Start, Sochi, F2, 2018

F2 is now obligatory for new F1 drivers – Calderon

Formula Two

Posted on

| Written by and

A spell in Formula Two has become essential for aspiring Formula 1 drivers, according to GP3 racer Tatiana Calderon.

The Sauber test driver, who had her first run in the team’s F1 car last week, is looking to move from GP3 to F2 next year.

The demise of Formula V8 3.5 (previously Formula Renault 3.5) last year removed one alternative route to F1. While some recent arrivals in F1 moved up directly from F3, such as Lance Stroll in 2017, Calderon believes a spell in F2 has become virtually essential.

“If you want to go to Formula One you now are obliged to do Formula Two as well,” she said.

Calderon believes the longer F2 races could play to her strengths as a driver better than GP3.

“I’ve been always watching those races and to be honest they’re some of the best races, I would really like to have a go. I think it’s a car that could suit me with the pit stops.

“I’ve been struggling more with qualifying and I think in Formula Two you have a chance maybe if you don’t do that well in quali so hopefully that would be the case.”

A move into F2 next year would be a logical next step for the 25-year-old, she admitted.

“We’re still waiting and organising but I would love to do Formula Two. To start testing after Abu Dhabi end of the season race would be amazing.

“We are putting everything together,” she added. “The budget depends with which team you go [to]. There is quite a lot but our intention is to really go for Formula Two.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

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...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, Formula 2Tags , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 17 comments on “F2 is now obligatory for new F1 drivers – Calderon”

    1. I dont really see her point but i hope her F2 way leads to F1.

      1. I really hope she does well. It would be great for a number of reasons, but especially because she is a woman. Her appointment at Sauber was not deserved based upon results, she has shown herself to be about average, not winning a single race in F3 and I think one podium appearance. I think it’s transparent to many people that Tatiana is there because she is a woman and it’s a good marketing stunt by Sauber. However, if she suddenly comes to F2 and actually seems competitive then it could be a good story. Otherwise, it will be another woman racer being used as a pawn by an F1 team.

    2. At 25 she should already be in F1 with the current standards. Hope she gets an F2 seat next year

    3. Yes because Ocon, Verstappen, Stroll, Bottas, Kvyat, Wehrlein and Sainz must completely agree with her ;)

      1. @mrsleepy3, the point is that Calderon is talking about the way that the licencing system was restructured in 2017, as it has clearly been set up with the intention of forcing drivers to have to go through Formula 2 in order to become eligible to compete in F1.

        When they cut the number of points that you can get from winning a Formula 3 championship last year, plus the rules that mean a champion cannot stay on in the same series, a driver who won a Formula 3 or GP3 title now can’t jump straight into F1 – they will not be awarded enough points to get a superlicence to race in F1 and will not be allowed to race in F1.

        That is why, in mid 2017, the Formula 2 technical director Didier Perrin stated “The superlicence points system is going to be revised. It’s going to become almost compulsory to race in F2 – it won’t be mandatory in theory, but it will be the preferred path to F1.” – it is that change in the licencing system that she is referring to, and that is why your comparison with all of the above drivers is irrelevant.

        Bottas, Kvyat, Verstappen and Sainz all joined the sport before the current superlicence points system came into force, and Sainz had already competed in Formula Renault 3.5 at a time when that series was considered equivalent to Formula 2.

        As for Ocon, Wehrlein and Stroll, all of those drivers entered the sport before they changed the rules in 2017 – the original rules, as written in 2015 and first implemented in 2016, did allow a Formula 3 driver to jump straight into F1. Furthermore, in the case of Ocon and Wehrlein, I believe both of them had already applied for their superlicences before the new rules kicked in back in 2016 (I believe that they deliberately did so because they both knew that the new system was coming in for 2016 and made sure to get their superlicences before the rules were changed).

        Only Stroll had to face the post 2016 superlicence system, and even then that was under the less strict 2016 version of the rules that did award enough points to enter F1 on the back of a Formula 3 title – it was after he entered that the rules were changed to force drivers through Formula 2.

        That is why those drivers could enter F1 straight from Formula 3 – because the rules at the time allowed them to make the jump at that point, whereas now they would not be allowed to. In fact, quite a few of them almost certainly were rushed into F1 because they were about to change the rules and their backers wanted to make sure they got a seat before the rules were changed.

        1. There’s a bit of an oversight in your post: GP3 or F3 winners can go straight to F1 if they accumulated the needed points deficit in the two years before they won the series. Which would not be unusual.

          1. @mattds, true, I stand corrected that it is not impossible for a driver to secure enough points before then, but the way that the points system has been set up is intended to make it difficult for them to do that. There are ways in which a driver could fail to qualify, as only a limited number of series could offer enough points – somebody who went down the GP3 route, which offered fewer points (only 25 for winning the championship) could still fall short even if they did win that championship.

            The FIA, as I understand it, is unable to proscribe a particular path into F1, but they have made it clear that they do have a preferred path that includes having the driver through Formula 2 (which is what Didier Perrin was referring to) – so, although they can’t say “no Formula 3 or GP3 champions can go directly into F1 any more”, they can set the points system up for the licences to make it unlikely that they can score enough points to do that.

    4. Another long but well argued post anon, well put.

    5. All of the last five F2 champions have made their way into F1 (provided Russell wins, although Albon looks like he could be in F1 as well), and 10 of the 13 champions have made their way into F1, of which only Palmer and Vandoorne didn’t get an F1 drive the very next season. Which shows that if you are able to prove your talent in F2, it’s more than likely that F1 teams will be willing to snap you up. I think it would do teams more good if they put their young prospects in F2 first instead of promoting them straight from F3 or GP3.

      1. I think doing F2 is more important for the average and less good drivers. The good drivers are ready for f1 after gp3 and f3 and having to do F2 is more like a hurdle for some of the talented drivers because F2 is so massively expensive. The problem with the current super license points system is that it was nothing more than knee jerk reaction to verstappen’s entry to f1 and basically a financial move to make more money for f2 owners by forcing more people through it. Let’s not forget certain briatore and ecclestone were the ones behind the gp2 that then became f2…

    6. Before the new super licensing system came out everyone had a shot by going through any series and be successful. F3, FR3.5, GP3, GP2/F2.
      I read an article about Matsushita and Honda wanting one of their drivers in F1.
      But even if he wins Super Formula, he doesn’t have enough points. The only way to make it is to go win F2 or one of the other series like F3 or GP3 and be successful there too.
      In the past, where a team could test anyone, anywhere and anytime, to see if they are good enough to race in F1 or just one race to see.
      In the end its always down to luck and timing. And sometimes the misfortune of others.

    7. Excellent explanation from anon. And it’s a good thing too that they changed the rules. Hopefully fewer pay drivers will result and the best prospects will gravitate to F2 to prove themselves against each other.

    8. I’d rather see Hubert or Mazepin or Illot making the jump to F2 than her.

      1. Hubert has 190 more points than her, I think that’s more than a car just not suiting her.

    9. Dreaming the F1 dream, but it’s not very likely to happen being 16th in GP3 today and looking at her growth.

    10. Well, Jordan King and Oliver Rowland enjoyed success in f2 and what has happened to them now?

    11. lots of calderon articles recently.

    Comments are closed.