FUTURE F1 stars are gearing up for the FIA Formula 2 Championship which will once again headline the one-track support programme during the Formula 1 weekend at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) later this month.
Formula 2 is widely accepted to be the chief feeder category to Formula 1, with many of its graduates moving on to the top flight after honing their skills at this level.
Formula 2 will be staging the opening round of this year’s season in Bahrain. The new campaign is set to feature 12 meetings in all, each running in conjunction with a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Formula 2 lap times are highly competitive, with the final few rows on the grid proving that there isn’t another junior formula which can match the performance levels of this series.
Engines provide over 612bhp, plus ground effects and proper slick tyres make Formula 2 cars powerful and tricky to handle.
With two races per weekend, reverse grids, compulsory pit-stops, prime and option tyres and 22 identical cars on display, the series never fails to entertain.
There are 20 cars representing 10 teams on the grid this season. In preparation for the 2019 campaign, the field conducted a pair of pre-season tests held in Jerez in February and in Barcelona earlier this month.
Among the more prominent drivers competing this year is Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher. He will be taking to the tarmac with Italian outfit Prema Racing, alongside Indonesian teammate Sean Galeal.
A few other big names this season include Williams test and reserve driver Nicholas Latifi from Canada who races for French team DAMS, Renault test driver Jack Aitken from Great Britain who competes for Spanish team Campos Racing, and former Formula 1 test driver Nikita Mazepin from Russia who drives for ART Grand Prix, who are also from France.
There is one lady driver on the grid this season, Colombian Tatiana Calderon, who races for British squad Arden.
Other teams on the grid this year are Carlin and UNI-Virtuosi Racing from Great Britain, Sauber Junior Team by Charouz from the Czech Republic, MP Motorsport from the Netherlands, and Trident from Italy.
Last year’s champion was Briton Russell, who competed with ART Grand Prix.
Tickets are selling fast for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, which is set to be open to the public over four days for the first time. Tickets for seating to the Main Grandstand are BD150 apiece. A Batelco Grandstand ticket for all four days originally costs BD120, but there are also two other options for Batelco Grandstand seats. For a ticket to Saturday and Sunday only, the cost is BD100, while for Friday only it is BD60.
A four-day ticket to the Turn One Grandstand is BD100 before any discount; whereas University and Victory Grandstand tickets are originally BD60 apiece.
Tickets can be purchased at the BIC stands at The Avenues or at Bahrain City Centre, online at www.bahraingp.com or by calling the BIC Hotline on 17-450000.