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Embracing a New Epoch for the Future

2024 F2 Prototype (Credit - FIA)

It’s 2024. We have entered a new chapter in Formula 2. Big changes to the regulations are in place, providing an ideal platform for young drivers to prove they can hang with motorsport’s elite. Dallara’s radical concept is geared towards providing them with an optimal training setup to perfect their craft.

The grid this season at its competitive peak. 7 drivers from F3 including champion Gabriel Bortoleto (Left) and runner-up Zak O’Sullivan (Right) have also made the promotion to the Formula 2 lineup. Multiple European and Asian Junior formula winners including Isack Hadjar, Ritomo Miyata, Dennis Hauger and Franco Colapinto are also in the mix.  

Kimi Antonelli (Credit - FIA)

So many exciting names yet no one has generated the buzz quite like Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The Mercedes junior driver is heavily linked to a seat at the legendary team after Lewis Hamilton’s departure. After winning the Formula Regional European Championship, he has taken a massive leap to Formula 2, driving for perennial champions Prema.

In terms of the team news, a household name The Carlin family announced their departure from the Formula 2 paddock. The team are now rechristened as Rodin Motorsport.

Sakhir sprint podium left to right: Jack Crawford, Zane Maloney, Josep Martí (Credit - FIA)

The season kicked off in style last Thursday at Bahrain. In the sultry sands of Sakhir, Zane Maloney identified himself as the man to beat. During the sprint he cleaned house, picking off drivers one by one. His stunning divebomb on Enzo Fittipaldi showed guts and a great sense of where the grip lied.

The Bajan man didn’t slow down for a second and blitzed to victory. He followed it up by winning the feature race in identical fashion, and laid down the gauntlet for the rest of the grid to catchup.

The rookies from F3 showed up in good fashion. Champion and challenger continued with their rivalry on track as Bortoletto, had a rocky start after being slapped with a 10 second penalty for a collision with Campos’s Isack Hadjar. He recovered with a late charge to P5 narrowly losing out to O’Sullivan in a last lap shootout.

Josep Martí could not have asked for a better start to his F2 career. By using an aggressive strategy of starting with soft tires in both races, he worked his way up the order and had a well-earned double podium. Estonian Paul Aron had a terrific comeback taking home third place in the feature race and made his joy clear with an emotional post-race radio.

Paul Aron(left) and Kush Maini(right)

It was a mixed weekend for Bortoletto’s teammate Kush Maini. He was disqualified due to a technical infringement on his car losing his pole position to the Brazilian. Starting last on the grid, he fought his way back showcasing consistent pace, making good moves and eventually settled for P7. Overall, a good haul of points for Invicta Racing.

Dennis Hauger had a quiet start to his second season in F2 taking home two 8th place finishes. Don’t sleep on him whatsoever, the ex-Red Bull junior will definitely have a say in the championship as the calendar rolls on.

Jack Crawford failed to do good on his sprint podium as drive issues during a pitstop forced him to retired. Multiple drivers including ART’s Victor Martin and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi struggled in both races and languished behind the rest of the grid. Taylor Barnard couldn’t capitalize on his qualifying form and fell out of the points in both events.

Surprising to most, Prema looked way off the mark. A tough qualifying session saw Antonelli and teammate Ollie Bearman only muster up 17th and 18th place respectively. And while Antonelli did gain ground early in the race, tire management hampered his chances eventually resulting in only a 10th place for the Italian. Bearman stalled at the start, picked up contact damage and struggled in the race going scoreless. The team hopes this is a one-off and look to bounce back at Jeddah this coming weekend.

Whilst watching the cars thunder down the track, the difference in performance was clear. The revamp in the car’s aerodynamics worked as drivers could comfortably go wheel-to-wheel racing from start to finish. Both races were packed with action as they fought tooth and nail for each position. These early signs indicate that the new generation of Formula 2 is going to be electric to watch.

The season has kicked off with great momentum and the prospects are enticing. With some of motorsports best future stars competing for the crown, each race will add its own unique twist to a wonderful story. Formula 1’s premier feeder series is back and it’s looking better than ever.

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Well written and informative

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