Pepe Marti, Campos, Formula 2, Jeddah, 2024

“Exceptional” spate of problems with new F2 car makes no sense – Marti

Formula 2

Posted on

| Written by

Campos Formula 2 racer Pepe Marti suggested his team are not to blame for the technical problems their cars experienced in the first two rounds.

F2 introduced an all-new chassis – the Dallara F2 2024 – and a revised 3.4-litre turbo power unit for this season.

However the cars of Marti and team mate Isack Hadjar appear to have suffered more than most teams from reliability problems. Hadjar’s car went into ‘safe mode’ in the Jeddah races, forcing him into retirement both times. He had another problem in Bahrain, while Marti experienced a DRS failure early in the Jeddah sprint race.

Speaking with media including RaceFans, Marti suggested that Campos were not to blame for the problems experienced by him and Hadjar.

“I don’t mean to put the blame on anyone else, but my team were checking statistical data and I think they had zero DNFs due to mechanical failures in F2 since, I believe, 2019,” he explained. “So to have three problems, engine-wise, in a weekend – and one DRS problem in a weekend – is, to me, exceptional. It would make no sense.

“I’m not putting the blame on anyone else,” he stressed, “but I feel like obviously it’s a new car, so there are going to be things that have to be restructured or replaced or whatever.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I mean, how often do we get F1 teams that go out on track and be like ‘oh, we have an overheating issue of 95 degrees over the target temperature’? That’s obviously going to happen every so often and my team are trying their best to work around and trying to understand what the source of the problem is.”

Marti said Campos have worked closely with F2’s suppliers to ensure they don’t experience any further problems with their car this weekend at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, where F2 supports the Australian Grand Prix.

“Obviously you try to inform Mechachrome, try to inform Dallara as quick as possible so they can also work on it if it’s their part of the problem,” he said. “And if it’s our part of the problem, then my mechanics, my engineers, they’ve been working non-stop since Jeddah. So for that, obviously we have to trust them a lot.

“We go out on-track and we expect the brakes to brake, throttle to not get stuck – it’s obviously just like that. You drive out and you want to have that confidence that everything is working fine. Normally that’s the case, but sometimes it won’t be.

“From my side, I’m not concerned. I know my team well. I know they’re great mechanics, they’re great engineers so I know we’ll have a great car this weekend.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Formula 2

Browse all Formula 2 articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

3 comments on ““Exceptional” spate of problems with new F2 car makes no sense – Marti”

  1. Wasn’t the last F2 car also plagued by issues more or less for it’s whole lifetime?

    1. @bascb yes, the previous generation of car did also have issues.

      When the Dallara F2/18 was first introduced, the cars were plagued with clutch issues that constantly resulted in drivers stalling on the grid, to the point that the championship temporarily switched to rolling starts because of the number of drivers stalling on the grid.

      Whilst those complaints did eventually seem to be resolved through a series of modifications to the electrical systems that operated the clutches, there were still problems. There was an alarming tendency around 2020 for some of the cars to suffer from leaking fuel tanks, although it seems that they did eventually switch the design of the tanks to address that issue, and there were also some occasional issues with the hydraulics and gearboxes.

      However, what has been a persistent problem since 2018 is the Mecachrome V634T engine. Whilst the normally aspirated version used in Formula 3 seems to have performed reasonably, the turbocharged variant used in Formula 2 has been frequently criticised for being unreliable and Mecachrome have been criticised quite publicly for inconsistent build quality and a much wider variation in performance than is normally considered acceptable for a spec series.

      To that end, when Alpine announced that their A424 LMDh would be using a derivative of the V634T, quite a few observers thought that it was a major mistake by Alpine to use that engine. That said, Renault Sport have indicated that the engine has gone through a fairly major redesign and quite a few of the components for the LMDh version of the engine are being built by them, rather than Mecachrome (which perhaps unintentionally suggests they aren’t entirely convinced about Mecachrome’s own capabilities).

      Unfortunately, the V634T is still being used in the new generation of Formula 2 cars, and it is still causing quite a lot of problems. There is a very cynical view that nothing will change because Bruno Michel, the CEO of Formula 2, has personal connections to Mecachrome – he was, in the past, one of the directors of Mecachrome, and is often claimed to still have a financial interest in the company.

  2. Isack Hadjar was the fastest in pre-season testing, in the Campos. Hopefully Campos can fix these problems, but in a season where there is such tight competition and the pecking order is very fluid, DNF’s will cost you a lot. Hadjar could end up being a title contender, but the likes of Paul Aron, Zane Maloney and Dennis Hauger have banked a lot of points in the chaotic opening two rounds.

Comments are closed.