BIC set for F2, F3 testing
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is just under a month away from hosting the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024, but the action kicks off next week leading up to this year’s highly anticipated F1 extravaganza.
“The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” is set to host pre-season testing from next Sunday to Tuesday for both the FIA Formula 2 Championship and FIA Formula 3 Championship—both of which will be supporting the top flight as the Kingdom celebrates “20 Years of a Modern Classic”, showcasing Bahrain’s 20th anniversary in F1.
The tests will give the F2 and F3 runners much-needed track time ahead of the start of their 2024 campaigns in Bahrain.
Their season-openers will be part of the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, set for 29 February to 2 March in Sakhir.
The two F1 feeder series feature some of the sport’s future stars and current test and reserve drivers. F2 is the last rung on the ladder to F1, with many of the championship’s graduates starring in the pinnacle of motorsport today, including Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, George Russell of Mercedes, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri of McLaren, Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant of Williams, Yuki Tsunoda of RB and Zhou Guanyu of Kick Sauber.
All 11 F2 teams, each fielding two cars, will be at the tests, including defending champions ART Grand Prix, Prema Racing, Rodin Motorsport, DAMS Lucas Oil, Invicta Racing, MP Motorsport, Van Amersfoort Racing, Hitech Pulse-Eight, Campos Racing, Trident and PHM AIX Racing.
Meanwhile, F3 has 10 teams and a 30-car grid, and they will all be at BIC looking to get the most from their 2024 contenders.
The competing outfits this season include defending champions Prema Racing, Trident, MP Motorsport, Campos Racing, Hitech Pulse-Eight, Jenzer Motorsport, Van Amersfoort Racing, ART Grand Prix, PHM AIX Racing and Rodin Motorsport.
They will each be at the pre-season tests at BIC. F2 and F3 will each be holding two races during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, along with practices and qualifying. Both series’ Sprint Races will take place on the Friday of the race weekend, with the Feature Races to follow on Saturday.
Practices and qualifying are scheduled for Thursday. The 2024 F2 season is set to feature 14 rounds, flagging off in Bahrain and concluding in Abu Dhabi in December, while the 2024 F3 championship consists of 10 rounds, beginning at BIC and ending in September in Monza, Italy.
Following the F2 and F3 tests, BIC will also be hosting three days of Formula 1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing from 21 to 23 February.
F1 fans who had purchased their tickets to the grand prix before 1 February will get free access to the two open days of F1 tests on 22 and 23 February.
The tests will offer fans a sneak preview of what’s to come in the new campaign, and it will be the F1 teams’ only chance to get crucial information on their cars’ performance on track ahead of the first race of the championship in Bahrain.
F2 and F3 are to be joined on the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 support programme by the Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East—the region’s leading one-make series which will be holding the fifth and penultimate round of its 2023/2024 season in the Kingdom.
Fans who have not yet secured their tickets to the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 are advised to do so at the earliest to avoid missing out on the landmark occasion.
F2 and F3 also held pre-season testing at BIC last year.