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Format changes announced for F2 and F3 for 2022

FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 will both run on the same Formula 1 weekends next year in a change to the feeder series’ formats.

Felipe Drugovich, Uni-Virtuosi

Felipe Drugovich, Uni-Virtuosi

James Gasperotti / Motorsport Images

Both series will return to running alongside each other at most races as they did prior to 2021.

From next year, each round of both championships will include one free practice, one qualifying session and two races.

Friday’s qualifying session will determine the grid of the Sunday race, while the starting grid of the Saturday race will be determined by reversing the top 10 for F2 and the top 12 for F3.

The series had been separated for this season in a bid to save teams money, but the changes were criticised for long gaps between races and confusion among fans.

The number of events for both F2 and F3, which will all take place alongside Formula 1, will be announced next month.

PLUS: Assessing F2 and F3's flawed format changes 

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “We are pleased to announce the changes to the weekend format for Formula 2 and 3 for next season and I am grateful to Bruno [Michel, F2 and F3 CEO] and the teams for their efforts to make this happen.

“The 2021 season has been hugely exciting and the talent on display in both championships is incredible.

"We want to ensure all our fans get the maximum entertainment during a race weekend and bringing the Championships back together in 2022 will provide more racing action during our events and ensure our fans have activity that will keep them engaged and excited.”

Victor Martins, MP Motorsport

Victor Martins, MP Motorsport

Photo by: James Gasperotti / Motorsport Images

Michel added: “In 2021, we introduced a new race weekend format and chose to have F2 and F3 race separately, mainly for costs reasons, and it proved to be quite efficient.

"However, even if sporting-wise that new format worked pretty well, we understood that there was too much time in between each event, which was not ideal for the teams, the drivers and the fans.

"At the same time, there has been a strong will by the different stakeholders to have F1, F2 and F3 racing together again.

"After careful consideration, together with the FIA, we have decided to change the sporting regulations accordingly.

“This is great news for the fans because we are enhancing the overall F1 grand prix weekend experience, having all three Championships racing together, at as many events as possible.

"However, we are keeping our races where the most points are allocated and the stakes are higher on Sundays, ahead of the Formula 1 grand prix.

"It’s worked quite well this year and I believe this has brought a lot of action and entertainment on Sunday morning.”

Michel has confirmed that the much criticised gaps between events will be much shorter with the full calendar set to be announced at next month's World Motor Sport Council. 

Drivers and fans have been highly critical of the disjointed calendar, particularly F2's schedule, which includes a 10-week break between this weekend's sixth round and the seven round in Saudi Arabia in December.   

"The calendar will be announced at the World Motor Sport Council in mid October. Obviously it [the gaps] will be less than what we had this year," said Michel.  

When asked how these changes will affect the cost to teams, Michel revealed that logistical costs will increase but is confident the general economic climate will be much improved next year.

He added: "We know at this time of the season how the driver market is going to like for next season and I must say at the moment it looks reasonably better than it was last year.

"The economic situation is better. What we need to understand is that it won’t be major difference in cost, there will be a difference in terms of logistic cost because the teams will go to more events than they were this year. 

"On the other hand for F3 doing three races a weekend was possible but for F2 it was very difficult because we still continue to limit the number of people per team to limit the cost, and we need to be quite careful about that.

"We think that the difference is not going to be so high for next year in terms of costs and we think the category will do quite well next year."  

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