Fortec Formula 2 entry on hold for one year

Fortec Motorsport boss Richard Dutton says his team's decision not to enter Formula 2 in 2018 is a one-year postponement due to a lack of drivers with suitable budget levels

Fortec Formula 2 entry on hold for one year

The British single-seater squad was granted an entry to the second-tier category for this year, but it was announced recently that it would "step back" following a joint evaluation with F2 boss Bruno Michel.

The F2 field will feature 10 teams for a second consecutive season following Fortec's decision, with reigning champion Russian Time continuing after it was left off the initial entry list and Racing Engineering switching to the European Le Mans Series.

"We've just put it on hold for one year," Dutton told Autosport.

"It's not that we're not going to do it, it's that we're not going to do it in 2018 because the drivers that we were working with don't want to race in Europe this year and they're going to race in America.

"We're not prepared to do it half-heartedly, we'd rather do it to go out there and be strong.

"But if we don't feel we can be strong, then we'll put it off for another year [2018].

"We've been working with Bruno on it and between us we decided it would be better rather than go out there and not look good, [to postpone the entry].

"We've got all the right people together to do it properly, we just didn't perhaps have the drivers with the budgets to do it properly, so we've shelved it for one year."

When asked if the team had come close to signing any drivers, Dutton replied: "Yeah, we did.

"We came very close to signing two very good drivers but it didn't happen in the end, so we weren't prepared to compromise.

"We were either going to do it properly or not at all.

"We'd already got engineers from Formula 2 signed up and we were ready to go, but it just gives us a lot more time now to do it better for next year.

"We're already working on next year now."

Although it has delayed its F2 entry, Fortec will remain in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, Euroformula Open, BRDC British Formula 3 and British Formula 4 championships in 2018.

Dutton said the team is considering plans to use its Formula V8 3.5 cars as part of a test programme throughout the year, following the championship's cancellation at the end of last season.

"We're carrying on with all categories, other than World Series [FV8 3.5] obviously because that is unfortunately no longer," he said.

"We'll most probably use those as test cars in preparation for 2019 when we'll come back to Formula 2, all being well.

"As long as we can put the right package together - we'll be out there."

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