F1 race director Whiting: Formula 2 was 'lucky' during stalls

Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting believes Formula 2 and the FIA have been "lucky" to avoid a major accident while the F2 2018 car has been stalling frequently

F1 race director Whiting: Formula 2 was 'lucky' during stalls

F2 adopted rolling safety car starts for last week's Red Bull Ring event and Silverstone this weekend.

The decision was made after two cars stalled during additional start practice, scheduled following a run of problems in races, in Austria.

F2 drivers and teams pointed to the violent Dan Ticktum/Ameya Vaidyanathan European Formula 3 startline crash at the Norisring as the catalyst for the F2 decision coming five rounds into the season.

But Whiting said the move was not related.

"The F2 guys are not confident they can fix it before the break, before Silverstone," said Whiting, explaining the decision.

"It's nothing to do with the accident that everyone saw in Norisring.

"It's all about what we saw in Paul Ricard where three cars stalled at the beginning of each race [four in the sprint].

"I just didn't want to run out of luck, because I think we've been lucky.

"If there had been an accident, you could argue it would have been difficult to defend.

"We know there's a problem and the drivers tell us it's very difficult."

There have been multiple problems with the clutch, but most have now been rectified - including one related to the ECU and one to the inertia of the engine.

Drivers say the small amount of clutch travel on the steering wheel paddles is a major reason for the stalls.

Some drivers reacted negatively to the rolling start move, feeling they have worked hard with engineers to make the clutch work and would have an advantage if standing starts continue.

"Of course some drivers were not happy as they felt they had done a good job and worked on their starts, etc, but a lot of them say it was the right thing to do," Whiting added.

Whiting said the FIA would carefully consider how the clutch and throttle motor issues have been dealt with by F2.

"I think we might need to review how we go about getting the technical things sorted out because it has taken a little while," added Whiting. "I think we've got to have a good look at that.

"It's a brand new car and a brand new engine, I get that, with limited amounts of testing, but still it's dragging on a little longer than we would have liked."

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Series FIA F2
Author Adam Cooper
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