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IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 24: Jehan Daruvala of India and Prema Racing (2) prepares to drive during the Round 3:Imola Feature race of the Formula 2 Championship at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 24, 2022 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Alex Pantling - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

What are the major differences between F2 and F3?

2 of the most prestigious categories.

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Formula 2 and Formula 3 are the two feeder series into Formula 1. They are two of the most competitive feeder series in motorsport, but there are clear differences between the two. 

As we know, racing in Formulas is incredibly competitive and very expensive in terms of getting a seat with a team. Formula 2 and Formula 3 are no exceptions to this. Some of the racing in these series is extremely tight with such a talented crop of drivers on either grid.

However, if you don’t follow the two series, it can be quite confusing as to what the differences between the two are. It can get more difficult to understand when Formula 1 is added to the mix and that too is very different.

The racing formats and schedules of a race weekend are a couple of differences between the two. The cars used and the number of drivers on the grid also differ between categories.

Formula 3

Formula 3 is one of the lower echelons of Formula Racing. It is the championship drivers compete in before moving up to Formula 2 and eventually Formula 1.

One of the main differences between F3 and F2 is that the former has a much larger number of drivers. F3 has 10 teams but instead of having just two drivers per team, there are three.

IMOLA, ITALY – Francesco Pizzi  (Photo by Joe Portlock, via Getty Images)
Racing Format:

The racing format over a race weekend changed in structure for this season, as it returned to the old format of only one Sprint Race in each round.

  • Friday: Free Practice of 45 minutes followed by a Qualifying session of 30 minutes
  • Saturday: Sprint Race of 40 minutes and one lap
  • Sunday: Feature Race of 45 minutes and one lap

For the Sprint Race, the top 12 drivers are in a reversed grid based on Friday’s Qualifying results.

The car:

The cars weigh around 550 kg with the driver and include a bespoke six-gear longitudinal gearbox.

The engine is a six-cylinder 3.4-litre Bespoke Mecachrome engine. It can reach 380 horsepower at 8000 rpm.

The tyres for F3 are supplied by Pirelli with three specific compounds, similar to F1.

The top speed of these cars is 300 km/h with acceleration to 100 km/h reached in just 3.1 seconds.

Points System:

The driver who takes pole position by setting the fastest lap in Qualifying receives two points.

In the Sprint Race and the Feature Race, the top 10 drivers score points, however the amounts differ. The driver who achieves the fastest lap in each race will also receive one point.

For the races, the points decrease as you go down the field. The winner of the Sprint gets 10 points, the second gets nine, the third gets eight and so on.

For the Feature Race, the drivers are awarded the same as F1 with the winner getting 25 points.

  • Sprint Race: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
  • Feature Race: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1.
Formula 2
IMOLA, ITAL, Marino Sato (Photo by Joe Portlock, Getty Images)

Formula 2 is even more competitive than Formula 3 as this is the final stepping stone into Formula 1.

Racing Format:

The format of a race weekend is similar to that of Formula 3.

  • Friday: Free Practice of 45 minutes and Qualifying of 30 minutes
  • Saturday: Sprint Race of 120km or 45 minutes
  • Sunday: Feature Race of 170km or 60 minutes

The grid for the Sprint Race is determined by the Qualifying results with the top 10 being reversed.

The car:

The cars in F2 are much faster and more powerful than F3.

It weighs 755kg with the driver. The engine is a V6 3.4-litre single turbocharged Mecachrome engine.

It can reach 620 horsepower at 8750 rpm. The maximum speed of F2 cars is 335km/h – which is based on the Monza aero configuration and DRS.

Acceleration to 100km/h can be reached in 2.9 seconds. The car also holds 125 litres of fuel.

Scoring system

The points allocation for F2 is the same as F3.

The driver on pole receives two points. In each race, the driver with the fastest lap time will be awarded one point, if they finish in the top 10.

For the Sprint Race and Feature Race, they are as follows:

  • Sprint Race: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
  • Feature Race: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1.

All points a driver receives throughout the series determine where they place in the Drivers’ Championship. For teams, it is a sum of all their drivers’ points from the series.

The drivers experience intense and high expensive battles with each other, but if they are part of it is because they have great skills and abilities to be one of the 20 best drivers we can see that season.

Credit Featured Image: Getty Images

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