Formula Two and Formula Three have jointly announced their new weekend format for 2021 season onwards, featuring the addition of a second Sprint Race.
Both series will retain Friday Practice and Qualifying but the grid at end of Qualifying will be applied to the Feature Race and Race Three in F2 and F3 respectively, which will be held on Sunday mornings prior to Formula One’s main Grand Prix after approval from the World Motorsport Council.
Two 45 minute or 170 kilometres (whichever comes first) F2 Sprint Races will therefore be held on Saturday of each race weekend with the top ten qualifiers in F2 reversed, whilst the top 12 in F3 post qualifying finding themselves reversed for Race One on Saturday mornings.
Grids for the second Sprint Race on Saturdays will be set by reversing the top ten finishers of Saturday’s first F2 Sprint Race, whereas F3 will reverse the top 12 finishers of their opening race in each round for Race Two.
The Feature Race will however retain the compulsory pit stop retirement in F2 whilst pit stops aren’t compulsory in F3 in all three races
Points systems however won’t be changed with the Sprint Race points system applying to both Sprint Races plus Races One and Two, whilst the pole sitter for the Sunday’s race post-qualifying will be awarded four points as is already the case and two points for fastest lap will be awarded in all three races.
Main points system of 25 points for the win however will now be applied to Sunday’s F2 Feature Races and Race Three of F3 race weekends.
Drivers however will be required to finish in the top to claim the points for fastest lap otherwise the two points will be distributed to the driver within the top ten who set the next fastest lap eligible for two points.
There is however a consequent change in the maximum points total as a result of the third additional race as the highest points haul that drivers can achieve in one round increasing by 17 points from current 48 points to 65 points under the new 2021 race weekend format.
Tyre specifications has also been increased with drivers in F2 now allocated six sets of dry-weather tyres and three of the wet-weather compound, whereas F3 drivers will be handed five set of slick tyres for each round plus two wet weather tyres.
Speaking on the race weekend format change, FIA F2 and F3 CEO, Bruno Michel said; “I am pleased to reveal the changes to our sporting regulations which have been approved by the World Motor Sport Council.”
Michel in particular is pleased to have the F2 Feature Race switched to Sundays, saying; “It’s fantastic to be able to move the Feature Race to Sunday which is the day of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. It will enhance the show for the fans and will make it even more special.”
On the addition of the second reverse grid race on Saturdays, Michel believes that it will “spice up” the competition and entertainment, saying; “We have seen already how entertaining these races are. It should also allow more drivers to showcase their skills in front of the Formula 1 Paddock and the rest of the world.”
This announcement comes just weeks after F2 and F3 confirmed their individual race weekends as both series will now race on separate F1 weekends as support categories, with F2 having eight rounds and F3 racing in seven rounds next season as part of cost-cutting measures.