F2 vows to keep costs under control after adding Australia to 2023 calendar

Formula 2

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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 F2 schedule for 2023 has not yet been announced. Michel indicated the series will match its record length of 14 double-header rounds again next year.

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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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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6 comments on “F2 vows to keep costs under control after adding Australia to 2023 calendar”

  1. Ignoring the financial debate, this is great news for drivers and spectators. More practice for the drivers with smaller gaps across a season. And for us, more to watch! F3 has a tiny calendar, so really hope they add a few more races.

    1. On the “smaller gaps” point @shimks, the sensible thing to do would be to drop Abu Dhabi and have the season end at Monza. That would presumably also help the cost issue by shortening the season by ten weeks or so.

      Can’t see it happening though.

      1. Yes, I agree with you, @red-andy. I’m very surprised they have expanded into Australia. Seems pointless to me. There really is nothing to notice at the first race of the season; the team principles will need half a season to start pointing out future stars. So why go to all the expense?

      2. @red-andy I do wonder if, as part of Abu Dhabi’s contract with F1 where they pay a huge amount to be the guaranteed series finale, it also covers F2? Otherwise I agree shortening the season by dropping that one race would be a huge benefit.

  2. While it’s good that they’re covering freight costs, and the change in calendar structure after 2020 was positive, I still don’t think they’re doing enough to reduce the cost of F2. We’re still sorely missing the loss of Formula Renault V8 3.5 in terms of a cheap (comparatively) and fast series for quality drivers to show their talent.

    1. F1 wants no association with “low cost” – not anywhere in their roadshow.
      The F1 show (including support series) is all about ‘premium’ and ‘extravagance’ at every level.

      Even if FR3.5 were still running today, that wouldn’t be ‘cheap’ by any meaningful standards either.

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