‘The next generation of Formula 2 cars will be completely female-friendly’

After the collapse of the W series, things seemed to look very bad for female talent in single-seater racing. However, the FIA ​​quickly filled that gap with the similar F1 Academy, although the organization shouted very loudly that the Formula 4 series is not intended to replace the W series.

With the name F1 Academy, the FIA ​​immediately lays the cards on the table: the class will help young female talents on their way to the higher steps on the ladder to Formula 1.

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FIA Formula 4 chassis.

Stumbling block

However, there are still some stumbling blocks, especially in Formula 2. In fact, several female drivers have complained about the unusually high physical toll that the current F2 machines take on them.

Unlike F1 cars, the 620 hp cars do not have power steering. According to F2 driver and former Alfa Romeo test driver Tatiana Calderón, this means that an F1 machine is even easier to drive than an F2 car. Three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick and rivals Abbi Pulling and Alice Powell echoed those criticisms.

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Calderón as Alfa Romeo test driver.

2024

Formula 2 boss Bruno Michel takes the opposite comment Race Fans very seriously, despite an earlier statement claiming that Yuki Tsunoda was weaker than the average woman in her junior career. Apparently he had to swallow those words, because the Frenchman says he is working hard to integrate power steering into the new generation of F2 cars that will debut in 2024:

“We’ll see what we do in terms of the conclusions we want to draw with this new car. We know we have to make sure it doesn’t become a problem for female drivers. That’s the whole idea behind what we” We work closely with the FIA ​​and power steering is of course something we are looking at.”

“But on the other hand, we don’t want to complicate the car if we don’t have to. So it’s always something, it’s a tricky one. But we make the right decision and, as I said, we have to make that decision with the FIA.”

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Sophisticated yet affordable

The current Dallara F2 chassis dates back to 2018. The model introduced the 3.4 liter single turbo Mecachrome V6 as a replacement for the 4.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 and added the halo. Since then, the car is largely unchanged, with the exception of the introduction of 18-inch rims in 2020. So next to the current F1 machines, the Dallara looks hopelessly old-fashioned.

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Despite the drive for innovation, Michel wants to make sure that the integration of new systems and safety requirements will not price the F2 out of its own market. There must be a way to improve the car without making it unaffordable:

“Lastly and probably most importantly, we have to make a car that’s not going to cost a fortune. And that’s the big problem we have, because all I talked about is extra costs, and we have to make sure that so that we don’t suddenly kill the teams because they have to buy a car that is worth much, much more than before.”

“That’s why when you talk about power steering, when you talk about other things, we have to make sure that we can continue with it at the same cost level as before. Because who’s going to pay for it all in the end? It’s the drivers. And that’s something we have to be very careful about.”

An F2 machine currently costs exactly half a million euros.

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