F2, F3 tests flag off in Bahrain today!
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Three days of pre-season testing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and FIA Formula 3 Championship get underway today in Bahrain.
F2 and F3 are the chief feeder series to Formula 1, and they will be taking to the track at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in preparation for the start of their 2024 seasons.
Both championships will be kicking off their new campaigns in support of the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024, taking place at BIC from February 29 to March 2 as the first round of this year’s 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
The pre-season tests in the Kingdom will see F2 and F3 teams alternating track time.
For F2, they will be running today from 5pm to 8pm, and then tomorrow and on Tuesday from 11.45am to 2.15pm and again from 5.15pm to 7.45pm.
For F3, the drivers will be out on track in the morning from 9am to 11.30am on all three days.
The afternoon session today will be from 1.30pm to 4pm, while for tomorrow and on Tuesday it will be from 2.30pm to 5pm.
The F2 runners will be testing after having already briefly sampled their cars in a shakedown event held in Barcelona in the last week of January, in which all 11 F2 teams were involved.
F2 is entering a new era this year with the introduction of a brand-new car.
The Bahrain tests will be the first time all 22 challengers will be on track together.
Of the F2 field, 12 are returnees while 10 are rookies, with 17 different nationalities being represented across the grid.
The shakedown was intended to help teams get to grips as quickly as possible with the new machinery that will be used this season.
A total of 649 laps and 3,018kms of running was achieved between all of the teams and drivers. Prema Racing driver and Mercedes Junior Team star Andrea Kimi Antonelli was the busiest of the pack, registering 53 laps for his squad.
“The shakedown we did is to make sure that the teams can have a first test of the car before going to Bahrain,” said F2 technical director Pierre-Alain Michot.
“It’s just done with one car so they can fully focus on the intricacies of the operation of the car instead of splitting their attentions across two.”
Along with Antonelli, Victor Martins will be looking to build on his debut campaign in 2023 when he finished as the highest-placed rookie for F2 champions ART Grand Prix.
Last season’s F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto has graduated to F2 this season and lines up for Invicta Racing.
The other F2 squads are Rodin Motorsport, DAMS Lucas Oil, MP Motorsport, Van Amersfoort Racing, Hitech PulseEight, Campos Racing, Trident and PHM AIX Racing.
For F3, 10 teams with 30 cars will be out for pre-season testing and then for the 2024 championship.
The competing outfits this season include defending champions Prema Racing, Trident, MP Motorsport, Campos Racing, Hitech PulseEight, Jenzer Motorsport, Van Amersfoort Racing, ART Grand Prix, PHM AIX Racing and Rodin Motorsport.
The 2024 F2 season is set to feature 14 rounds, flagging off in Bahrain and concluding in Abu Dhabi in December, while the F3 championship consists of 10 rounds, beginning in the Kingdom and ending in September in Monza, Italy.
FORMULA 2 TEAMS AND DRIVERS
ART Grand Prix: Victor Martins, Zak O’Sullivan
Prema Racing: Oliver Bearman, Andrea Kimi Antonelli
Rodin Motorsport: Zane Maloney, Ritomo Miyata
DAMS Lucas Oil: Jak Crawford, Juan Manuel Correa
Invicta Racing: Kush Maini, Gabriel Bortoleto
MP Motorsport: Dennis Hauger, Franco Colapinto
Van Amersfoort Racing: Enzo Fittipaldi, Rafael Villagomez
Hitech Pulse-Eight: Amaury Cordeel, Paul Aron
Campos Racing: Isack Hadjar, Josep Maria Marti
Trident: Richard Verschoor, Roman Stanek
PHM AIX Racing: Joshua Durksen, Taylor
Barnard FORMULA 3 TEAMS AND DRIVERS
Prema Racing: Dino Beganovic, Gabriele Mini, Arvid Lindbald
Trident: Leonardo Fornaroli, Sami Meguetounif, Santaigo Ramos
MP Motorsport: Tim Tramnitz, Kacper Sztuka, Alex Dunne
Campos Racing: Oliver Goethe, Sebastian Montoya, Mari Boya
Pulse-Eight: Luke Browning, Martinius Stenshorne, Cian Shields Jenzer
Hitech Motorsport: Charlie Wurz, Max Esterson, Matias Zagazeta
Van Amersfoort Racing: Noel Leon, Sophia Florsch, Tommy Smith
ART Grand Prix: Christian Mansell, Laurens van Hoepen, Nikola Tsolov
PHM AIX Racing: Tasanapol Inthraphuyasak, Nikita Bedrin, Joshua Dufek
Rodin Motorsport: Callum Voisin, Piotr Wisnicki, Joseph Loake