2017 FIA Formula 2 season preview

April 12, 2017
Featured, News
Alexander S

  • 2017 Formula 2

The 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship kicks off this weekend at Bahrain International Circuit and there will be a plenty of new faces.

New name of the series and lesser number of cars

This will be the 51st season of the championship that was renamed this year. The former GP2 Series over the years also was called European Formula 2 and International Formula 3000, but whatever was the name, this championship always was the best springboard for the drivers to find their place in the Formula 1 World Championship. Despite the name change, the series will retain the GP2 regulations as originally scheduled.

Sergio Canamasas Trident

Sergio Canamasas, Trident, during pre-season test

This season will be the last in which Dallara GP2/11 chassis and Mecachrome 4.0-litre V8 normally aspirated engines will be used. In 2018 new chassis and engine packages will be introduced and it will be interesting see whether that change make the series more attractive.

In 2017 we will see less number of cars on the grid after Carlin decided to leave the series with a wish to concentrate on their Indy Lights program. Hilmer Motorsport was planned to return to the series after missing the 2016 season, but the German team was unable to secure funds for the full season program and was dropped from the championship.

Calendar changes

The race format remained unchanged, so there will be two races per weekend. Just like in 2016, a total of 11 rounds will be held but there were some changes. Ten rounds will go on as supporting events of Formula 1 World Championship races, while Jerez Circuit for the first time will host the series as a stand-alone event planned as the penultimate round of the season.

Jerez Circuit

Jerez Circuit will host F2 race for the first time

The series returned to Bahrain International Circuit, while the races at Hockenheim and Sepang International Circuit were dropped from 2017 calendar.

2017 FIA Formula 2 calendar

April 15/16Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain
May 13/14Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
May 26/27Circuit de Monaco, Monaco
June 24/25Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan
July 8/9Red Bull Ring, Austria
July 15/16Silverstone Circuit, Great Britain
July 29/30Hungaroring, Hungary
August 26/27Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
September 2/3Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy
October 7/8Circuito de Jerez, Spain
November 25/26Yas Marina Circuit, United Arab Emirates

Departures, arrivals, and driver line-up changes

Man well-known names from the previous years also left the series, including the reigning champion Pierre Gasly. Mitch Evans, Antonio Giovinazzi, Alex Lynn, Sergey Sirotkin, and Raffaele Marciello are just some of the drivers which got a new opportunity or decided to try their luck at the higher levels of racing.

Prema Racing Formula Two

Prema Racing with Fuoco and Leclerc as drivers will try to defend the title

A couple of new talents will make their debut in the series. The reigning GP3 Series champion Charles Leclerc will drive alongside another Ferrari academy driver Antonio Fuoco for the reigning champions Prema Racing. Alexander Albon, who was the GP3 Series runner-up last year, will drive for ART Grand Prix, the team he drove for last year in the GP3. Nyck De Vries and Ralph Boschung also arrived from the GP3, while Sergio Sette Camara last year raced in the European Formula 3 Championship.

Finally, many drivers changed teams during the off-season. Oliver Rowland moved from MP Motorsport to DAMS while his Renault Sport Academy colleague Louis Deletraz joined Racing Engineering after he left Carlin. Sergio Canamasas also left Carlin to join Trident, Norman Nato returned to Arden after spending a year with Racing Engineering while Gustav Malja switched from Rapax to Racing Engineering.

Norman Nato

Norman Nato returned to the Arden team

Talented Italian driver Luca Ghiotto left Trident to join Russian Time team. Jordan King joined MP Motorsport after leaving Racing Engineering and Sean Gelael will drive for Arden after he left Campos Racing.

2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship entry list

Car #DriverCountryTeam
1Charles LeclercMonacoPrema Racing
2Antonio FuocoItalyPrema Racing
3Louis DeletrazSwitzerlandRacing Engineering
4Gustav MaljaSwedenRacing Engineering
5Luca GhiottoItalyRussian Time
6Artem MarkelovRussiaRussian Time
7Nobuharu MatsushitaJapanART Grand Prix
8Alexander AlbonThailandART Grand Prix
9Oliver RowlandUnited KingdomDAMS
10Nicholas LatifiCanadaDAMS
11Ralf BoschungSwitzerlandCampos Racing
12Stefano ColettiMonacoCampos Racing
14Sergio Sette CamaraBrazilMP Motorsport
15Jordan KingUnited KingdomMP Motorsport
16 Nabil JeffriMalaysiaTrident
17Sergio CanamasasSpainTrident
18Nyck De VriesThe NetherlandsRapax
19Johnny CecottoVenezuelaRapax
20Norman NatoFrancePertamina Arden
21Sean GelaelIndonesiaPertamina Arden

Photoformula4.com.augp2series.com, premapowerteam.com

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