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FIA F2 Monza

How Formula 2 hopes its new 2024 car will be accessible to all drivers

Formula 2 organisers intend its new 2024 car to be its most accessible yet, with extensive work having taken place to accommodate female drivers and those of different sizes.

F2 2024 Car

The championship says the new car, which will be raced in the 2024, 2025 and 2026 seasons, hopes to be as close to an F1 car as possible in terms of safety, look, systems, performance, sustainability and accessibility.

It completed a successful shakedown in July in Varano, with former F2 driver Tatiana Calderon at the wheel.

There has previously been much debate about the necessity of power steering throughout the single-seater pyramid, given that it is used in F1.

Championship CEO Bruno Michel believes the best solution, implemented in the new car, revolves around the geometry of suspension and braking effort, among other factors.

The FIA is hoping that a single steering weight that is “acceptable for all drivers”, implemented across the pyramid, will also be a “really good option”.

Speaking after the car was revealed at Monza on Thursday, Michel said: “We’ve been working quite extensively on this subject with the FIA, and the FIA has quite a heavy standard of steering effort.

“We’ve been working on the geometry of suspension to make sure we are achieving those figures and we completely feel that power steering is not needed, but what we’ve done is going to really help drivers with less physical strength than others.

F2 2024 Car

F2 2024 Car

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

“It’s not the only thing, because we’ve been working also on the cockpit to make sure it’s comfortable for any size of driver, from 150 to 195lbs more or less, and we want to make sure that they will be able to be comfortable in the car.

“We’ve been working on the steering wheel, because we had female drivers that had fingers that were a little bit too short to go around the steering wheel, so now we have the possibility to have a thinner steering wheel to make sure they can grab it.”

There are already accommodations in the current F2 and F3 cars to help adjust for size, with pedal and steering wheel positions able to be changed to suit each driver.

There are also ways in which to make the seating position more comfortable to suit smaller and larger drivers, whether they are male or female.

But Michel highlighted how the findings from F3’s all-female tests, the latest of which took place last year at Magny-Cours, had influenced changes.

He added: “We haven’t changed it but we’ve always had the possibility to change also the braking effort because, when we did some tests with female drivers in Formula 3 cars, all the comments we had were not on the steering effort, but much more on the braking effort, and the fact that it was more difficult to put pressure on the brake.

“So there are always possibilities of changing the master cylinders and making it easier, and if we want, we can impose the same set-up for everybody, which is something that can make also a big difference.”

F2 2024 Car

F2 2024 Car

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

FIA deputy president for sport Robert Reid said there has been a “huge effort” from the governing body’s perspective to implement the universal steering weight.

He said: “The first objective was could we find a steering weight that was acceptable for all drivers – that female drivers would find acceptable, that small male drivers would find acceptable, and also that top drivers would find acceptable. So we defined what we thought was an acceptable steering weight.

“The second part was can we then achieve that same steering weight throughout the pyramid? So the objective is that the steering weight in Formula 4, Formula Regional, Formula 3, Formula 2, is consistent.

“Certainly for me, it’s something I’m very proud of, our guys at the FIA have been able to do this.

“There’s been lots of talk about power steering, and to find a solution that works over the whole FIA single-seater pyramid is a really good option.”

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