F2 and F3 have confirmed the details of the new weekend formats they will run, supporting the 2021 F1 season. The junior series’ weekend will still include a single qualifying session, determining reverse and traditional grids.
Both F2 and F3 are moving to an eight-event race calendar next year, supporting different Grand Prix weekends. Splitting the series affords them more potential track time, allowing events to include three races rather than the previous format’s two.
Both series’ Friday sessions will continue as before, running a 45 minute free practice session and a 30 minute qualifying session. The qualifying order will then be used to determine a reverse-grid start for the first race on Saturday and use the order as qualified for the race on Sunday. A second race on Saturday will use the first race that day’s finishing order to determine a reverse grid.
F2 & F3: 45 minutes of free practice and a 30 minute, single-session qualifying.
Drivers who score pole in either series will be awarded four points.
F3: Race One will use a starting order determined by taking the qualifying result and reversing the top 12 drivers’ positions.
Race Two will use a starting order determined by taking the finishing order of Race One and reversing the top 12 drivers’ positions.
Both races will be 40 minutes long. There will be fewer points available in each of the two Saturday races than in Sunday’s race, as they use reverse rather than conventional grids. The top ten finishers in each race will be awarded, from first to tenth, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points.
F2: Race One will use a starting order determined by taking the qualifying result and reversing the top 10 drivers’ positions.
Race Two will use a starting order determined by taking the finishing order of Race One and reversing the top 10 drivers’ positions.
Both races will be a sprint format lasting 45 minutes or 120 kilometres, whichever is met first. Points will be awarded as for the sprint race in F2’s old format, with the top eight scoring 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 points, from first to eighth in each race. Two points will be awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap in each race, provided that they finish in the top ten.
F3: Race Three will use a starting order determined by the fastest laps set in Friday’s qualifying.
The race will, again, be 40 minutes long. More points will be awarded in the Sunday race than either Saturday race, as the starting order was determined by qualification. The points will follow F1’s format, with 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 points being awarded to the top 10 finishers. Two points will be awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap in each race, provided that they finish in the top ten.
F2: Race Three will use a starting order determined by the fastest laps set in Friday’s qualifying.
The third race will be a feature format, over one hour or 170 kilometres, whichever condition is met first.
Points will be awarded as per the existing feature race format, following F1’s points sysem with the top 10 finishers scoring 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, from first to tenth. The driver who sets the fastest lap will be awarded 2 points, provided they finish within the top ten.
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17 comments on “Formula 2 and 3’s new three-race weekend formats announced”
Steve Rogers (@yossarian)
1st December 2020, 16:18
I hate it. Overly complicated and just asking for competitors to “game the system” such as targeting 8-12th in qualifying or holding place in 12th in Race 1 instead of attacking as pole would be more beneficial and give the chance of more points.
If and its a big if they feel they need to do this and really want more “racing” by cars out of position why not do what they do in a lot of karting competitions? 3 sprint races with random grid slots (so a driver will always have 1 near the front, 1 in the middle and 1 at the back) with the results from those deciding starting positions for the feature race where the majority of points are won. Most of the drivers will have experience of it and there would be no “gaming” it.
1st December 2020, 16:54
@yossarian Yes, this new format just seems all too confusing. Something straight out of Motorsport Manager. And yet, I will most likely be watching because the racing is genuinely good. F2 cars can follow each other. Hopefully F1 learns from junior series in that sense (but not the format, thanks).
1st December 2020, 16:54
Thing is, you’d have to be pretty stupid to targeting to qualify 12th just to win one race, which will then make you start the second race in 12th on the grid anyway, as well as the feature race.
Steve Rogers (@yossarian)
1st December 2020, 18:56
Ah, but say there are 3-4 drivers in a league of their own (often the case these days) Then using pole to try and get a win while they’re back in traffic makes more sense point wise than maximising your potential of a series of 6th positions.
2nd December 2020, 8:50
Williams would do this for the exposure…
1st December 2020, 18:37
@yossarian there doesn’t seem to be any clear explanation for why the race format has been changed in this manner.
Whilst the official announcement from the FIA mentions “spicing up the championship” as the reason for this change in format, I’m half wondering if it’s also about the FIA making up for the overall calendar being 33% shorter (from 12 rounds to 8) by introducing an extra race per round: if you do that, then the total number of races per season is the same (24).
Steve Rogers (@yossarian)
1st December 2020, 18:53
Honestly I was assuming this was the case which is why I suggested the heat system. Otherwise I’d just say leave it as it is, if it ain’t broke, and use the extra time to showcase a national series, the W series or similiar
1st December 2020, 16:56
1st December 2020, 17:29
@jeff1s you are not the only one..
1st December 2020, 17:07
There’s just a *bit* too much reverse shuffling there for comfort. One reverse grid race is fine, two – especially when the second reverse grid race itself uses the results of a reverse grid race – feels a bit too much.
I’d have preferred them either extending the qualifying into a more F1-like knockout session format and keeping the two races, or making the extra race a real super-sprint format, say half the length of the sprint race, with no reversing of grids.
Also, given they will run three races there’s no excuse for not trialling one race per weekend as DRS free and really forcing proper overtaking.
1st December 2020, 17:22
I’m honestly not a fan of this. The two-race weekend format is better.
1st December 2020, 17:26
I suppose they gifted lower ranks to a child of one of FIA officials so it could play “making the rules” game. Just a thought – why do the race winner get most points? Imagine if it was the 7th place, followed by 12th, then 3rd… Imagine all the drivers speeding up, slowing down, overtaking then trying to get themselves overtaken… That’s the show I wanna watch. Ah and some power-ups please. And let’s split it all into 3 laps races, 20 races per day, just for the kicks.
Hazel Southwell (@hazelsouthwell)
1st December 2020, 17:55
This might be an uncharitable joke but isn’t that how rallycross works…
Euro Brun (@eurobrun)
1st December 2020, 19:11
I’m surprised, given by how messy that this is, that in F2 in particular, they didn’t give the full reverse grid (championship order) idea that they keep banging on about a go in race 1. Then race 2 start by race 1 results (so there is effectively 2 races to get from the back to the front.
Then the proper race (3) by the qualifying results.
F3 is probably too big a field, with too many novices to risk a full 30 car reverse grid.
1st December 2020, 23:04
If aint broke, don’t fix it.
1st December 2020, 23:49
No, I don’t like it either. GP2/F2 has had the best racing of all over the past few years and I wanted it to stay exactly as is.
This cheapens it a bit in my opinion – too much reversing. I would have preferred two qualifying sessions overall.
Brett Woods (@pertwee)
3rd December 2020, 7:31
Round and round and round she goes who is the winner? Nobody knows!
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