Start, F2, sprint race, Baku, 2018

F2 in race to fix “wholly unsatisfactory” start problem before Monaco

Formula Two

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Formula Two faces a race against time to identify the cause of a spate of stalls which have blighted its new car.

Five drivers failed to get away at the start of its most recent race on Sunday in Azerbaijan. Several other drivers suffered stalls during the previous three races since the new car was introduced.

With only one more round before the drivers head to the narrow confines of Monaco, where a stalled car would be especially dangerous, a test is being conducted this week to identify potential improvements to the cars.

“The problem as I’ve had it explained to me is that they can improve the mapping of the clutch paddle and the way the clutch itself works,” explained FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

“There is a problem there, they understand that, and they’re going to run the F2 test car this coming week in order to try and find some things that they can improve and have it ready for Spain.

“It’s a wholly unsatisfactory situation, though, and it Monaco it will be a whole different story.”

Formula Two championship leader Lando Norris, who stalled his car on the formation lap during Saturday’s feature race, explained the difficulty drivers faced with their starts.

“It’s not super-complicated, it’s just a very fine line between holding the clutch too much in – and revving and having no drive – to just getting to the bite point, and to being completely out of the bite point and basically stalling.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 9 comments on “F2 in race to fix “wholly unsatisfactory” start problem before Monaco”

    1. Maybe if its not fixed by Monaco they could use a rolling start? Is that feasible under the current regulations?

      1. I was about to say the same @phylyp :)

        I’m sure safety car starts are wholly within the rules and I expect that’s what they’ll end up doing, if they cannot fix the issue in time

        1. Thank you, @strontium , the only bit that confused me was that for F1, there seemed to be a big of ambiguity: the race start procedure page states: “If the weather is exceptionally bad the race director may choose to […] initially start the race behind the safety car”.

          However, since then, I found that the safety car page states that it can be used for exceptional circumstances, not limited to just poor weather: “In exceptional circumstances […] a race may begin behind the safety car”.

          Presuming that the broad regulations are identical between F1 and F2, that would mean our idea could be used.

    2. The Internatiomal Sporting Code, which ultimately governs the F2 regs, empowers the stewards to make ‘exceptional’ decisions. It would be their call, guided by the race director.

      1. Thank you, Dieter.

    3. The F2 stalls appeared a quirky blip in Bahrain, however to see this repeated in the feature and sprint races in Baku indicated that a more endemic issue with the new car. Hopefully tweaks to the clutch system will fix this, although it has made for unpredictable races it is not the right sort of unpredictability especially if it starts to impact, what looks like a competitive championship later in the season.

      1. It’s certainly not the right sort of unpredictability… It’s just luck determined who gets badly injured or worse… They simply *must* move to rolling starts immediately until this is properly sorted, which will take a while. A 5th start like this would be really pushing their luck.

    4. Wasn’t there a stalling issue with the new cars in gp2 back some many years ago… or was it f2? It is weird the same problem (is it same problem?) happened again.

    5. Robert McKay
      2nd May 2018, 20:47

      A quarter of the field stalled in Baku on one race alone, so it’s a real problem. Given they’ve had 4 four races in total with a significant number of stalled cars its either staggering skill or staggering luck that there hasn’t been a major start-line shunt.

    Comments are closed.