FIA Formula 2 will make its long-awaited return on March 1, as pre-season testing gets underway for three days in Sakhir, Bahrain.

What to expect

The 18-inch Pirelli tyres will make their maiden appearance in the hot and dusty conditions of the Sakhir desert. Armed with fresh driver line-ups, and swanky new liveries, testing will provide the 11 teams with their first opportunity to try out the new rubber.

Running Sunday, March 1 to Tuesday, March 3, the day will be split into a morning session, from 11.45am until 2.15pm, and an afternoon session, from 5.15pm until 7.45pm.

Teams have the option of hard and soft compounds, with temperatures expected to range between 22-25 degrees, in dry conditions, handing teams maximum track time to test the cars for the first time.

Teams will also enjoy the added bonus of the tests taking place at the same venue as the season opener later in March.

Callum Ilott switches to UNI-Virtuosi for his second season of F2

Fresh faces and returning favourites

The now 22-strong grid was completed last week with the announcement of Williams test driver Roy Nissany at Trident alongside Marino Sato. The duo join a rich field, encompassing a blend of experience and youth.

Formula 3 Champion Robert Shwartzman will get his second taste of F2 machinery with PREMA Racing, alongside the returning Mick Schumacher, with the duo both tipped for a title challenge in 2020.

Guanyu Zhou was the highest placed rookie driver from 2019 and will return for a second season with UNI-Virtuosi for 2020, alongside Callum Ilott, who has made the switch from Charouz Racing System.

F3 vice-champion Marcus Armstrong will return to the track and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Nyck de Vries, who won the Championship with ART Grand Prix in 2019. Meanwhile, his new teammate Christian Lundgaard has unfortunately been forced to withdraw from testing. He will be replaced for these tests by Sergey Sirotkin.

Carlin will boast an all-rookie line-up for the new campaign, with Red Bull juniors Yuki Tsunoda and Jehan Daruvala both stepping up from F3. Pedro Piquet (Charouz Racing System) and Felipe Drugovich (MP Motorsport) will also make the leap from F3.

Hitech Grand Prix became the Championship’s 11th team back in January and their new F2 machinery will hit the circuit for the first time in Bahrain, driven by the returning duo of Nikita Mazepin and Luca Ghiotto.