Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, but many drivers need to make their way through Formula 2 first. The junior series has produced some of the best F1 drivers of the modern era. But you might be wondering if F1 and F2 race together at the same tracks.
F1 and F2 do not race together, but they often race at some of the same tracks throughout the season. F2 doesn’t race at every circuit with F1, but races often occur on the same weekend at the same track. This is because F2 is a support series to F1, which means they race in between F1 sessions.
The junior series is filled with Formula 1 hopefuls that are looking to impress the bigger teams to land their dream seat in a Formula 1 team. Below, we take a closer look at how the two series work together on a race weekend.
Do F1 & F2 Race On The Same Tracks?
Formula 1 and Formula 2 events do take place on the same tracks. Since Formula 2 is the support series for Formula 1, they often have their sessions in between the F1 sessions. For example, when the Free Practice 1 finishes for Formula 1, the Formula 2 drivers will start their practice session.
KEY FACT: The Formula 2 season is slightly shorter than that of Formula 1, with just 14 rounds compared to more than 20 in the premier series
Formula 2 often won’t race at circuits like Interlagos in Brazil or at Suzuka in Japan, but Formula 1 does. This is simply because of how the Formula 2 calendar is set up. The teams and drivers also have smaller budgets and can’t afford to travel to every location that Formula 1 visits.
To make up for the fewer rounds, more races are held at each round. Each Formula 2 round will have a Sprint race and a Feature race. Having more races allows the drivers to get more mileage in their cars, and they have more opportunities to showcase their skills to Formula 1 teams (who they ultimately need to impress to get a race seat).
Does F3 Race At F1 Tracks?
F3 does race at F1 tracks, but like F2, the F3 season is much shorter than that of Formula 1. F3 only has around 9 rounds for an entire season, and to make up for the lack of rounds they also use Sprint and Feature races. This allows drivers to get more racing experience in a shorter space of time.
Formula 3 is another junior series that is below Formula 2. These drivers graduate into the Formula 2 series if they are good enough to climb the incredibly competitive motorsport ladder. It’s one of the steps to Formula 1, but it’s also a series where drivers can showcase their skills and potential to the world as they also form part of the support races for Formula 1.
Formula 3 is a junior series even to Formula 2, so the budgets are even smaller, which is why the series travels to fewer tracks than the others. Nevertheless, Formula 3 still goes to some of the biggest Formula 1 tracks on the calendar, such as Bahrain, Silverstone in the UK, and Monza in Italy.
KEY POINTS• F1, F2 and F3 all race on the same tracks
• F2 won’t visit all the F1 tracks, and F3 won’t visit all the F2 tracks
• The two junior series both host several races per event
Do F1 & F2 Cars Ever Race Together?
Formula 1 and Formula 2 cars never race together. They are different classes with different rules and different types of cars. Formula 2 cars have smaller engines and are slower than Formula 1 cars, and it simply wouldn’t be safe or fair for them to race together.
In addition, Formula 2 has a different weekend set up compared to Formula 1. While Formula 1 has one main Grand Prix, and in some cases a Sprint race, Formula 2 has a Sprint race and a Feature race in every round that they participate in.
Combining the two series together would not work because Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, and having the feeder series racing at the same time would interfere with the main attraction. Formula 2 drivers are also less experienced, which creates an issue of safety.
The Benefits Of Racing At The Same Tracks
While they don’t race at the same time, F2 still benefits from racing at the same tracks as the F1 teams. Formula 1 is filmed in a complex and expensive way, which is why the production value of the sport is so high. Moving all of the broadcasting equipment around and getting it all set up costs millions of dollars.
Formula 2 saves on these costs by using the same setups and broadcasting equipment that Formula 1 uses. This means that the series can benefit from world class broadcasting without having to pay the extreme costs involved.
For the drivers and teams, they have the opportunity to impress Formula 1 teams with their skills in the car and exposure in front of the media. Many drivers start making a name for themselves once they reach Formula 2, and that’s when they get spotted by Formula 1 teams and make their way into the pinnacle of motorsport.
Drivers like George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris all impressed their future teams in Formula 2, which is how they managed to land their Formula 1 seats. Being on the world stage in front of Formula 1 teams and drivers, as well as millions of spectators, is possibly the biggest benefit of driving in Formula 2.
Does F2 Race Before F1?
F2 races take place before F1 Grands Prix. On a Sunday, the Formula 2 Feature race is held before the F1 Grand Prix. This race serves as a build up to the main Formula 1 event and gives the crowd something to watch while they wait for the F1 race to get started in the afternoon.
Racing just before Formula 1 gives the young Formula 2 drivers the opportunity to get plenty of TV time, as the races are broadcast worldwide. They also have the benefit of the Formula 1 spectators being in the grandstands to watch the race. If it was a standalone event, they would have less TV coverage and fewer spectators in the grandstands.
Having the Formula 2 race before Formula 1 can be good and bad. In heavy rain or on circuits where there is a lot of dust and sand such as in Bahrain, the Formula 2 cars will clean up the track. This ensures that the Formula 1 cars have plenty of grip, and the track won’t be green when the main Grand Prix gets underway.
However, there have also been delays caused by Formula 2 races. If drivers crash in Formula 2 and there are extensive repairs needed to the barriers for the track to be safe again, the start of the Grand Prix could be delayed. There have been several occasions where a crash in Formula 2 has delayed a Formula 1 event.
KEY POINTS• F2 races take place before F1 races
• The cars from each series never compete together
• Having F2 race before F1 has its pros and cons
Do F1 & F2 Teams Use The Same Pit Lane?
Formula 1 and Formula 2 will use the same pit lane, depending on the track layout. There are some circuits, such as Sakhir in Bahrain and the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, that have dedicated Formula 2 pit lanes that the junior series can use whenever they race.
On other circuits like Monza and Silverstone, the Formula 2 teams needs to unpack their gear and cars into the Formula 1 pit lane, and pack it back up again when they are done. This might seem like a lot of effort, but it’s necessary if they want to get track time on the same day as Formula 1.
On some circuits there are pit lanes and garages that are outdated and can no longer be used by Formula 1. These garages may be taken over by Formula 2 teams and drivers, which would also separate them from the Formula 1 crews. In this case, they would not need to move their cars and equipment after each event.
Formula 1 garages remain in use for Formula 1 teams for the entire weekend, and they are simply closed for Formula 2 races. If Formula 2 needs to use the same pit lane, basic equipment like wheel guns, tires, and starter motors will be brought into the Formula 1 pit lane.
The cars will leave the circuit in a designated area after each session. For example, at the Hungaroring, they turn off at turn two to head back to their Formula 2 paddock.
Where Are F2 Cars Set Up?
Since the Formula 2 cars are brought out for every session and drive back into their own paddock after every session, you may be wondering how the mechanics work on the cars. Car setup is critical in Formula 2 because all the cars are essentially equal, and drivers need to get their car set up properly if they want to get an advantage over their rivals.
The Formula 2 teams usually have tents set up in the middle of the circuit, away from the Formula 1 paddock. These tents are used to protect the cars and the mechanics from the elements, and all of their equipment is stored under these tents as well. This is where the Formula 2 teams work on their cars during the Formula 1 race weekend.
Having this setup allows the teams and drivers to have their own designated area where they can work on their cars and debrief after every session. This is essential in motorsport, and it’s also a key part of the learning curve in getting to Formula 1.
Formula 2 races on some of the same tracks that Formula 1 races on. However, the two series never race at the same time. Formula 2 races will take place before Formula 1 races, and this means the feeder series gets the benefit of having a large crowd of spectators, and they can use the world class broadcasting equipment that Formula 1 uses as well.