Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel says the increased travel resulting from the series’ first trip to Australia next year “isn’t going to impact the budgets of the teams”.
The series has previously confirmed it will also hold its first race in Australia, accompanying F1 to Melbourne in April. But when asked by RaceFans, Michel stressed “costs are always an absolute key issue” given the steep rises in rates for transporting freight seen during 2022.
“This year of course the freight costs have been a major issue compared to what we have planned,” he acknowledged. “The good things for the teams is that we’re covering the freight costs.”
“That’s why we could afford to go with 14 [rounds],” he explained. “We’re going to go along with the same number of races in 2023. I cannot yet tell you about the calendar because we’re still working on it.”
The 2023 Formula 1 calendar was revealed earlier this week, featuring a record 24 rounds. All of F2’s races are expected to be run as support events.
If all the fly-away events F2 held this year return on its 2023 calendar then teams will have trips outside of Europe to and from Bahrain (4-5 March), which will likely also host pre-season testing, Jeddah (18-19 March), Melbourne (1-2 April), Baku (29-30 April) and Abu Dhabi (November 25-26).
“We need to discuss with the promoters to make sure that we can cover the cost of the freight and the cost of the travelling and the cost of everything,” Michel continued.
“We’ll make sure that it’s not going to impact the budgets of the teams, and therefore the budgets of the drivers. And so far we’ve managed to do that. The other thing as well is since we’ve increased the number of [rounds] in F2, and we went from 12 to 14, we’re also helping the teams and compensating the teams for two additional races to make sure that the budgets are not escalating. That’s something that we are very, very careful about.”
Formula 3 had a nine-round season this year, with all of its events supporting F1 and F2. Michel has not ruled out extending its schedule as well.
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