This Is How F1's Feeder Series Weekends Will Work In 2021

Illustration for article titled This Is How F1's Feeder Series Weekends Will Work In 2021
Photo: Bryn Lennon (Getty Images)

It’s been rumored for a while that Formula One’s feeder series programs—Formula 2 and Formula 3—will swap to a three-race-per-weekend format as opposed to their current two. But now both feeder series have confirmed the news. We’ll break down how race weekends will look for these feeder categories so you can make sense of it.

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Let’s dive right in to what each weekend will look like

Formula 2

Friday: 45 minutes of free practice and one 30-minute qualifying session. The driver who sets the fastest lap and scores pole will be awarded four points.

Saturday Race 1: Using the grid set in the Friday qualifying session and reversing the top 10 drivers, race one will last 45 minutes or 120 kilometers (about 75 miles), depending on what comes first.

Saturday Race 2: Using a grid set by the finishing order of Race 1 with the top-10 finishing positions reversed, this race will also last 45 minutes or 120 km.

In both Saturday races, points will be awarded to the top eight drivers using the following points scheme from first to eighth: 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. Two points will be awarded to the driver with the fastest lap in each race—as long as that driver finishes in the top 10.

Sunday Race 3: The grid for Saturday’s feature race is set by Friday’s qualifying session. This race will last an hour or 170 km (~105 miles), depending on which comes first.

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The top 10 drivers will be awarded points using the following scheme: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. Again, the driver with the fastest lap will earn two points so long as they finish in the top 10.

Formula 3

Friday: 45 minutes of free practice and one 30-minute qualifying session. The driver who sets the fastest lap and scores pole will be awarded four points.

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Saturday Race 1: Race one’s starting order is determined by the starting grid set on Friday with the top 12 positions reversed. The race will be 40 minutes long.

Saturday Race 2: Race two’s grid is set by the finishing order of Race 1 with the top 12 positions reversed. The race will be 40 minutes long.

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In both races, points will be awarded to the top 10 drivers in the following scheme: 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The driver with the fastest lap will score two points as long as they finish in the top 10.

Sunday Race 3: The starting order for Sunday’s race is set based on Friday’s qualifying session. The race will run for 40 minutes.

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Because Sunday’s grid isn’t set with a reversed grid, more points are awarded to the top-10 drivers: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. The driver with the fastest lap will score two points as long as they finish in the top 10.

While F2 and F3 only generally run during F1's European race weekends (which means it can be a pain in the ass to pay attention to both series over here in America), they’re both really great indicators of motorsport’s rising talent. Even if those drivers don’t make it to F1 proper, you can usually get a good sense of who’s going to become a star in IndyCar, Formula E, or endurance racing.

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These big structural changes come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a significant financial strain on feeder series race teams. Some teams run in both F2 and F3, so the whole “limited personnel” thing has been a pain in the ass when it comes to running cars in two different series—which isn’t even considering the costs of carting out equipment.

And while we’re here, we might as well run down the 2021 schedules for each series. Remember, each weekend hosts three races.

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Formula 2

March 26-28: Bahrain

May 21-23: Monaco

June 4-6: Baku, Azerbaijan

July 16-18: Silverstone, Great Britain

September 10-12: Monza, Italy

October 8-19: Sochi, Russia

November 26-28: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

December 3-5: Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

Formula 3

May 7-9: Circuit de Catalunya, Spain

June 25-27: Paul Ricard, France

July 2-4: Red Bull Ring, Austria

July 20-August 1: Hungaroring, Hungary

August 27-29: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

September 3-5: Zandvoort, Netherlands

October 22-25: Circuit of the Americas, USA

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

DISCUSSION

jnny2good
Jerry Wiegert's Hair Helmet - Deceased

I hate the fixed number reverse grid. Reverse count should be a random number chosen after the race, from a set like (4,6,8,10,12). Otherwise you will see hinky racing to game the pole position for the next race.