F2 and F3 Change Weekend Format
By Anna Blow
Formula 2 and Formula 3 will go back to having two races a weekend in 2022.
The decision was made by the Formula 2 and Formula 3 promoters, along with the FIA, to go back to the two-race format for next year, after only, one year with the three-race format for the two championships.
Along with the decision to change the race format, it has been decided that F2 and F3 will once again race on the same weekends.
From next year, a round for both championships will feature one practice session, one qualifying session and two races.
Formula 2 car on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 2019. Photo credit: Anna Blow
The format was changed for this season to try and help with cutting the costs for the teams as it meant that with another race on a weekend they could go to less weekends and cut the cost of for the F2 teams by around a third, while F3 would have more races per season.
They also decided that Formula 2 and Formula 3 couldn’t race on the same weekends due to the timetables.
However, that meant that there were gaps in the calendars, with an eight-week gap between Silverstone in July and Monza in September for F2 while F3 had a six-week gap between Barcelona in May and Le Castellet in June.
The drivers therefore spent too long out of the cars while trying to impress team bosses and with some drivers not getting the benefit of a Formula 1 team and their state-of-the-art simulators to help keep their skills sharp.
This was one of the reasons for the change back to a two-race format. However, it is not a change back to the old format.
The new format will see the qualifying session make up the race for the Feature Race, which will stay on the Sunday, while the top ten from qualifying will be reversed to make up the grid for the Saturday Sprint Race.
FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 Championship CEO Bruno Michel said: “In 2021, we introduced a new race weekend format and chose to have F2 and F3 race separately, mainly for cost reasons, and it proved to be quite efficient.
“However, even if sporting-wise that new format worked pretty well, we understood that there was too much time between each event, which was not ideal for the teams, the drivers and the fans.
“At the same time, there has been a strong will by the different stakeholders to have F1, F2 and F3 racing together again.
“After careful consideration, together with the FIA, we have decided to change the sporting regulations accordingly.
“This is great news for the fans because we are enhancing the overall F1 Grand Prix weekend experience, having all three Championships racing together, at as many events as possible.
“However, we are keeping our races where the most points are allocated and the stakes are higher on Sundays, ahead of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“It’s worked quite well this year and I believe this has bought a lot of action and entertainment on Sunday morning.”
Along with the new format both F2 and F3 have changed their points systems for the weekend.
As it has for a while the Feature Races, that will be on the Sunday, will have the same points system as the current Formula One points system.
However, there will now be two points for pole position and one point for fastest lap per race.
The F2 Sprint Race will award points to the top eight and it will go 10 points for 10th, eight points for 2nd, six points for 3rd, five points for 4th, four points for 5th, three points for 6th, two points for 7th and one point for 8th.
The F3 Sprint Race will award points for the top ten with 10 points for 1st, nine points for 2nd, eight points for 3rd, seven points for 4th, six points for 5th, five points for 6th, four points for 7th, three points for 8th, two points for 9th and one point for 10th.
With the format heading back to a two-race weekend it means that the drivers will get back to racing on a more variety of circuits as they follow F1 around the world.
Formula 2 will start their season in Bahrain on the 18th to the 20th of March, heading to a record number of 14 venues alongside F1 before ending the season in Abu Dhabi on the 18th to the 20th of November.
Meanwhile, Formula 3 will match their record of rounds for the season, racing alongside F1 and F2 at nine venues starting in Bahrain at the same time as Formula 1 and 2, heading to a few different venues before ending in Monza, Italy on the 9th to the 11th of September.