Formula 2 and Formula 3 scrap triple-header format after one year

2021 Russian Grand Prix

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Formula 2 and Formula 3 will race on the same weekends again in 2022 and drop the triple-header format which was introduced this year.

The two junior championships moved to a three-race weekend format for the 2021 season. The series also ran on separate weekends in what was originally described as a cost-saving measure.

Both series will return to holding two races per weekend in 2022 and will accompany the same Formula 1 rounds as each other. However their 2022 formats will not exactly replicate the pre-2021 arrangement.

Formula 2 will run 45 minutes of practice and a half-hour qualifying session on Friday. That will set the grid for the feature race, which will take place on Sunday. The starting grid for Saturday’s sprint race will be decided by reversing the top 10 qualifiers.

Formula 3’s format will be the same, exception the top 12 qualifiers will be reversed to form its sprint race grid, due to the larger F3 field.

The number of events each series will run next season, as well as how many they will share, has not been announced yet.

Bruno Michel, the CEO of F2 and F3, said that he believed the 2021 format had served well in sporting and financial terms but that the sparser number of events meant long gaps between them, which had had a more negative impact.

“In 2021, we introduced a new race weekend format and chose to have F2 and F3 race separately, mainly for costs reasons, and it proved to be quite efficient,” he said.

“However, even if sporting-wise that new format worked pretty well, we understood that there was too much time in between each event, which was not ideal for the teams, the drivers and the fans.

“At the same time, there has been a strong will by the different stakeholders to have F1, F2 and F3 racing together again. After careful consideration, together with the FIA, we have decided to change the sporting regulations accordingly.”

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said that bringing both support series back together over a weekend would provide “maximum excitement” for attendees.

Although the weekend structure has gone back to two races per event, Michel reinforced that he believed holding the feature race on Sundays, thus delaying the fastest qualifier assuming pole position, was the right course of action.

“We are keeping our races where the most points are allocated and the stakes are higher on Sundays, ahead of the Formula 1 Grand Prix,” he said. “It’s worked quite well this year and I believe this has brought a lot of action and entertainment on Sunday morning.”

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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13 comments on “Formula 2 and Formula 3 scrap triple-header format after one year”

  1. It was pure nonsense. Glad they rectified. Now waiting for Mr. Brawn to drop Super Ultra Mega Crypto Qualifying.

    1. That triple-header format was a total failure That should never have been there. Cost-saving measure? That was a split-F2-and-F3-up measure. A total failure measure too.

  2. Good! 👍

  3. It is good to see that an experimental new format, which clearly hasn’t worked, being dropped after a year. More of this please.

    1. Was gonna say the same! Hope F1 pays attention that it’s OK to try something, accept that it’s not the best solution, then revert to the previous format. Even when precious precious money is at stake!

  4. Very good. I lost a lot of interest in F2 this year due to silly 3 race format and gigantic gaps between events. Will hopefully get back into it next season.

  5. Good move.

  6. I’d have preferred to see them just go back to the old format with the feature race on Saturday & sprint on Sunday.

  7. Controversial perhaps but I don’t think the sprint race idea in F1 is going to go away. I was just thinking that the F2 format for 2022 seems like a pretty good format for F1 moving forward i.e. the main thing being the Friday qualifying session only relates to the main race on Sunday, and the sprint race is a separate thing entirely. With an hour qualifying for F1 one though.

    I am not necessarily in favour of reverse grids but I could perhaps even live with the same reverse grid part for the sprint race. The first 10 based on the qualifying. It would make this a bit more interesting.

    Let’s see what the response to this is.

  8. Personally from a time perspective I prefer it the other way around.

    Pairing the longer feature race with the shorterr F1 Qualifying and the shorter sprint with the longer F1 Grand Prix. Putting the Feature and Race on Sunday means finding quite a long time (and its spread really far apart) on a sunday to watch.

    Also with the main event done on Saturday I feel it livens the Sprint up with a bit more of a “nothing to lose if I chuck it at the wall” mentality. With the feature race still to come people will be slightly more relectant to smash their car to bits even if there is no sporting penalty.

    Otherwise for the Championship I am much more a fan of the majoirty of points being paid out from the main feature race rather than multiple sprints.

    1. Also with the main event done on Saturday I feel it livens the Sprint up with a bit more of a “nothing to lose if I chuck it at the wall” mentality. With the feature race still to come people will be slightly more relectant to smash their car to bits even if there is no sporting penalty.

      I would disagree, in that since the sprint race grid was determined by the feature race, drivers would have less of an incentive to go for it in the feature race. At least now, since the sprint and feature race have no impact on one another, each can be treated as a stand-alone event. If a driver mucks up and retires in the sprint race, it won’t affect anything come Sunday.

  9. It seemed like a reasonable idea, but it really has been a mistake and it’s good they’ve recognised this.

    The increased proportion of reverse-grid races have made it more difficult for the truly bright stars to shine and the spread out calendar meant that, at the time when F1 teams were deciding their future lineups, F2 was still only halfway through its season with no obvious candidates having emerged. Small wonder we’ll only see 1 driver moving up, at the most.

    On top of that, the format has given us some pretty dull races. Looking forward to seeing it going back to the way it was.

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