MP have been competing in GP2/F2 since 2013. 2020 was their most successful season with 4 wins and matching 2017’s 6th place finish. A new team of engineers really improved the team’s fortunes last season. Can they be regular front runners this season?
The worst-kept and perhaps most pointless secret in motorsport finally broke ahead of the opening race. Verschoor has been racing with MP for the past two years in F3. This season he will step up to F2 with the team. Whether he has the budget for a whole season remains to be seen. We hope he does. You don’t win the Macau GP on your first go without having some talent after all!
The German driver has slowly worked his way up the ladder. He won the ADAC F4 title after three seasons and picked up a win at Spa in his second F3 season last year. Let’s hope he is given the two or three seasons he might need to perform at his best in F2.
F2 2021: Charouz Racing System
Czech team Charouz have been running since 1985 but only joined F2 in 2018. They raced as the Sauber junior team for 2019 while fielding Callum Ilott. Juan Manuel Correa was his teammate until his tragic accident at Spa that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert. Reverting to the Charouz name in 2020 with Louis Deletraz and Pedro Piquet, it was a somewhat disappointing season with just 5 podiums for Deletraz. Let’s see if the team can re-engage and power forward this year.
Making his debut in F2 this year after three middling years in F3. Beckmann will need to deliver some of those winning performances he gave at Trident in F3 to remain in the category.
I’ll admit it, Samaia fascinates me! He won Brazilian F3 in 2017 which is good. But then only finished 13th in British F3 which is…less good. He raced in Euroformula in 2018 when compatriot Drugovich was busily dominating the season. Then he only did the opening part of the 2019 season. Which kind of raises the question of how on earth did he end up in F2 with Campos last year? Finishing last of the full-time drivers last season, Samaia will be hoping his year of experience will mean better things this year.
F2 2021: DAMS
DAMS have been competing at this level since 1988 so they’re no strangers to delivering on the track. By their own standards, it was a poor season in 2020, with the car eating its tyres throughout the race. We’re expecting them to be on top of that issue this year and once again back near the front.
Long time Williams Academy driver and F2 mainstay, you can read all about Nissany’s career to date in our Academy piece.
Armstrong had a strong start to his debut F2 season last year. Sadly, it all seemed to tail off as he struggled in the second ART. Now in the DAMS, he could be on the verge of a very exciting season, providing those tyre woes are resolved. You can read more about Armstrong here.
F2 2021: Campos
The motorsport world was rocked by the sudden death of Adrian Campos in January of this year. All of us here at GP Grandstand are hoping that team and drivers can produce a spectacular season in his honour. A tireless champion of the feeder series, the world is a poorer place with his passing.
Petecof is the reigning Formula Regional champion and a very unexpected surprise in F2 this year. He is a very fast driver, and one we hope will do well this year. Budget problems are a danger to his career, though, so we hope he manages to compete for the whole season and delivers on his promise.
Boschung’s return to F2 came early last year following Lewis Hamilton contracting Covid-19. His three seasons in F2 from 2017 to 2019 have yet to yield a win. He’s driven for Campos, MP and Trident while also battling budget issues that have seen him in and out of his seat. Thankfully that seems to be sorted for this year.
F2 2021: HWA
Taking over the Arden entry for 2020, HWA didn’t have a stellar year. Fielding Artem Markelov and Guiliano Alesi for the majority of the year, the team also gave races to Jake Hughes and Theo Pourchaire as they looked to step up out of F3.
Matteo is the nephew of 1990s F1 driver Alessandro so that’s cool right?! He won the F4 UAE title in 2019 but struggled with his step up into FIA F3 last year. So what’s the logical next step? Do another year? No! Do another year AND F2 2021 at the same time. Genius. Wish I had that kind of money.
At 26 years old, Deledda’s chances of progressing to F1 are practically zero. His results in F4 and F3 were utterly atrocious and he is mainly infamous for driving dangerously on the motorways of Italy and filming himself doing it. We don’t like to glamorise or promote dangerous drivers on this website but he is in F2 2021.
F2 2021: Trident
Joining GP2 in 2006, Trident used to be capable of picking up a couple of wins here and there. Sadly the team have fallen down the pecking order to be plum last year. What needs to change? More engineering talent and money wouldn’t go amiss! Good luck in F2 2021 Trident.
Viscaal’s results have tailed off the higher up the ladder he has climbed. Although that’s partly down to the cars he has been driving, that’s for sure. That’s not to take away from his excellent performances in F4, Euroformula and Spanish F3. He’s definitely a talented driver. If he can help Trident get off the bottom of the standings is unknown. We’re rooting for him to do it though.
Sato had two rubbish F4 seasons and two rubbish F3 European seasons. Then he went and completely dominated Euroformula Open for 2019. What was that about? Hopping into the Campos for the end of the 2019 F2 season, he didn’t do much. Then he joined Trident last year. He scored a point so that’s nice, right? It was certainly enough for him to drive the AlphaTauri at the F1 Young Driver Test last season. Come on Sato, make us happy like your namesake Takuma! It’s another opportunity for the Japanese driver in F2 2021.