F2 teams complete first shakedown with new car in Barcelona

Formula 2 teams have completed a first shakedown with their new-for-2024 chassis in Barcelona, a little over a month before the first round in Bahrain.

Formula 1’s main support championship bode farewell to its long-serving Dallara-built F2 2018 chassis at the end of last year, with this year marking the first season for its bold new car also built by the Italian manufacturer that boasts radically revamped aerodynamics in a bid to boost racing and improved safety credentials.

Prior to Christmas, the car had completed close to 5,000km of testing in the hands of 2022 F2 champion Felipe Drugovich and Tatiana Calderon across Magny-Cours, Jerez and Bahrain, and each of the 11 teams had their first machines delivered recently.

All were permitted to use one car at the shakedown on Tuesday, with a total of 649 laps logged across six hours of track running. Prema rookie Andrea Kimi Antonelli’s 53 tours was the most of any driver.

F2 technical director Pierre-Alain Michot declared it had been “a good first step” prior to the first round in Bahrain on 1-2 March.

“The purpose of this shakedown was for the teams to understand how the new car operates, to make sure that all systems are working fine together and to understand how everything behaves,” he said.

“We are quite happy with the running achieved today. The teams have been able to complete a lot of mileage which is a good first step.”

Michot said it had been “quite an emotional moment” to see cars on track in the hands of teams for the first time, and confirmed that “there have been no red flags, which means that all cars have performed as expected”.

He added: “There are still a few little things to adjust ahead of the first official test session, but that’s normal.

“With eleven teams, there are eleven different ways of working. This enables us to learn even more about this car.

“We could already correct a few things for the afternoon session, but there are still some adjustments to make before the first race of the season, but we’re not far from what we need.”

ART Grand Prix driver Victor Martins noted that the car’s feeling hadn’t changed significantly compared to the outgoing model, which has given him confidence that “I will be able to put my experience to good use for the new season”.

“Everything went fine with no reliability issues,” he explained. “It’s a very positive start.

“Today was also about checking the aerodynamics because that’s the biggest change compared to the previous car, and to start working on set-up that will be relevant for when we go to Bahrain. We also checked that everything is working properly on the car.

“Of course, the goal is to go step-by-step, not damage the car and make the most out of the track time to develop and test different things, but I pushed also! I like it when straight away, you can push, you get the confidence.

“Honestly, I’m happy.”

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