There are five core values at the heart of the FIA Formula 2 Championship - performance, cost control, entertainment, safety and preparation.
Our aim was to become the pinnacle of junior motorsport, and the ultimate breeding ground for young racing talent. That required a very specific set of regulations, which balance out the competitiveness of the Championship, the financial restrictions of teams and drivers as well as the sheer wow factor for our audience when they follow the action.
To this aim, the sporting and technical regulations have become our bible – with proposed changes and modifications scrutinised to great detail, to ensure they fit in with these five values.
F2 is the only junior Formula in the world which can get close to the performance levels of Formula 1. Our laptimes are competitive with the final few rows on the F1 grid thanks to our turbocharged engines, which produce 620bhp. The switch to 18-inch tyres a year ahead of F1 will also ensure the competitiveness of the Championship in the future.
We want to produce drivers who are readymade for F1. To achieve this we need the fastest and most competitive young racers on the planet, regardless of any financial restrictions they may have. This makes cost effectiveness key. Operating at around 2% of the cost of running an F1 team, we are always trying to reach the perfect blend of budget control and performance.
This has been achieved by centralised purchasing, strict limits on team personal and testing and an outright ban on individual developments costs. Any modifications made are produced with an eye on how they will affect the price structure for the teams.
F2 is the most exciting and competitive single-make championship in the world. Racing on the same tracks and the same weekends as F1, the Championship never fails to enthral and entertain, with two races per weekend, reverse grids, compulsory pitstops, Prime and Option tyres and 20 identical cars on display.
Racing at speeds very close to F1, safety is of paramount importance to F2. The car has been designed to strict F1 safety standards and submitted to stringent FIA crash tests. Our cars include the Titanium Halo head protection system used in F1 and anti-intrusion panels, while wearing the HANS device is compulsory for drivers. The championship puts its commitment to safety ahead of all other considerations.
In the history of F1, no feeder category had been as successful as the GP2 series, which meant that F2 had big shoes to fill. However, it also means that we are experts in our field and in the three seasons of the Championship so far, no fewer than five drivers have made the step up to the top tier of motorsport.
Alongside the FIA, who have run the Formula 1 Championship for its entire history, we know how to prepare drivers for the rigours and demands of F1. In 2019, half of the grid was made up of graduates from either GP2 or F2, including six-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton. There is no finer testament to the benefit of the training we provide to young drivers than that.