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Ones to watch and title favourites – Our Formula 2 season preview for 2024

F2 & F3 Writer

Jake Williams-Smith
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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 12: Amaury Cordeel of Belgium and Hitech Pulse-Eight (16) and Paul Aron

It is arguably one of the most anticipated seasons in Formula 2 history with big names, exciting prospects and a revamped calendar forming the makings of a truly unmissable campaign.

Kicking off this weekend in the F1 support bill, F2 returns with a brand-new car, fresh-faced grid and huge excitement for what could be a truly spectacular campaign from start-to-finish. After 2023 went down to the wire at Yas Marina, what does the 2024 season have in store as a follow-up?

NEXT GEN: 20 of the most exciting up-and-coming talents on the road to F1 in 2024

The class of 2024

This year’s Formula 2 grid is stacked full of talent from top to bottom, making for one of the most exciting line-ups in Championship history.

Reigning Champions ART Grand Prix have paired Alpine Academy driver Victor Martins with Williams Driver Academy talent Zak O’Sullivan. The Briton finished last year’s Formula 3 Championship second in the standings, taking four race wins en route.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 24: Victor Martins of France and ART Grand Prix looks on from the

Victor Martins is an early contender for the F2 title

Martins meanwhile is an early contender for the title after taking a maiden victory and three pole positions last year. Will he step up and succeed compatriot Theo Pourchaire as Drivers’ Champion in 2024?

PREMA Racing have freshly named Ferrari Reserve Driver Oliver Bearman, hotly tipped to fight for the crown, and Mercedes Junior Team star Andrea Kimi Antonelli. The Italian steps up to F2 with huge expectations and plenty of attention on him after making the jump from the Formula Regional European Championship where he won the title in 2023.

Reigning F3 Champion Gabriel Bortoleto moves up to Formula 2 with Invicta Racing. The McLaren-backed driver joins Alpine Academy’s Kush Maini at the British outfit for the new campaign.

READ MORE: Pourchaire crowned 2023 champion as Doohan dominates Abu Dhabi Feature Race

Campos Racing have an all-Red Bull Junior Team line-up in Isack Hadjar and Josep Maria Marti. Hadjar goes into his second F2 campaign after gaining F1 experience last year testing with AlphaTauri, while Marti steps up as a rookie having fought for the Formula 3 title a year ago.

MP Motorsport have Dennis Hauger and Williams F1 junior Franco Colapinto forming their line-up this year, while Rodin Motorsport retain Sauber Academy Driver Zane Maloney and partner him with 2023 Super Formula Champion Ritomo Miyata.

Wherever you look, there is race-winning potential at every team in 2024.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 13: Andrea Kimi Antonelli of Italy and PREMA Racing (4) looks on from

There are high hopes for Andrea Kimi Antonelli as he prepares for his first season in F2

New machinery

For the first time since 2018, Formula 2 has a brand new car on track, and it has been redesigned with wheel-to-wheel battles very much in mind. Reprofiled front and rear wings along with new bodywork elsewhere make up the most striking changes.

But, like the F1 cars of the current generation, it’s the redesigned floors that should make the biggest difference, with racing potentially becoming closer than before with cars now able to follow one another more easily.

Of course, with the introduction of a new car comes driver safety improvements. This latest machinery is running the updated FIA 2024 safety specifications, with improved cockpit protection and rollover structures put in place.

READ MORE: Oliver Bearman on a whirlwind 2023 and his glimpse into F1 life with Ferrari and Haas

The 2024 car is also the first one to be developed with drivers of all sizes in mind. Cockpit ergonomics have been revamped in order to fit drivers of all sizes from the shortest to the tallest, while steering effort improvements have been made.

As was the case last season, the F2 car will be running on 55% sustainable fuel, bio-sourced and achieved in partnership with Aramco ahead of the switch to fully synthetic fuels in the future.

After a shakedown event in Barcelona and pre-season testing in Sakhir over a week ago, teams will be battling to understand the new car first in order to gain an early season advantage.

Formula 2: Ultimate Guide to the 2024 season

14 rounds of unpredictability

It’s a long campaign and Formula 2 drivers will start alongside F1 in Bahrain and finish up in Yas Marina in December, but what happens between then is anybody’s guess.

Last season had 11 different winners across the campaign, and the title fight between Pourchaire and Vesti went right to the wire and the final day of the season. Likewise in the Teams’ Championship battle, ART Grand Prix reigned supreme, but PREMA Racing fought to the very end, ultimately coming up short on the final Sunday.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2024 F1 ACADEMY season

This year’s 14-race calendar has been revamped, with the Baku round now taking place in September and a maiden visit to the Lusail International Circuit in Qatar becoming the penultimate event of the campaign.

Last season, the lead of the Drivers’ Championship changed hands six times before Pourchaire was able to keep Vesti at bay in one of the tensest finishes to an F2 season in recent years.

Three rookies claimed maiden victories at some stage during the 2023 campaign, with Martins, Bearman and Jak Crawford taking to the top step for the first time.

MONACO, MONACO - DECEMBER 10: Theo Pourchaire of France and ART Grand Prix (5) celebrates with the

Who can follow in the footsteps and secure the F2 title as Theo Pourchaire did last year?

Martins and Bearman were also tied for the most pole positions last year with three apiece, though it was the former that finished as the top rookie and winner of the Anthoine Hubert Award.

Will Bearman get his redemption this time around in a prospective title fight with Martins, or will the 2024 Drivers’ Champion come from elsewhere?

The F2 campaign gets underway on Thursday, February 29 with Free Practice and Qualifying. The Sprint Race follows on Friday at 17:15 local time with the first Feature Race of the season scheduled for lights out at 13:30 local time on Saturday, March 2.

READ MORE: Crawford joins Aston Martin’s Driver Development Programme

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